May 22, 2020

Michael's Frozen Custard (on Monroe Street) has re-opened — after closing in August 2018...

... when "owner Michael Dix said he could no longer run the business without his husband, Sergio De La O Hernandez. Hernandez had returned to his native Mexico in August 2018 for a visa interview, and was denied a visa to re-enter the United States. Dix married Hernandez, then an undocumented immigrant, in 2015, and Hernandez became an important part of the business.... The couple filed a waiver to excuse the years Hernandez spent in the U.S. without authorization and to show there would be undue hardship for Dix if Hernandez could not return, but that waiver was denied.... [T]he waiver was ultimately granted on appeal... 'I was thinking I was never going to come back because of how the government is doing things,' Hernandez said. 'I’m trying not to cry, but like I told my husband, I always had hope that something was going to happen.'"

The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Michael's Frozen Custard had been around just about exactly as long as I've lived in Madison — 30+ years. I've never mentioned it by name on this blog, but you have seen photographs of it, like this (from 2010):

P1030178

It's an important part of Madison, and I'm really happy to see it open again.

31 comments:

Shane said...

"Michael's frozen custard
Dripping from a dead dog's eye
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess
Boy, you've been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down"

Automatic_Wing said...

Lol, what could be more Current Year than the trials and tribulations of a gay Madison custard shop owner and his illegal alien "husband".

tim maguire said...

Given Hernandez's experiences of our immigration system from illegal to legal across presidents and priorities, I'd be interested in reading more about it. It could be a fascinating and illuminating tale (I'm not asking you to do anything, professor, I'm just saying.)

Wince said...

Frozen Custard's Last Stand?

Todd said...

'I was thinking I was never going to come back because of how the government is doing things,' Hernandez said. 'I’m trying not to cry, but like I told my husband, I always had hope that something was going to happen.'"

Sad story but it sounds like it was a result of what YOU and your HUSBAND both DECIDED to do. He was in the country illegally. YOU chose to marry him. Did you not know he was an illegal alien? He was illegally here for YEARS. Sad but choices...

Krumhorn said...

There is an excess of Dix producing custard in that household.

- Krumhorn

John henry said...

And the point is?

That an illegal alien was properly deported?

That the "husband" (why not "spouse"?) was so heartbroken that he shut down his icecream stand but not heartbroken enough to move to Mexico to be with his beloved?

Seems like a bullshit story to me.

John Henry

Fernandinande said...

FAILURE TO STAND ON THE ASSIGNED SPOT MAY RESULT IN DEATH

Jersey Fled said...

My wife's favorite custard stand opened about a month ago but we haven't gone there yet. Too crowded.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Any appreciation shown for overlooking past lawbreaking?

Churchy LaFemme: said...

You're not doing the decor right unless you have a cone

Bay Area Guy said...

"It's an important part of Madison, and I'm really happy to see it open again."

Great! But did you feel it was necessary to close it down in the first place? Some great places like this custard shop, sadly, won't be reopening.

Josephbleau said...

I think a joke about needing illegals to do jobs Americans won’t do seems within reach.

cf said...

tim maguire said...
Given Hernandez's experiences of our immigration system from illegal to legal across presidents and priorities, I'd be interested in reading more about it. It could be a fascinating and illuminating tale

It is frustrating how much we don't know about our own immigration.

President Trump recently closed all worker-related immigration in the press conference, but then clarified that his order "of course" did NOT affect "agricultural workers", and you could understand there is some vast seasonal worker immigration system for agriculture that has been operating all along. . . what? I am glad such a thing exists, and I would like to know so much more about that.

My personal theory is that the federal and state governments know a whole heck of a lot about exactly who is here and their status, and whole parts of their work involve supporting a good chunk of them. They don't talk about it though.

as far as this custard & love story, Hurrah for reopening anything right now! And a big cheer for loving devotion.

CJinPA said...

Geez, now they're going to get pregnant and have an anchor baby. I know how this works!

Happy that people are happy they're open. Wish they respected my country enough to follow its laws.

MadisonMan said...

I know a lot of people in the neighborhood like it, and we would walk our kids down in summer way back when for a treat, but it's just too expensive. Glad to see it back, but I'm unlikely to patronize it.

John henry said...

Wince said...

Frozen Custard's Last Stand?

"We'll always have Culvers"

John Henry

Lurker21 said...

"Frozen custard" = What our parents called ice cream. We doubted that such a thing really existed.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

I will admit that their lemon meringue pie custard with bits of crust blended in has been my standard when explaining Wisconsin frozen custard to family back here in the east. Nice diversion after a day at Lake Wingra or the Arb.

Craig said...

I love that picture. A snapshot of the America that's never coming back if the germophobes get their way.

Fernandinande said...

You're not doing the decor right unless you have a cone

Social distancing cone of shame

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“That the "husband" (why not "spouse"?) was so heartbroken that he shut down his icecream stand but not heartbroken enough to move to Mexico to be with his beloved?”

That’s what jumped out at me. Inevitable thoughts about the sensibilities of Madison gays and shithole countries. Almost like it was a great, passionate, and heartbreaking love of convenience. I can’t wait for the movie.

Jupiter said...

So, I'm trying to see how this works. How many illegal immigrants do I get to employ if I'm not fucking them in the ass? If I get tired of fucking this one in the ass, can I import another? What happens to this one then?

MadTownGuy said...

Were all the Michael's closed or just Monroe St? I thought the one on Schroeder Rd has been open all this time. The Verona location closed a few years ago. Verona was my favorite because of all the Fifties car stuff. Also the custard & burgers were good.

cubanbob said...

Maybe the border jumper will appreciate the hoops legal immigrants go through. Unsaid is if the store was closed for two years, what was the America doing for a living? And why reopen now? Does he need his spouse to run the shop? He couldn't hire someone to help him? I understand him wanting to bring his spouse but that is seperate from the business.

n.n said...

Transpositive.

RigelDog said...

""Frozen custard" = What our parents called ice cream. We doubted that such a thing really existed."

Is it really? I thought that frozen custard was supposed to refer to ice cream that is made with eggs.

DUSTER said...

Im sure you'll get sprinkles on top whether you want them or not.

Tina Trent said...

Between law enforcement, adjudication, tax fraud, destroyed wages in the restaurant industry thanks entirely to illegal labor, and other expenses of the invasion, enjoy the cone: the rest of us are picking up the real cost.

Your blue collar neighbors, of course not too nearby, might have a different feeling about such subsidized dessert.

Phidippus said...

Jupiter @12:00: Asking the questions Althouse won't.

walter said...

Culvers is like the skim milk of custard compared to Michael's.
Going back to last summer:
https://wisconsinexaminer.com/2019/08/23/neighbors-shocked-as-michaels-closes-because-of-visa-problem/
"Slin believes an inexperienced officer failed to give the case a fair review.
“The officer just focused on the fact that even though the business has been in decline since Sergio left, they still are people of means,” she said. “They have a business. They’re well above the poverty level—but you don’t have to be poor to qualify for the waiver.”
It’s an irony of US immigration policy that Hernandez, who has no criminal record and worked for years helping to build up an iconic business beloved by the community, is blocked from returning to this country in part because of his own success.
“This separation has made Michael’s mental and physical health problems worse,” says Slin. “In the denial, they just seemed to focus on ‘you have means.’”
Asked if the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigrants contributed to the couple’s troubles, Slin said, “I can’t look into the mind of the specific officer reviewing this case, but I do see more pressure put on officers to deny cases from certain countries. Here we have a Mexican national.”
She plans to appeal the case. Meanwhile, Michael’s will close its Monroe Street location, one of three in the Madison area, on September 9. The couple remains in Mexico.
Looking at the sea of white children in her photo of the Fourth of July parade, Frank mused about how the largely Hispanic workforce at Michael’s created a feeling of community for so many non-Hispanic neighbors, holding events on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and, of course, Independence Day. “They were good neighbors,” she said. “I hope it makes people think about how immigration affects all of us.”