Ordering a soda fountain treat, statewide
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One of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs
The Custom: Ordering ice cream treats at the soda fountain.
Where can you do this? 39 soda fountains around the state.
HAVE A TREAT AT A KANSAS SODA FOUNTAIN!
In the first half of the 20th-century, most Kansas towns claimed at least one soda fountain. At the start of the 21st century, we had about 48. Now, in 2012, we are down to thirty-nine operating fountains.
Make it a quest to visit each of the 37 fountains! You'll see many different styles. A few date back to the 1920s and are located in their original location with the back bar, mirror, brass rail, and marble counter. Those built after 1950 have Formica counter-tops and some early marble tops have been converted to Formica.
At some places you'll feel like you've stepped back into the
Purists love working spigots and use of syrups but this list is more lenient. Some spigots work, others don't. Parts are
expensive and hard to find and someone to install them is even more rare.
For more history on some various Kansas soda fountains, click here.
Bankes Drug, 304 N. Broadway. 785.263.4330. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6
p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. It's a 1920s seven-stool soda fountain with
round mirror and 1972 Formica counter top. The spigots not working.
AGENDA, Hope Floats, 400 block of Railroad Street. 785.732.6595. Open Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Marble counter and back bar, mirror. Five stools.
ARKANSAS CITY, Graves Drug, 212 S. Summit. 620.442.2300. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
ATCHISON, Gateway to Kansas, 504 Commercial. 913.367.1533. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
BELOIT, Gray's Drug and soda fountain, 100 S. Mill. 785.738.3000. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A marble countertop, back bar and mirror, and six stools are featured.
BENNINGTON, The Linger Longer, 119 N. Nelson. 785.820.6050. Open April 1 through October 31. Closed for the winter from November through March. Monday-Friday 3-7 p.m.; Saturday 3-9 p.m. Dating back to 1912, this five-stool, marble counter top fountain comes complete with a back bar and mirror. They still mix their syrups using spigots. Dr. Pepper collectibles are featured along with a player piano, a tin-pressed ceiling, and waffle cones made from scratch!
BUCKLIN, Main Street Market, 102 S. Main. 620.826.9860. Open Monday-Saturday. Winter hrs. - 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Summer hrs. - 8 a.m.-8 p.m. You'll find the fountain at the back of the store. Ask if Loretta is around and request that she make you the best limeade anywhere. They make their own syrup and use carbonated water. Fresh hand-squeezed limes too! Their ice cream treats are good too. Ask about the Orange Cow!
CANTON, Soda n' Suds, 116 S. Main. 620.350.8006. Open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 4-8 p.m. Just recently opened, this soda fountain has seven stools.
Traditions Soda & Sandwich, 121
Shoppe, 800 Main inside Northwestern Office
Supply Store. 785.625.7323. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 11
a.m.-4 p.m. A seven-stool counter! Owner
HERINGTON, Kay's Health Mart, 2 W. Main. 785.258.3703. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The soda fountain dates back to the 1910-1915 era with back bar, mirror, brass rail, and six stools. However, the spigots no longer are used.
Variety, 417 New York. 785-364-3321. Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m. Built in
1920s, this fountain still has the original tile counter, five stools and mirror. The counter is often used as an office but you can order here.
HUTCHINSON, Fraese Drug, 25 N. Main. 620.662.4113. Open Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 16 stools. Spigots not in operation but great place for lunch and ice cream.
The American Soda Fountain and Sandwich Shoppe, 205 N. Penn. Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. 620.331.0604. A fifteen-stool counter and a 1970s juke box.
MERRIAM, Georgetown Pharmacy
Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain & Espresso Shop, 5605 Merriam
246 N. Main. 620.478.2401. Open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.;
Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The soda fountain came from Sawyer.
OSKALOOSA, Parker's Pharmacy, 321
PAOLA, Rockers Pharmacy, 304 Baptiste Drive. 913.294.2715. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Closed Sunday. Moved from Peoria St. to new location in 2014 and installed a soda fountain that had been used in the previous drugstore from an earlier time.
Potwin Drug Store (within Old
at Ward-Meade Historic Site), 124 NW
WICHITA, Old Mill Tasty Shop, 604 E. Douglas. 316.264.6500. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.. Built in the late 1920s, this twenty-five foot marble counter with eleven stools, a wooden back bar, and brass foot rails is a dandy.
WILSON, Grandma's Soda Shop, 2524 Ave. E. 785.658.2200. Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Opened in July 2012, the fountain was recently refurbished and verified to be built in 1950. Also serving homemade baked goodies, deli sandwiches and Grandma's secret recipe pizza. A fun hang out for kids too.