Expansion plans snowballing for Jerry’s Sno Cones

After nearly 50 years at its current location at 1657 Wells Station Road in the Berclair neighborhood, Jerry’s Sno Cones will expand and open a new location in Cordova this fall followed by a third and possible fourth location in still-to-be-determined parts of town.

“We’re starting the voting this week for the third location, and they will have all summer to vote,” said owner David Acklin, who prefers to go by Jerry.

Acklin the business from the previous owners, L.B. and Codria Clifton in 2004. He had been a  regular at the restaurant since its early days when it also operated as a car wash. The building was originally a Sinclair gas and service station built in the 1920s or 1930s.

Today Jerry's Sno Cones offers more than 100 flavors of sno cones, which are often served "supreme" with vanilla or chocolate soft serve ice cream mixed in with flavored shaved ice. 

In addition to its signature sno cones, milkshakes, and banana splits, Acklin's features a full food menu that includes burgers, pork tenderloin and fried bologna sandwiches, crinkle fries and more.

For a location off the beaten path, it has a steady following. Acklin estimates that the restaurant sells around 1,500 chicken tamales per week and about 250 burgers per day.

"We’re trying to do everything ‘old-fashioned.’ Nobody’s doing it that way anymore,” said Acklin.

The majority of Jerry's Sno Cones' business comes from walk-up customers. In the past year, the restaurant opened up a large eat-in area that can seat approximately 50 people.

“We’re gearing up for the new location, seeing if we want people to be able to come in or not,” said Acklin, who’s not sure yet if either of the two new Jerry’s will have an eat-in area or not.

In the back of the restaurant, a colorful chalkboard mural with the title “Before I die...” across the top gives customers a communal spot to create some art, enjoy their food, talk and hang out with friends and take in the nice weather.

A public vote hosted on the Jerry's Sno Cones Facebook page determined the second location. Construction in Cordova could begin mid-June with an opening possible by October.

The Berclair location employs a staff of 25. Acklin not sure yet how many people he will need to hire for the Cordova location.

When the voting ends for the third location by end of summer, Acklin thinks he'll let the public decide on a fourth location.

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Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.