In our fast-paced, drive-thru world, the art of a carefully-crafted ice cream sundae or milkshake is lost. Or is it?
Old-fashioned soda fountains dot the Arkansas map from Jasper to McGehee. Many of them offer a full array of delicious menu items like shakes, sundaes, malts, sandwiches, salads, burgers, homemade pies and cakes. So slow down, step back in time, and enjoy a big, gooey, hot fudge-dripping ice cream sundae at one of these Arkansas establishments.
Recently, my family visited Charlyn’s Soda Fountain (also called Cronies) in Mountain View. We sat at the old-fashioned counter and ordered hot fudge sundaes. It was fun watching the young lady make our creations behind the counter: layering the hot fudge between hand-dipped scoops of vanilla ice cream, swirling on the whipped cream and topping it off with a single cherry. My favorite part was watching my daughter and her cousin dig into the sundaes with such enthusiasm and seeing their huge smiles as they gobbled up the ice cream before it melted.
- Charlyn’s Restaurant and Old Fashioned Soda Fountain in Mountain View is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they use Yarnell’s ice cream for their soda fountain treats.
- Spark Café Soda Fountain in Bentonville is a 50s inspired ice cream shop attached to the Walmart Museum on the downtown square.
- Family Shoe & Dry Goods in Calico Rock allows you to grab some lunch, then buy a pair of shoes or a unique gift for a friend.
- Sodie’s Fountain and Grill in Flippin is located in an old railroad depot.
- Fort Smith Museum of History in Fort Smith features a soda fountain in a 1920s-1940s pharmacy.
- Prince Drug Store in Fort Smith opened in 1932 and has been in the same family for five generations.
- Ozark Café in Jasper is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
- Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets in Keo features a different selection of pies every day.
- Jones Drug Store in Lepanto was built in 1915 and still has its original doors, ceiling and soda fountain.
- Green Corner Store in Little Rock features locally crafted ice cream from Loblolly Creamery, baked in-house waffle cones, and seasonal sodas.
- Palace Drug Store & Soda Fountain in Mammoth Spring offers a different lunch special every weekday.
- Kelley’s Drug and Selections in McGehee is a full-service pharmacy, gift store and soda fountain.
- Futrell Pharmacy in Pocahontas is known for their handspun milkshakes and malts.
Hot Arkansas summers and cold ice cream treats go hand in hand, so take a break and visit one of these soda fountains soon. You can worry about the calories later. Also, let us know about the soda fountains in your neck of the Arkansas woods.