The Original Rainbow Cone (Rainbow Cone), Chicago’s favorite ice cream since 1926, is bringing its distinctive slices of sweetness to New Buffalo, Michigan with a grand opening on May 25.

Famously known for its signature five-flavor ice cream cone stacked with slices – not scoops – of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with cherries and walnuts), pistachio and orange sherbet flavors, Rainbow Cone will serve its one-of-a-kind creation at 1 North Whittaker Street, attached to Sonny D’s, in the ever-popular downtown of New Buffalo. The iconic ice cream shop will also serve sundaes, shakes, cakes, mini donuts, other specialty cones and more nostalgia-inducing treats.

Beginning at 10:30 am on May 25, the location will kick off Memorial Day weekend with an array of festivities, including a ribbon cutting followed by branded giveaways that continue all weekend, in celebration of opening the first location in the state of Michigan. 

“Growing up in the South Side of Chicago, Rainbow Cone was a huge part of my childhood. My son and I are incredibly excited to be able to add a pop of color to our restaurant with the addition of our favorite flavors,” says Frank Ruffolo, Sr. co-owner of Rainbow Cone in New Buffalo alongside his son, Frank Jr. “We’ve enjoyed getting to know the locals as they’ve visited our restaurant this past year. The only thing that has made this experience even more spectacular is knowing that we now get to serve the famous Rainbow Cone to this community that we’ve grown to love.”

Frank Ruffolo Sr. and Jr. own multiple restaurants through their Chicago-based Franco’s Restaurant Group, which has been operated by the Ruffolos since 1989. Since opening Sonny D’s in New Buffalo in 2023, the pair have been itching to add the iconic ice cream shop’s cones to their menu. The duo will leverage their extensive restaurant operations knowledge to serve Rainbow Cone to Harbor Country residents while continuing to support local sports teams, businesses and other downtown events. 

“Many Chicagoans grew up spending summer weekends in New Buffalo, so when the Ruffolos came to us and wanted to bring Chicago’s favorite ice cream to the heart of downtown, we knew that it would be an immediate fit,” says Joe Buonavolanto III, Executive Vice President of the Buona Companies, the parent company of Rainbow Cone. “We’re confident that Rainbow Cone will quickly become the perfect stop for locals and visitors alike while spending the day at Harbor Country’s beautiful beaches.”

Rainbow Cone is a part of The Buona Companies alongside another Chicagoland staple, Buona, the largest family-owned Italian Beef restaurant group and beef producer in the country. Both brands are passionate about supporting the communities that their locations serve, and the Ruffolos’ current involvement with multiple organizations throughout New Buffalo is a testament to those values. 

With additional upcoming openings in Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and California, The Buona Companies offers entrepreneurs a chance to establish their own legacy through its proven family-centered and operator-first business approach, which has been developed and perfected to meet the needs of today’s multi-unit operators. Ideal franchisees should have relevant restaurant and or business ownership experience, share a passion for quality food and service and be actively involved in the communities in which they are looking to develop in. 

Fast Food, Growth, News, The Original Rainbow Cone