8 Wonders of Kansas customs

An 8 Wonder of Kansas Customs

Ordering a soda fountain treat, statewide


One of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Customs

The Custom: Ordering ice cream treats at the soda fountain.

Where can you do this? 39 soda fountains around the state.


In the first half of the 20th-century, most Kansas towns claimed at least one soda fountain. At the start of the 21st century, we had about 48.  Now, in 2012, we are down to thirty-nine operating fountains.

Make it a quest to visit each of the 37 fountains!  You'll see many different styles.  A few date back to the 1920s and are located in their original location with the back bar, mirror, brass rail, and marble counter. Those built after 1950 have Formica counter-tops and some early marble tops have been converted to Formica.

Potwin Drug in Topeka has the oldest (1902) operating fountain in the state.  The most recently opened are found at Ray's Pharmacy in Quinter and Soda n' Suds in Canton. 

At some places you'll feel like you've stepped back into the 1950s.  Chanute has Coca Cola memorabilia throughout the store.  The Linger Longer in Bennington features Dr. Pepper artifacts.

Purists love working spigots and use of syrups but this list is more lenient.  Some spigots work, others don't.  Parts are expensive and hard to find and someone to install them is even more rare.

For more history on some various Kansas soda fountains, click here.

ABILENE, Auburn Pharmacy, 304 N. Broadway. 785.263.4330. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. It's a 1920s seven-stool soda fountain with round mirror and 1972 Formica counter top. The spigots not working.

AGENDA, Hope Floats, 400 block of Railroad Street.  785.732.6595.  Open Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  Marble counter and back bar, mirror.  Five stools.

ANTHONY, Irwin Potter Drug, 202 W. Main. 620.842.5119. Open Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. This U-shaped bar with eleven stools and Formica counter was built in 1968.  They specialize in fresh-squeezed cherry limeades topped with a maraschino cherry!

ARKANSAS CITY, Graves Drug, 212 S. Summit. 620.442.2300. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

BELOIT, Gray's Drug and soda fountain, 100 S. Mill.  785.738.3000.  Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  A marble countertop, back bar and mirror, and six stools are featured.

BENNINGTON, The Linger Longer, 119 N. Nelson.  785.820.6050.  Open April 1 through October 31. Closed for the winter from November through March. Monday-Friday 3-7 p.m.; Saturday 3-9 p.m.  Dating back to 1912, this five-stool, marble counter top fountain comes complete with a back bar and mirror.  They still mix their syrups using spigots.  Dr. Pepper collectibles are featured along with a player piano, a tin-pressed ceiling, and waffle cones made from scratch!

BUCKLIN, Main Street Market, 102 S. Main. 620.826.9860. Open Monday-Saturday. Winter hrs. - 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Summer hrs. - 8 a.m.-8 p.m. You'll find the fountain at the back of the store. Ask if Loretta is around and request that she make you the best limeade anywhere. They make their own syrup and use carbonated water. Fresh hand-squeezed limes too! Their ice cream treats are good too. Ask about the Orange Cow!

CANTON, Soda n' Suds, 116 S. Main.  620.350.8006.  Open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 4-8 p.m.  Just recently opened, this soda fountain has seven stools.

CHANUTE, Cardinal Drug Store, 103 E. Main. 620.431.9150. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

CIMARRON, Clark Pharmacy, 101 S. Main. 620.855.2242. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  The 1920s tile-counter soda fountain has gleaming silver spigots. 

GARDEN CITY, Traditions Soda & Sandwich, 121 Grant Ave. 620.275.1998. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  A 1950s sign says three dips of ice cream was once 24 cents.

GLASCO, Hodge Podge, 113 E. Main. 785.568.2542. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-noon. This six-stool counter has a back bar and mirror. Friendly people, too!

GREENSBURG, Kiowa County Historical Museum and Soda Fountain, 320 S. Main. 620.723.1125. Soda Fountain Open Monday Noon - 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday - Friday Noon - 5:30 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

HAMILTON, Holmes Sundry, 101 E. Main. 620.678.3341. Open Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 6 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-2 p.m. The 1920s soda fountain has a marble base, stools, original syrup pumps and water spigots.

HAYS, Soda Shoppe, 800 Main inside Northwestern Office Supply Store. 785.625.7323. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A seven-stool counter! Owner Jim Keller.

HERINGTON, Kay's Health Mart, 2 W. Main. 785.258.3703. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The soda fountain dates back to the 1910-1915 era with back bar, mirror, brass rail, and six stools. However, the spigots no longer are used.

HOLTON, Koger Variety, 417 New York. 785-364-3321. Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m. Built in 1920s, this fountain still has the original tile counter, five stools and mirror. The counter is often used as an office but you can order here.

HOWARD, Batson's Drug, 102 N. Wabash. 620.374.2265. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Rebuilt in 1953. Back bar, mirrors, 8 stools, speckled Formica top, spigots not working.

INDEPENDENCE, The American Soda Fountain and Sandwich Shoppe, 205 N. Penn.  Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.  620.331.0604.  A fifteen-stool counter and a 1970s juke box.

JOHNSON, The Old Store, 112 S. Main Street. 620.492.1478. Open Monday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This 1950s Stanley Knight soda fountain is showcased in an original 1920 oak back bar. Owner is Diane Floyd.

MARQUETTE, City Sundries, 104 N. Washington. 785.546.2234. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 12-8 p.m. Original 1901 marble-top soda fountain is complete with back bar and mirror. Spigots not working.  Owner Kris Hudson.

MERRIAM, Georgetown Pharmacy Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain & Espresso Shop, 5605 Merriam Dr. 913.362.0313. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

NORWICH, Redz, 246 N. Main. 620.478.2401. Open Tuesday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.  The soda fountain came from Sawyer.
QUINTER, Ray's Pharmacy, 414 Main. 785.754.3312. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-noon. The back bar in this 13-stool fountain dates back to 1904 but the metal parts to 1948.  There's even a brass rail to rest your feet.

SABETHA, Sabetha Healthmart Pharmacy, 934 Main. 785.284.3414. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m-1 p.m

SENECA, Cornerstone Coffee Haus, 5th and Main. 785.294.0924. Open Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-5 p.m; Friday-Saturday 7 a.m.-10 p.m. This is the only 1950s double horseshoe counter in the state.

TOPEKA, Potwin Drug Store (within Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site), 124 NW Fillmore. 785.368.3888. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 12-4 p.m. Built in 1902, this soda fountain has a dark green marble top and mirror.

WAKEENEY, Gibson Health Mart, N. Main. 785.743.5753. Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. It's a nine stool counter.

WESTMORELAND, The West Pharm, 402 Main. 785.457.3611. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m-12 p.m. Original 1950s style Formica countertop, swivel stools, authentic booths. Owners Bill & Trudy Hoffman.

WICHITA, Jimmie's Diner, 3111 N. Rock Road. 316.636.1818. Open Monday-Thursday 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Sunday 5:30 a.m.-midnight. A classic 1950s diner.

WICHITA, Old Mill Tasty Shop, 604 E. Douglas. 316.264.6500. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.. Built in the late 1920s, this twenty-five foot marble counter with eleven stools, a wooden back bar, and brass foot rails is a dandy.

WILSON, Grandma's Soda Shop, 2524 Ave. E. 785.658.2200. Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Opened in July 2012, the fountain was recently refurbished and verified to be built in 1950. Also serving homemade baked goodies, deli sandwiches and Grandma's secret recipe pizza. A fun hang out for kids too.