John's Water Ice: "A Staple in the Neighborhood"
701 Christian Street
As soon as the weather breaks in the spring, there’s a new reason to visit the corner of 7th and Christian Streets. The red door that’s been closed all winter suddenly opens, inviting neighbors to celebrate the warmth with a cup of chocolate, cherry, lemon, or pineapple water ice, made by three generations of Cardullos, a family of Italian immigrants. One dead giveaway that a person isn’t originally from Philadelphia is if they question the term “water ice.” Native Philadelphians look past the lack of logic and don’t question it.
Anthony Cardullo, the grandson of the original John’s Water Ice proprietor, John Cardullo, currently runs the business and looks forward to seeing regulars purchase their first water ice of the season every year. He’s lived in the neighborhood for his entire life and began helping out in the store when he was just eight years old. Though Anthony has seen the make-up of his neighborhood change over the years, he’s happy to see that one thing remains constant: the continuation of small, family-owned businesses.