When was the last time you visited a real old fashioned soda fountain?

One of the members of my Early Birds critique group (we got our name because we used to meet very early in the morning, but now meet at a more civilized hour of 9:30) wrote a story about her adventures working in the soda fountain of one of the two pharmacies in Cary, NC, when she was a teenager.

The owner of the pharmacy, Ashworth’s, is still alive and running the store and never fired any of his teenage hires, even though, as Elizabeth tells it, he had plenty of reason to do so. She also told us the pharmacy hasn’t changed much at all over the years, especially the soda fountain.

We were so taken with the story that we decided to have our next meeting there, which we did last week. We occupied a booth for two hours, with coffee flowing, then had lunch – I had a 9″ beef hotdog with all the timmings for $1.95 (!) and it was delicious. Coupled it with an orangeade made with fresh orange juice. Others had milkshakes (milk and real ice cream) and BLT, egg salad and chicke salad sandwiches – I don’t think any of us spent more than $5 for our lunches.

Great food. Elizabeth says the soda fountain hasn’t changed from the 1970’s, so here’s a couple of pictures.Don’t you just love the green vinyl seats?

After it’s published, I hope to put part of Elizabeth’s story up, with her permission.






35 thoughts on “When was the last time you visited a real old fashioned soda fountain?”

  1. Noelle has fallen in love with Ashwoth’s Old Fashion Soda Fountain in Cary, NC. I didn’t know what I started when I invited my writers group to come have a hotdog with me. Yum!
    Just as good as always. Elizabeth

      1. That’s so weird! A pharmacy as in where they sell aspirin, tooth brushes, those little gelloid things that soothe you throat or ease your bottom?, and you can get a prescription made up to help with your grimbling crumbits? What we call the chemist as an alternate to pharmacy? And it’s also a cafe?!

  2. This sure back the memories, Noelle… I worked at a soda fountain as a teen and they were the in-place for teens to hang out back then. How neat that Elizabeth is reviving those grand old memories for so many of us and making new ones for the younger generations. 🙂 Great share!

  3. I’m now hungry reading about all that soda fountain food, Noelle! And yes, the green vinyl seats are great. Sounds like your group has a lot of fun together – how nice for you!

  4. Ihre Beiträge transportieren mich immer zu einer anderen Zeit und einem anderen Ort – nicht linear und umfangreich. Danke für Ihre Hommage an eines meiner Idole. Genießen Sie Ihren warmen und gemütlichen Raum, wo immer Sie auch sind, lieber Markus!

  5. I Love that places like this still exist. When I was a kid, my friends and I would walk to “Wilson’s Pharmacy” to buy penny candy. The assortment was amazing. We’d pay for it at the soda bar, then leave with our brown paper bags of goodies.

    Today, Wilson’s Pharmacy is a coffee shop, but the owners kept the original building and play off much of the original charm. Every small town needs a place with such enduring charm.

  6. I only know them from the movies, Noelle, but remember in particular that one features quite prominently in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. It looks and sounds wonderful. I guess it will have to go on my list of places to visit whenever I get to that part of the world. It sounds like a living museum!

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