Photograph by Anna Jones / OMS
Cheese popcorn, caramel popcorn, chocolate popcorn, popcorn with nuts—it’s America’s favorite and most versatile snack. It’s also the kernel of truth that inspired Patty’s Old Fashioned Popcorn in Hyde Park square, where partners Pat Atkinson and Randy Sloan have been poppin’ it old-school since late 2011. The shop offers an impressive assortment of flavors—including Chicago Style with a Twist, the addictive, salty-sweet combo of cheddar corn covered in caramel—with many of the options perfected in Sloan’s previous popcorn business, which he operated in Utah in the 1980s. “Most of the recipes come from Randy, but I guess you could say I came up with the Cincy Style popcorn,” says Atkinson, referencing Patty’s hometown-inspired mixture of white cheddar and caramel (shown here). “I thought if Chicago has their own style of popcorn, so should we.”
The tiny east side emporium of sweets also sells caramel apples, Hawaiian shave ice, and old-fashioned candy, making it a go-to spot for charming holiday gifts, party favors, and wedding receptions. “We actually have a lot of people come in to take wedding and engagement photos,” says Atkinson. “Our shop is a little like stepping back in time.”
Patty’s Old Fashioned Popcorn, 3437 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 533-2676, pattyspopcorn.com
Originally published in the January 2014 issue.