The current location of Pete's Dairy Bar was originally the Capitol Theatre, owned by the Rubin Brothers. It was one of two cinemas in the area (the other being in Blacks Harbour) during the war and post-war eras.

In the early 1960s, in a corner of the Capitol Theatre lobby, Pete Rubin offered fountain soda, fresh-cut french fries and vanilla soft-serve ice cream. In fact, the very first soft-serve ice cream machine in St. George was installed in that concession area.

Unfortunately, the theater business ended in the early 1970s and Rubin's Clothing and Footwear occupied the building, bringing an end to Pete's corner concession.


In 1984 Pete's daughter, Mary, expressed interest in starting her own business, a take-out. (This would become Nippers, which opened in 1987.) Pete asked Mary what she thought of opening an ice cream shop in St. George. Mary thought it was a good idea with Pete's opening that same year.

At that time, Pete's Dairy Bar occupied half of the former theater lobby and offered 8 flavours of hard-serve ice cream. Eventually, a larger freezer was added, bringing the flavour count to 16. As the popularity, and desire to offer more flavours and treats, grew, the shop expanded back into the full lobby space.

Pete worked there, by herself, for many years until the process of hiring additional staff came with the expanding customer base (and shop size).

In 1990, Nippers moved from their old location on L'Etete Road into a newly-built kitchen at Pete's Dairy Bar. The addition of traditional take-out offerings (fish & chips, for example) closed in 2005 and came back with the introduction of Pete's Kitchen in 2013, which offered a mix of old classics & new favourites.


Nate & Pete owned and managed the shop up until 2003, with Pete's untimely passing. At that point, Nate retained ownership with their daughter, Mary, taking over the reponsibility of full-time manager.

Pete's Dairy Bar began as a family affair back in the 60s & 70s with Pete & Nate's children helping out, lifting large cans of soft-serve mix up and into the soft-serve machine. The family tradition continues today with grandchildren working through the ranks. Their training starts out wiping tables and eventually moving up to working behind the counter.

Pete's Dairy Bar continues to grow, and evolve, now offering nearly 50 flavours of ice cream and a large variety of other cold treats from milkshakes to slushies. It is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down or stopping.


*Picture of the Capitol Theatre graciously provided by St. George Legion Branch #40.

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