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The small town of Calico Rock sits right on the beautiful White River. We have often passed through while traveling North on Hwy 5. As we drive over the large bridge, slowly crossing over the train tracks, you can’t help but notice the small Main Street buildings. I have often pictured what the community looked like as a bustling small town when the railroad stopped here. Main Streets were the heart and soul of communities like Calico Rock.
If you drive through Calico Rock today, you will see new life on Main Street. The community is coming together to revitalize their Main Street and bring people back to the once-bustling area.
The Printing Press Cafe & Ice Cream Parlor was established in the fall of 2015. The cafe gets its name from the building in which it resides. The building housed The Calico Rocket newspaper, which later was named The Calico Rock Progress, from 1906 to 1965.
The Calico Rock Museum Foundation purchased the building and opened it as the successful Printing Press Cafe and ice cream parlor. As you enter, you feel like you are walking into an old-fashioned soda shop with a modern twist. The bold black and white décor fits perfectly with the historic treasures used to decorate the café that pays homage to the building’s history. We especially enjoyed looking at the old photographs and antique typewriters on display.
The menu consists of signature salads, bistro sandwiches and soups. And you absolutely can’t forget the ice cream! They offer sundaes, milk shakes, ice cream floats and old-fashioned malts.
We dined on an All-American Turkey Panini and a special turkey grilled cheese. Each came with chips or potato salad and a pickle spear. My son is a pickle lover and said they were delicious and crisp; since he swiped mine I’ll just have to take his word for it. We both thoroughly enjoyed our sandwiches and I would highly recommend the panini if you like thicker pita type bread. It was scrumptious.
Not realizing the sandwiches would be so large, we ordered a brownie delight and it was huge! They brought it to the table as we were finishing our sandwiches. My son smiled from ear to ear. Despite our valiant efforts, we just couldn’t finish it.
My son chose a table right by the window, so as we ate we enjoyed watching the cars drive by. As other customers came and went, you could tell that many were regulars and that friends gathered not only to enjoy the food but also to enjoy each other’s company.
All the proceeds from the café benefit the Calico Rock Museum Foundation and the community revitalization project. After dining, be sure to walk down the block to visit the Calico Rock Museum. It is free of charge and packed full of artifacts and rich history of the area.
If you are looking for a way to spend the afternoon, take a drive on Hwy 5 to Calico Rock. The Printing Press Cafe & Ice Cream Parlor is open Tuesday-Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
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