Doumar's Cones and BBQ

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Doumar's Cones and BBQ is a restaurant located at 1919 Monticello Avenue in Norfolk, Virginia. Originally an ice cream business at the Ocean View Amusement Park, the creator, Abe Doumar, is regarded as having created the world's first ice cream cone.

The Restaurant[edit]

Abe was said to have created the first ice cream cone in 1904 at the St.Louis Exposition. Later, he built an ice cream stand that was located at the Ocean View Amusement Park, but because a hurricane destroyed the stands in 1933, George Doumar, his brother, decided to re-build and place the restaurant at its current location in 1934, where it has been for the past couple of decades. [1] Doumar's is known for its barbecue, ice cream, and curb service, with waitresses that take orders at your car. Contrary to popular belief, Doumar's has never had curb service on skates. There used to be a curb separating the restaurant and the curb service parking area, which has been paved over. They are usually confused with a similar drive in that was about a block over, called Shoes, which has since closed their doors. They're curb service girls wore skates and hot pants.

The Doumar Family[edit]

Abe Doumar was born a Syrian man in 1881 and arrived in the U.S. around 1895. He had three brothers: Charlie, George and John. He brought them to the States with his mother and father. He died in 1947.[2]

George Doumar, born in 1892 and re-built Doumar's, worked at the restaurant until he died in 1974. George Doumar's son, Albert Doumar, born in 1922 in Norfolk, made ice cream cones daily at the restaurant, until August 2013, on a cone making machine that dates from 1905. Albert Doumar died after a bout with bladder cancer May 14, 2014. Another son of George Doumar, Robert G. Doumar, is a federal judge.

In May 1999, the restaurant was awarded a James Beard Foundation Award in the "America's Classics" category which honors legendary family-owned restaurants around the country. In July 2002, they acquired the Gourmet Magazine Award for the best ice cream cones in the U.S.A.[3] Also, in August 2008, the restaurant was featured on Food Network's hit series Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri.

In 2011, director Spike Lee used Doumar's for a series of promos for the Ed Schultz show as part of MSNBC's "Lean Forward" campaign. In one, Schultz is seen sitting at Doumar's lunch counter when he delivers the line "I need two shows."

Ice Cream Cone Invention[edit]

The story goes that when Abe was 16, he began to sell paperweights and other items while dressed in Arab robes. One night, he bought a waffle from another vendor Leonidas Kestekidès a fellow Greek Ottoman who came from Ghent in Belgium with the Fritz Waffle machine invented by his cousin Georges Krieger-Zacharidès( Fritz) in 1855 in Brussels and proceeded to roll it up and place a scoop of ice cream on top. He then began selling the cones at the St. Louis Exposition. His cones were such a success that he designed a four-iron baking machine and had a foundry make it for him. At the Jamestown Exposition in 1907, he and his brothers sold nearly twenty-three thousand cones. After that, Abe bought a semiautomatic 36-iron machine, which produced 20 cones per minute.[4]


  1. ^ The Ocean View Nickel Tour - Part VII
  2. ^ Doumar's Cones & Barbecue _ Norfolk, Virginia
  3. ^ The Company
  4. ^ The Ocean View Nickel Tour - Part VII