No matter where you are we will come to you


Ice Cream Cone meets Law

Sunday’s “Parade” had an article on the origin of ten foods “Born in the USA”. Some of the stories include how the Civil War  brought us the creation of Granola;  How Bob Cobb and his pal, Sid Grauman, came up with the Cobb Salad by just opening the refrigerator; and even the creation of Whoopie Pies.

There is one “invented Food” connected to a restaurant that is located in Norfolk, Virginia,  and a Norfolk Federal Court Judge. It’s the story of the ice cream cone.

At the 1904 World’s Fair, vendors were selling ice cream in glass containers or cups. Next to the ice cream vendors was a stand selling Middle Eastern pastries that resembled waffles.


This was a time when people could experience food from all over the world.

The Fair was celebrating the  Louisiana Purchase (that occurred in 1803, so does that mean that they were still trying to decide if it was a purchase or return?)  The U.S. was also serving as host to the Summer Olympics at the Fair, but some European countries didn’t attend because of the cost of travel. If you click (here), you can read some amazing history of the Fair, including the guests that included Geronimo and Helen Keller.

So, as the ice cream vendors were watching the stand next to them, they came up with an idea… why not use those pastries to hold the ice cream. New Yorker, Abe Doumar, was one of the vendors credited with launching the cone.

Doumar went back  home and started selling cones up and down the east coast. Then, in 1934, he opened up a drive-in restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia. Doumar’s is still serving good food with the first cone machine on display; and, they still make cones using vintage waffle irons. If you haven’t been to Doumar’s, then this is a blog recommendation.

Now the connection of the cone to law. Robert Doumar was born in Norfolk in 1930. His father,George Doumar,  had immigrated from Syria and met his mother in an arranged marriage.  They both became U.S. citizens and settled down to run the eatery that his brother, Abe Doumar, helped to start.

Robert Doumar went to UVA law school and came back to the Hampton Roads area to practice. He unsuccessfully ran twice for the Virginia House of Delegates and then later for the Virginia State Senate. He was a law school classmate of John Warner, who became Senator and later nominated Doumar as a Federal Judge; Subsequently, Doumar was appointed to the Federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. Today, he sits in Senior status.

If you go to Doumar’s to enjoy a BBQ, ice cream or the curbside service; you can do so and experience the history of the cone. Every now and then, you might hear about a case that Judge Doumar has ruled on and maybe it will also remind you of the cone history. When I first started practicing in Virginia, it was Judge Doumar who swore me in, to allow me to practice in the Federal Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Since we had a long weekend, I thought pic o’ day should be a bit about the memory of  relaxation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Archives

  • Menu Title