Mario's Italian Lemonade

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Mario's Italian lemonade has the consistency of a Slurpee and is like store-bought Italian ices, ''only better,'' promises Dorothy DiPaolo, the current owner's mother. Mario's ices consist of chilled slushlike lemonade, fruit and syrups in various flavors including fruit cocktail, pina colada, chocolate and banana. Lemon is the No. 1 flavor. DiPaolo opened the business in the '50s with her late husband, Mario. The wooden stand is Italian green, white and red, sprouting from the front of a brick rowhouse next door to Jamoch's Caffe. DiPaolo says that when she and her husband opened their stand, there were many stands and pushcarts in the neighborhood. Over the years, most have disappeared. She says customers from many years ago who went to nearby St. Ignatius come back and bring their children. Mario's also sells snacks including snowballs, seeds and nuts, lupini beans, dried chickpeas and candy.