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updated: 3/22/2014 6:04 PM

Plenty of sweet treats at new Kilwins in Geneva

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  • Kilwins in Geneva has a large courtyard window to attract customers.

      Kilwins in Geneva has a large courtyard window to attract customers.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Kilwins opened last weekend at Dodson Place in Geneva.

      Kilwins opened last weekend at Dodson Place in Geneva.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • There are plenty of sweet treats for all tastes at Kilwins in Geneva.

      There are plenty of sweet treats for all tastes at Kilwins in Geneva.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer


Now that's some sweet stuff.

If you've never heard of Kilwins, you are only a Third Street visit in Geneva away from correcting that.

Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream had a steady flow of customers when it opened for the first time last weekend at Dodson Place.

Franchise owner Tom Castronova was all smiles as he sliced fudge and dished up ice cream at Geneva's newest entry into the wonderful world of chocolate. "I even know how to do this," he said, while completing a transaction at the cash register.

Castronova also is an owner of the Beehive bar and grill in downtown St. Charles, so naturally his new 1,400 square-foot chocolate shop also has a "bar." This one serves as seating around an area where chefs work on fudge and caramel creations.

If decadent ice cream is your thing, Kilwins throws 32 flavors at you. The top seller is Salted Caramel, which lived up to its billing. But the next best is Toasted Coconut, which features toasted coconut dipped in chocolate and then added to the ice cream. In a word, yummy. Old-fashioned vanilla comes in third.

But this place also offers "Geneva Mud," a creation of vanilla ice cream with chocolate and caramel swirls. A favorite for kids will be Superman ice cream, which has the colors of Superman's outfit and cape.

Steve Titus of St. Charles, the Kilwins franchise manager, was happy to open a store in his general neck of the woods. He's been opening Kilwins stores for the past few years, after being convinced to come out of retirement.

"I retired from Sears in 2008 and just really liked the people and product behind Kilwins," Titus said.

When the weather finally gets warmer and visitors are milling about Dodson Place on a regular basis, Kilwins is going to fit right into the chocolate haven along Third Street.

"We're not here to hurt Graham's or the All-Chocolate Kitchen," Titus said. "We are far enough down the street that all of us should do well."

Castronova figures Kilwins is in a good location to lure diners from Egg Harbor and other restaurants nearby as they look for a tasty dessert to top things off.

Not La Huerta's space: From the outside, it looks like the La Huerta grocery store on Randall Road and Prairie Street in St. Charles is about to expand into the empty building space next to it that was once Bud's Sports Bar.

But looks are deceiving. La Huerta isn't moving into that area, said Matt O'Rourke, the economic development division manager in St. Charles.

The former Bud's space is being divided up for more than one tenant space, O'Rourke said. A dry cleaner at the site is planning to expand into some of the new open space.

The site was too big for another restaurant or bar to come into at this time, O'Rourke said.

Knows her movies: Was it lucky guessing or actually knowing something about the Oscars?

Either way, 80-year-old Rosemary Leppert of St. Charles predicted all seven categories correctly in the Classic Cinemas' annual Predict the Oscars contest.

Leppert was one of 7,608 participants to cast a ballot at the Charlestowne 18 during the six-week contest.

For her extensive understanding of this year's Academy Awards, the theater gave Leppert a yearlong movie pass to any Classic Cinema theater, as well as two VIP admissions and special event passes to Brookfield Zoo.

Hearing the show: People with hearing problems are at a definite disadvantage if they go to see a play or musical. It would be tough to enjoy when you're not hearing the talented performers as well as everyone else.

Fox Valley Repertory has a fix for that.

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley provided a grant to the theater company at Pheasant Run Resort to purchase frequency-based hearing devices and new wireless microphones.

The theater will have eight of the one-ear devices for patrons who request them prior to the performances. Fox Valley Rep said it has received good reviews from patrons who have already tried the earpieces.

Had to see it: When the students in the Benet Academy cheering section started chanting "Where's Waldo?" during the sectional title game against Geneva March 14, it had everyone curious as to what the heck these kids were up to.

We had our answer when they shouted, "There he is!" A young lad dressed up like Waldo popped up among surprised and confused kids in the Geneva cheering section. Of course, the Benet kids went bonkers with cheers, and the rest of us just laughed.

Even though the "Waldo" impersonator made his quick exit to the relative safety of the Benet side of the gym, the Geneva kids took it in the good spirit it was intended. Everyone appreciates clever fun like that during a basketball tournament.

Winter aftermath No. 1: How bad was this winter that supposedly just ended?

So bad that even the vandals who spray graffiti on the bridge supports under the Fabyan Parkway bridge along the Fox River Trail didn't even bother this year. Just too cold and icy.

Winter aftermath No. 2: It's never fun when cities have to fix potholes or repave entire streets because of winter's harsh habits, but it can be brutal when it is the main downtown thoroughfare.

State Street in Geneva has held up pretty well for the most part, but the small stretch in front of Engstrom Plaza on State Street will certainly need some repairs soon.

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