Have a Summer Treat at an Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain
A quick – and very enjoyable — way to cool down during an Arkansas summer is ice cream. Throw in some nostalgic atmosphere and you and your family can have an experience not soon forgotten.
Once pretty much a staple for drug stores, there are still several soda fountains open in Central Arkansas (and around the state) and they are just waiting for you. The Chambers Drug Store in Jacksonville has been going strong since 1956. Grab a seat and the counter and let the kids watch the artistry of the person whipping up an old-fashioned malt, milkshake or root beer float.
Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets in Keo has an incredibly beautiful historic walnut soda fountain. Unfortunately it’s not used to dole out the restaurant’s ice cream treats but you can still get a sake, sundae or malt there. And the opportunity to get a piece of the homemade pies for which Charlotte’s has become famous. The food is great as well so enjoy.
The Green Corner Store in downtown Little Rock’s SoMa District relives the days when everyone headed “to town” for an ice cream treat. It offers the full gamut from fountain phosphates, sundaes, milkshakes and more. What makes this place even more fun is that it serves locally made Loblolly Creamery ice cream.
The Purple Cow, an Arkansas-based chain, offers a family-fun atmosphere and plenty of ice cream. How about a banana split? Or the restaurant’s namesake: a Purple Cow? Shakes, malts and ice cream sodas plus burgers, hot dogs, salads, and sandwiches are on the menu. You know the frozen creations are good because they use Arkansas’s own Yarnell’s Ice Cream.
Another series of restaurants operating out of Arkansas also offers the joys of a soda fountain. Dixie Café has locations throughout the state as well as out-of-state. Those in Central Arkansas are found in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Searcy, Benton, and Cabot. All the standards are here: shakes, banana splits and malts, in addition to the varied dining options.