Mario’s Italian Lemonade Has Been Helping Chicagoans Enjoy Summer for Almost 70 Years

May 25, 2023 205

There are a few things in Chicago that mark the end of winter and the arrival of our cherished warmer weather. Robins chirp outside windows, flowers start to bloom, and come May 1, lines form on Taylor Street as customers wait for invigorating Italian ice from Mario’s Italian Lemonade.

The business started in 1954, when Mario “Skip” DiPaolo was six years old. Skip was a rowdy child, so his father, also Mario, got him a hand-cranked lemonade machine to channel his tremendous energy. Skip began churning and selling lemonade for two cents in front of the family’s home in Little Italy on Chicago’s Near West Side, and soon he, his father, his sister Donna, and mother Dorothy were running a popular business.

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