Monday, August 13, 2012

An Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain

Favorite Pit Stops

Wouldn't you know it?  I pick the hottest week of the summer to visit my Kansas Family.  Needless to say, as we headed South from Kansas City to Coffeyville, the topic of conversation centered around what we were going to order at the Cardinal Drugstore Soda Fountain in Chanute.  I had been dreaming about root beer floats for the last two hours and that is exactly what I had.  And, man, was it good!

Chanute is another charming town in southeast Kansas.  Hollywood scouts should check this place out.  Those old brick buildings would make a great backdrop to a movie set in the 1950's.  The soda fountain has "Happy Days" written all over it! 

The soda fountain in Cardinal's Drug is not original to the site, but rather a labor of love.  Thirty years ago,  the current owner scoured the state for such a find and bought the bar and old medicine cabinet complete with original bottles of Lydia Pinkham's Blood Medicine and Dr. Miles' Heart Tonic from a sundries shop in Pittsburg.  The wire tables and chairs are reproductions, but almost everything else, including the solid brass cash register and hanging light fixtures, date back to the early 1900's.  Such soda fountains were common in drug stores at the turn of the century,   The fast food franchises ended that era.

 A coke is still made the old-fashioned way here.  Brown sweet syrup is placed in a glass of ice and then filled with carbonated water.  As good as that sounds, you just can't beat a root beer float on a hot summer's day!

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