Brendan Sodikoff Confirms He’s Reviving The Freeze and Opening a Small Cheval

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Brendan Sodikoff says he likes his soft-serve ice cream simple, opting for a chocolate-dipped cone. The restaurateur and founder of Au Cheval and younger sibling Small Cheval confirms that he’s working on reviving the Freeze, the Logan Square ice cream stand that closed last year.

His team is working on remodeling and restoring the stand at 2815 W. Armitage Avenue, a stretch of Logan Square that includes restaurants like Gretel, Bungalow by Middlebrow Brewery, and the soon-to-open Bar Parisette inside the former Dos Urban Cantina space. The Freeze’s revival will include the ninth location of Small Cheval, the mini-chain that grew from seeing long lines of customers waiting for a burger at Au Cheval. Small Cheval serves a similar burger, along with fries and milkshakes.

The Freeze 2.0, which adds a second floor to the building, would also be open during the winter, unlike the original which was only open during the warmer months.

“I love the Freeze, I didn’t think too hard on this,” Sodikoff texts. “Seemed like a natural fit to put the two together.”

Speculation has mounted that the project could be complete by the end of the year, though Sodikoff didn’t share an opening timeline. He says he’s not familiar with all the construction that needs to be done, but admits the space needs significant work: “The goal is to preserve whatever we can,” Sodikoff adds.

Renderings show a space with the same retro aesthetic as Small Chevals in locations like Wicker Park, Wrigleyville, and Fulton Market. String lights, red and white umbrellas, wooden benches, and planters filled with flowers are hallmarks of the design. There’s also a pickup window.

It won’t be a carbon copy of the Freeze’s menu. Sodikoff says the offerings will be inspired by the original and use the same soft-serve machines. He didn’t answer questions regarding whether the space will have a liquor license or if they would offer boozy shakes or other items. The Freeze was sold in late 2023 after 73 years of operation.

A license to sell alcohol is costly, but booze sales also are lucrative. As gentrification continues, the economics of selling 50-cent hot dogs and ice cream cones from a small shack don’t make sense as developers are eager to cram as much as they can onto parcels. Small Cheval is a collaboration between Hogsalt — one of the more successful restaurant companies in the city with hits like Bavette’s in River North and Armitage Alehouse in Lincoln Park — and Four Corners — the group with ties to prominent real estate developer Sterling Bay. That’s the kind of support an independent business lacks.

Hogsalt and Sodikoff have taken an interest in rehabilitating spaces in the area. While he disagreed with the comparison, an example would be in 2015 when Sodikoff took over the California Clipper and Dropbox Cafe space in Humboldt Park. Though the Clipper has since been sold, Sodikoff’s crews did significant work to restore the space.

The fervor surrounding the project started last week after a post on a Logan Square Facebook group linked to architectural renderings. The drawings then made their way to Reddit, but the firm behind the project, Via Chicago Architects, has since made those images private. In the aftermath, Time Out Chicago and Block Club Chicago posted stories, coverage Sodikoff claims to have not seen.

Stay tuned for more coverage as details emerge.

The Freeze and Small Cheval, 2815 W. Armitage Avenue, Opening date TBD

The Freeze

2815 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 384-5211 Visit Website

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