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June 6th 2008

Grunnings in South Orange.

I never got a chance to experience Grunnings. From what I’ve heard, it was a local ice cream shop on South Orange Avenue in South Orange. I’m told it was a destination for families and local teens to get a bite.

So, why am I writing about a topic I know nothing about? Well, I just keep running into people who tell me “Grunnings this, and Grunnings that”. It seems like a place that people can’t let go. A piece of their past that just won’t go away.

I would love to find out more about Grunnings in Maplewood. Perhaps get a couple of photos. Hear some personal stories. Learn more about the experience.

Clearly, this establishment had a serious impact on local residents. So what made this place so special.

Tell me.

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59 Comments on “Grunnings in South Orange.”

Joanne said,

@Jerry (comment #43)

There was a Grunings in Newark? I didn’t know that!
By the time I was going to them there were only six locations on the menu.

Wish I could still buy that yummy hot fudge.

January 15th, 2012, 11:54 am  
Nancy said,

Ah! The Coffee Ice Cream Floats at Grunnings were to die for. Delicious memories of their most awesome Hot Fudge Sauce (nothing has ever come close) leave me with a desperate craving that will remain unfulfilled. Yet my fondest thoughts center on their red pistachio nuts. You could buy them by the pound or in small cellophane wrappers. My girlfriend, Sandy and I would each buy a small bag (.25) and then set out from Grunnings on the top for an after school walk up South Orange Ave. and into Newstead in search of a white Maserati Ghibli that resided amongst the homes up there. We left such a trail of red shells . Thank You Grunnings for playing a wonderful part while I was growing up and now, in my memories.

April 17th, 2012, 7:08 am  
Karen said,

Jimmy Grunning was in Miss Ward’s fourth grade class at Jeffferson School with me in the 1950’s. His family owned and ran the original two Grunnings in South Orange–the one on South Orange Avenue downtown and the one on the hill. Tons of kids would crowd into the one on the hill after CHS football games. My family loved Grunnings ice cream. It was the best. We always had the green pistachio for my father’s birthday, which was on St. Patrick’s Day. I left Maplewood in 1963 and never knew about any of the later Grunnings branches mentioned by some of you.

I remember Bond’s in Montclair and Short Hills. Those Awful Awfuls (biggest, thickest milkshakes on earth) and the list on the wall, names of people who drank two at a sitting (then you got one free).

August 9th, 2012, 7:44 pm  
Karen said,

P.S. Actually, I’m pretty sure the spelling is Grunings. Many people pronounced it as a short U, but Jimmy Gruning was in my class and he pronounced it with a long U. (Trivia)

August 9th, 2012, 8:02 pm  
stevie said,

Here is another reason for remembering Grunnings…every summer they would make their own from -scratch peach ice cream. We are not talking frozen peaches, but big chunks of fresh, soft peaches in this home made ice cream! I was priveledged to be able to watch them making a batch one long-ago summer day, as my grandmother worked for Herman Grunning for several decades and snuck me to the back of the store to see this happening !

August 17th, 2012, 12:08 pm  
Meg said,

Although I didn’t live in the area, my cousins did, and when I stayed with them, my aunt would often take us to Grunnings for ice cream so good that I remember it still! It was an institution; I was so sad to hear that it closed….

September 13th, 2012, 8:01 am  
Lou Anagnostis said,

Might as well throw in Don’s Drive-in…when it actually had “car service”! How much mileage did YOU put in going back and forth to those two “hot spots”?

December 28th, 2012, 6:11 am  
Bruce said,

I grew up in South Orange N.J. and worked in the village Grunnings my senior year in High School. It was a glorious and simple time. I believe I worked there from about 1976-1977 while attending Columbia. I remember Gus, Danny, Fred and most of all the great Tom King. I also remember the owner Herman Grunning. He was not a particularly nice man as he did not treat his employees to well. He was especially hard on his manager Tom King who eventually quit to work in Bunny’s bar and grill as a bartender. I am 53 years old now and have never found any ice cream anywhere as good as Grunnings. The price of the malts were 95 cents plus 5 cents tax! What stands out the most for me is how I was actually taught to make the malts, ice cream sundaes, and floats by Tom King. This is something that is sorely lacking in today’s ice cream parlors. It seems that nobody takes the time to teach these kids how to make these treats. It’s almost as though the knowledge is lost, which is a shame. I however will never forget what Tom taught me. As my friend say’s when he introduces me… This is my friend Bruce he used to be a soda jerk now he’s just a plain jerk!
I will never forget those days at Grunnings!

December 31st, 2012, 11:05 pm  
Donny Manganello said,

I grew up in South Orange in the 50’s and 60’s(so did my dad).Anyone who grew up back then will never forget Grunings.The best ice cream ever,but dont forget the homemade candy,which was also the best.And how many romances that began always ended up going to Grunings for a bite to eat.Too bad our children and their children will never experience this great place.

January 3rd, 2013, 1:56 pm  

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