Urban Indulgence

Appears in the February 2022 issue.

By Peter Gianopulos

It’s hard to say who shrieked with more unbridled glee over the recent opening of JoJo’s Shake Bar in Naperville: local milkshake connoisseurs or every dental practice within a 20-mile radius. Technically, the restaurant does serve savory offerings—comfort food staples like deli sandwiches and pot pies. But let’s be honest. JoJo’s (5 Jackson Ave., 312.624.8963, jojosshakebar.com) is all about the sugarplums. Imagine the board game Candy Land if it magically came to life: Ice cream bars made with sweetened condensed milk. Torched-marshmallow hot chocolate. Soda floats. Flavored milk and cookie flights. Plus the Instagram-busting Biggie Shakes—try the toffee-rich Rocky IV, with a boxing glove-shaped cookie (shown, far left)—which crams a bakery’s worth of pastries, candy, and cake pops into a frosting-shmeared milkshake cup. 

JoJo’s rep Madi VanDeVelde says the establishment is unapologetically nostalgic. Note the 1950s milkshake mixers lining the wall and the all those streaming 1980s and 1990s TV shows. “We want guests to turn to their kids and say, ‘I watched that when I was your age.’ ” Luckily, there are also booze-spiked frozen cocktails and CBD-laced shakes to help parents deal with the three-megaton sugar rush of energy that’s sure to follow each visit. 

Photo courtesy Jojo’s Shake Bar