Monday, March 11, 2019

A warm oasis in a cold winter

La Michoacana Clearing enjoying success from the start

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Mid-winter is not a time associated with ice cream shop
openings, but Alma Torres and Beatriz Sahagun did exactly that with their new business in Clearing, less than a week after temperatures at Midway bottomed out at 23 degrees below zero.

Amazingly, not only did they enjoy immediate success at the new La Michoacana Clearing, 6058 W. 63rd St., but the ice cream shop seems to be seeing more customers every day, even as winter hangs on ‘til the end.

“I think what we’ve created here is a warm, welcoming place where people can come with their families and sit down in a relaxed, comfortable setting—and stay awhile, not feel rushed in any way,” Sahagun said. “People experience that, and word spreads quickly. Already, we have a lot of repeat customers.”

La Michoacana Clearing is located in what for decades what Touch of Class lounge, a nice place in its heyday, but which later was known as a late-night dive bar.

Today, the vacant lounge is nowhere in evidence. Torres and Sahagun gutted the interior and completely remodeled it—all new everything—giving the place a bright, clean, friendly feel.

The shop serves a wide array of frozen treats, including dairy-based and water-based ice cream, chocolate-covered bananas, yogurt loaded with fresh fruit and tasty toppings that can include various nuts, shredded coconut and candy.

Part of the extensive menu at La Michoacana Clearing

There is also a wide variety of cold and hot drinks, including Abuelita-brand hot chocolate.

The shop also serves sandwiches—chicken, turkey, ham, pork and vegetarian—as well as elotes, tamales and other favorites.

But what may truly set La Michoacana Clearing apart from other frozen treat shops is its lineup of crepes, available in dozens upon dozens of combinations.

First, crepe customers choose a filling: Nutella, peanut butter, whipped yogurt, strawberry jam or caramel sauce.

Second, they choose two of seven toppings: pecans, peanuts, almonds, oatmeal, granola, coconut and raisins.

Finally, they choose two of nine fruits: apple, strawberry, pineapple, banana, cantaloupe, grape, blueberry, mango and papaya.

La Michoacana Clearing appears to be attracting quite a
Beatriz Sahagun and Alma Torres
following from local schools—especially nearby Hale—with moms and dads and even a few grandparents bringing youngsters in for an after-school treat.

But the shop is also open on evenings and weekends and has a space suited for group meetings. It already has been enjoyed by a local athletic group and is open for Scout troops, Little League teams, birthday parties and more.

Both Torres and Sahagun live a bit east of the shop, in West Lawn. Both grew up in Little Village, where some of their best memories are of enjoying frozen treats from ice cream trucks or paletero pushcarts.

“We remember that, and we looked at this neighborhood (Clearing) and thought it could use a good, family-friendly ice cream shop,” Torres said with a smile. “We think we were right.”

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