After a year of being out of action, the Rita’s Water Ice location on Blackwood-Clementon Road is now open in a new location, in the Save-A-Lot center parking area at the intersection of Laurel Road just a mile away from their prior location.
Technically the new Rita’s Water Ice location is in Lindenwold, but for consistency (and considering it is so close to the old location) they are still calling the location “Blackwood”
That’s a minor detail. The big news is you’ve likely never seen a Rita’s location looking as nice as this, or with the few extra twists that the Blackwood location offers!
I’ve been tracking this story from the beginning and visiting weekly to figure out the opening day, but SOJO beat me to the story, so you can check out their article here.
But keep scrolling and reading for the 42Freeway… twists!
Rita’s Blackwood Clementon Rd – Distinctive Styling
Today in my visit I had a chance to chat with manager Kim (who I believe is also part of the family who owns the franchise location). She tells me the graphics and design of the location is all part of the new Rita’s store branding.
Honestly the folks at Rita’s and the franchise owner did an amazing with the property. It’s attractive, eye catching and presents an image of high-quality.
The red and white top façade color scheme and signage are very prominent on the top trim.
That alone is going to grab the attention of area commuters and shoppers who are going to immediately recognize the building as a Rita’s Water Ice. But then many will pause to think… but wait, is that a Rita’s?
The first thing that’s unique about this location is it is a freestanding Rita’s Water Ice building. In my experience most of the area locations are typically within a shopping center or strip mall.
The dedicated building has allowed the franchise owners to extend the design and branding completely around the building. From all directions you’re clearly aware that this is a Rita’s Water Ice.
The front ordering window area faces the shopping center side, and features the signature Rita’s Gelati graphic, the branded Rita’s script logo, and their slogan “Ice – Custard – Happiness”
They were able to carry the red and white top façade, and Rita’s graphics completely around the building.
The building exterior main walls are a combination of slate gray and light gray, with bright white trim accents (window trim). The contrast with the gray makes the red and white top accent “pop”.
Above those main walk up windows they offer digital menu screens. They provide a large concreted area for customers to decide on what they want to order, and to wait for their turn to order.
The property offers dedicated parking on the sides and corner side, with sidewalks leading to the ordering windows.
Rita’s Water Ice Blackwood : Outdoor Seating and Drive-Thru
I haven’t even yet gotten to the two most significant unique features of this Rita’s Water Ice location!
On the Laurel Road side of the building is a very noticeable outdoor seating area with nice park-style picnic tables featuring bright red large umbrellas… also proudly carrying the Rita’s signature branding.
Is it revolutionary? Well I’ll let you decide for yourself, but it’s a feature that you don’t see at many Rita’s Water Ice locations because they’re typically within a strip mall where space does not allow for seating.
At the new Blackwood location they have four tables (and umbrellas) and a park style bench.
The next really cool aspect may have you doing a double-take.
Wait is that a….. do they have a… oh wow, that’s so cool… they have a drive-thru!
The building was originally developed as a small bank location, and even though for a few decades it operated as a dry cleaner, the drive-thru canopy was kept mostly intact.
Kim tells me that they are one of the few Rita’s in the area with a drive-thru. While she knows that the Voorhees location has a drive-up window, Blackwood is unique in that it offers a traditional drive-thru experience with a full digital menu board and ordering speaker.
Even on the busiest days, the moment your order is placed the Rita’s Blackwood staff can already start making your frozen treats, and shorten the time it takes to you wait in inline.
I’m not done with this drive-thru. Maybe I am overdoing it a bit but I think it will be very popular!
Not only do they offer a fully digital ordering menu, which can be easily updated by store staff to highlight each day’s available flavors…
They also added smaller “teaser” monitors along the drive-thru path so that if you are in line one or two cars behind the person ordering, you can be presented with images of delicious Rita’s Water Ice treats, that will hopefully help me make up your mind of what it is you want
More likely it’s going to confuse the heck out of you, because everything is so amazing at Rita’s!
Rita’s Water Ice – Blackwood
If you are unfamiliar with Rita’s Water Ice, they are a frozen treat store offering the best Italian Water Ice and Ice Cream Custard.
The treats burst with flavors, and they Rita’s team are constantly coming up with new flavors and styles.
As mentioned, this Rita’s location was about a mile away on a property they shared with Entenmann’s. That large property was sold, the buildings were demolished… and a new Super Wawa is currently under construction there. (June 2022)
This put the local Rita’s out of commission for the 2022 Summer season, as the franchise owners looked for a location in the immediate area.
During 2022, the local owners identifies the new location at the corner of Laurel Rd and Blackwood-Clementon Rd, and worked towards approvals and remodeling.
In December of 2022 we broke the news on the new location.
The team moved quickly into construction mode and in early April they were targeting an opening at the end of the month.
Last weekend they opened up at the new location!
Links and Location
Rita’s Water Ice (Blackwood)
825 Blackwood Clementon Road
Lindenwold, NJ, New Jersey
Hours: Every day Noon to 10pm