An adorable ice cream shop caught my eye one night recently, as my husband and I were taking a stroll through the downtown historic district of Staunton, Virginia. Only 20 minutes away from where we live, I wondered why I hadn’t been to The Split Banana, Co. I have heard so many great things about their gelato and the lively streets seemed to bring so many smiling faces into the shop as they enjoyed such a treat.
Between the bright and fun look of the shop, all the positive reviews, and my love for restored historic spaces, I just had to make the trip to The Split Banana to see what it was all about. I didn’t really need a reason or an excuse to take my kids on a whim after school that following week, but hey…it’s Thursday so we should go for some gelato? Sounds good to me. The best trips are always the ones you didn’t really plan for anyway, and it turned out to be a wonderful outing!
As someone who swoons over design and historic detail, I loved walking into the Split Banana. The shop’s atmosphere had the feel of a nice local community gathering spot with a welcoming and friendly nature. Deciding on which flavor Gelato I wanted was the only hard part about visiting The Split Banana. So many flavors to choose from and I’m sure I couldn’t have gone wrong with any of the choices. I finally narrowed it down to a mix of the Reese’s Cup and the Chocolate, but my daughter was kind enough to let me try a bite of her Birthday Cake gelato…yum!
Everyone was so busy enjoying their gelato, there wasn’t much conversation going on at our table. The feeling of being wrapped up in all this beautiful design while enjoying the perfect dessert was amazing! I knew I had to visit again and capture the details to feature here on the blog!
Nick, the owner of The Split banana, happily agreed to let me come back and photograph this beautiful place and told me so many details about the business and how the design came about. Opening the shop in 2008, the store needed a lot of renovating, and his idea for design included old-fashion American with a touch of modern.
With the original detail in the background including the tile ceiling and woodwork, built in 1896, the reproduction furniture gives it the look of a 1950’s ice cream shop with the bright colors and chrome detail. The furniture came from the custom retro furniture supplier, Bars and Booths, made right here in the US. The furniture and floors make you feel like you’re stepping back in time inside a classic ice cream parlor.
The floors caught my attention as well, especially with the asymmetrical design of the green tiles throughout. Nick said that the green tiles were the ones they had to replace, but the black and white tiles are all original. I wouldn’t have thought to include different color tiles in the spaces that needed replacement pieces, but I love the look…very fun and unique!
Looking at the front counter, the modern design really stands out along with the historic detail. I love the chalkboard menu hanging above with the bright colors and the modern pendant lighting. It’s so bright and cheery. The Split Banana has certainly made it fun and easy to order…because Gelato is fun anyway, right?
If you weren’t convinced by my own words, maybe this picture will give you a closer look at this delicious treat. Just by looking at the choices in front of you, which one would you choose? The flavors are a mix of classic American flavors, Italian flavors, and a few are their very own creations, such as the Sticky Rice and the Matcha. Other flavors I’d like to try are the Pineapple Basil, Cherry Cheesecake, Highland County Maple, and the Espresso Biscotto. I’m definitely going back again and again until I have tried every flavor they have. <<< #lifegoals
And lucky me, I got to have my very own banana split with three different flavors included. And, every order of Gelato comes with pieces of waffle cone. I can tell you that this banana split was just as delicious as it looks here in the picture. This was my lunch that day…
Okay, one more close-up, just because it looks so good…
As I mentioned before, The Split Banana’s atmosphere has a nice, welcoming feel of the perfect community gathering spot. I appreciated all their community support by displaying flyers of upcoming local events. Staunton is a friendly town and they are so supportive of their local businesses and the arts.
Just a few more photos of this lovely place…the hutch behind the counter is a very old piece with a marble countertop that Nick and his father refinished. I love how the hardware stands out and it makes a nice, functional storage piece. He says it’s around 100 years old. If you follow my blog, then you know I have quite an appreciation for restored furniture pieces and I think they did a beautiful job with this one.
Oh, and I must mention the piano in the front window. You can showcase your talent while folks enjoy their gelato. So much fun! I’ll pass on playing, unless anyone wants to hear Mary Had a Little Lamb and the beginning line of one Motley Crue song? That’s as far as my talent goes on the piano.
Thanks to The Split Banana for allowing me to come and take pictures of their lovely gelato shop! I hope you enjoyed the look of the place as much as I do and if you ever come through this area, I recommend you stop by for some gelato….you won’t be disappointed!
The Split Banana is located at 7 W Beverly St, Staunton, Virginia 24401
Follow the Split Banana-