Beat the Heat with a Soda Fountain Treat!

Kerry Kraus


July is National Ice Cream Month. In the South, we’ve become adept at ways to beat the summer heat and ice cream is just about one of the best ways around. Kids love it, grown-ups love it, teens love it.

Why not make your quest for ice cream an adventure? Arkansas is fortunate enough to still have a nice variety of old-fashioned ice cream parlors available. There are original historic ones still in working order and there are brand-new shiny ones. Pack the car and head off to some town you’ve never been and have a frosty concoction. Here are some of the ones to try.

If you know of any not on the list, please let me know.

Family Shoe & Dry Goods,
Calico Rock 

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A step back in time, this venue is a lunch counter with an old-time soda fountain as well as shoes, clothing and unusual gifts.

Located in a historic railroad depot, Sodie’s serves breakfast, lunch and old-fashioned soda fountain treats.

Fort Smith Museum of History, Fort Smith

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Enjoy a refreshment from the old-time soda fountain, and then explore artifacts that depict the history and culture of the Fort Smith area from Native Americans to the present.

Cherry’s Olde-Tyme Soda Fountain, Hope 

Menu includes soups, specialty sandwiches, and quiche

Ozark Café, Jasper

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The history of this soda fountain in Arkansas goes back 100 years. The century-old café features burgers, steaks and seafood in addition to its soda fountain offerings.

Charlotte’s Eats & Sweets, Keo

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Located in a historic pharmacy building, it has an old walnut soda fountain and serves sandwiches, salads, and some outstanding homemade pies

Jones Drug Store, Lepanto

Features an original soda fountain from days of the past.

Purple Cow, Little Rock

Two locations serve up premium, hand-dipped shakes from the soda fountain; also offers gourmet burgers and diner specialties

Palace Drug Store & Soda Fountain, Mammoth Spring

Along with the soda fountain, this lunch counter serves soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts, and has a selection of gifts.

Kelley’s Drug and Selections, McGehee

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A home-owned drug store with an old-fashioned soda fountain and deli sandwiches.

Woods Pharmacy
, Mountain View

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Soda fountain menu includes ice cream sodas, cones, phosphates, shakes, malts, sundaes, banana splits; food menu includes sandwiches, salads.

Futrell Pharmacy, Pocahontas

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One of the oldest pharmacies in Arkansas to remain in the same location; features an old-fashioned soda fountain.

Dixie Café, Statewide

All in-state locations of this Arkansas-based chain have soda fountains; features home-style cooking, burgers, salads

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