The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        Last September, Maxine Haas told her family she had dipped her last scoop of ice cream at Pee Wee’s Dari Snak and was – after 55 years – retiring.

        The family-owned business had been a staple of the Stony Ridge community and stopping there for a treat was routine for residents, baseball and soccer teams and other groups during the summer.

        Haas’ announced retirement was such a big event in the area that her children held a retirement open house for her at St. John’s Lutheran Church, giving the generations of patrons a chance to offer their best wishes and share stories.

        Selling the building was an option the family considered but with the intent of finding a buyer who would continue the ice cream business.  

        But sometime after Maxine announced her plans to retire, her son, Rusty Waters, and his son, Trent, decided to pick up the ice cream scoop and Pee Wee’s Dairy Snak opened last Thursday for its 56th season.

        “I’m not going to change a thing,” Rusty said the day before the opening. “This place has been running for 55 years. I started working here when I was about five years old with my grandfather. So I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.”

        His son, the fourth generation of the family to work at Pee Wee’s, will be managing the business, he said.

        Pee Wee’s will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

        In addition to the soft ice cream and sugar-free hard ice cream, Pee Wee’s will still feature the popular homemade sauce for the Coney Island hot dogs and bar-b-cue beef and other sandwiches and side items.

        “That’s something we’re known for,” Rusty said. “I think we have the best ice cream because we still have the old water-cooled machines.”

        Will the 56th season lure the family matriarch back?

        “She’s only about 100 yards away but I don’t know if she’ll step in the door or not. She swore she’s not going to but we’ll see how that goes,” Rusty said, laughing. “My grandmother was about 90 or so and still sitting in the backyard slicing onions and making our coleslaw. I’m hoping Mom will decide to do something like that. But if she doesn’t, she doesn’t.”

        His grandmother, Bertha Haas and grandfather, Everett, known as Pee Wee, constructed the building in 1963 at 5700 Fremont Pike.

        At the time, I-75 wasn’t completed in Toledo so many patrons made their way to Pee Wee’s on I-280 to Route 20, Maxine told The Press for a story prior to the opening of the 2016 season.

        She said it wasn’t uncommon for many residents who moved from the Stony Ridge area to patronize Pee Wee’s when they returned to visit friends or relatives – some from as far away as Colorado and Florida.




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