Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

When Happiness Was A Ice Cream Soda

on April 7, 2013


I remember. I remember young families out for a Sunday evening walk; teenagers hanging out with their friends, elderly couples who walked in the store hand in hand.  Oh, yes, this was the place to be.

You could get a sandwich, a piece of Apple Pie or those delicious Ice Cream Sodas.  A soda jerk would whip up those yummy treats in a jiff and serve them with a cherry on top.  Young couples with romance on their minds, could request two straws and sip slowly, while they gazed in each other’s eyes.

Weekends were busy; neighbors would wave across the table or invite you to join them.  Young girls would giggle when the boys would gather after a football game, hoping the players would notice them.  The jukebox would be playing; the place would be hopping and smiles were the rule of the day.

During the week, shopkeepers and business men would crowd in at lunchtime and talk about current events around town.  Or, they would enjoy having lunch with their wife or favorite gal before returning to finish their day.

I remember the sights and smells of this wonderland of delights.  The newest hairdos were on display; rolled up jeans, boys with slicked back hair, hairbands holding back long tresses for the girls, these were all part of the scene.  The smell of fresh baked pie; the aroma of bacon cooking on the grill for those BLT’s all served to tempt the appetite. The sound of laughter and whispered gossip filled the air.

Woolworth’s went out of business in the late 1990’s, but there are still many of us who remember a time when happiness was a Ice Cream Soda at Woolworth’s.


Author’s note:  Click on the menu and check out the prices!  Were the 1950’s great or what?

24 responses to “When Happiness Was A Ice Cream Soda

  1. joedalio says:

    I wasn’t around for the 50s, but even in the 70s this was a popular place and it brings back memories. Thanks for sharing : )

  2. Ronnie Ann says:

    I love that menu! Ah yes…I remember Woolworth’s friendly lunch counter well. And my stint as a part-time worker there, stocking and arranging the yarn and sewing goods. Nice memories. Thanks!

  3. Basharr says:

    I would like to order s chocolate malted milkshake or perhaps a root beer float. It is amazing that anybody turned a profit in those days but back then things were different to say the least. My great grandfather opened the very first Pharmacy that Santa Rosa Ca had ever seen. it was right around the turn of the century. He ran it for close to 50 years and in the last ten or so he had the soda jerks and milk shakes and all. I don.t have many pictures but I do have his formula book that contains all the amounts and what components were needed to make medicines. Some of the prescription sheets are still in it form 1903. I have often looked at the one pamphlet I have that shows the soda fountain and wondered how great it would have been to get a soda back in the day.

  4. merbear74 says:

    I can remember going with my dad as a child. Good memories. They closed it down when I was in my late teens. ;(

  5. btg5885 says:

    Love this. I remember riding my bicycle to the drugstore for a cherry coke with real cherries in the glass. We would trade refundable bottles in for the cash to buy. Thanks for the memories. BTG

  6. Bastet says:

    Can almost taste that ice cream soda….the kids today don’t know what they’re missing…it wasn’t just a store or a fast food restaurant…it was a place to go with your friends, and you didn’t have to go 20 miles away to get there, it was within walking distance in the center of town, yes I remember…thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    • It was so great to just hang around there. Wish they would bring them back!

      • Bastet says:

        I’d been away from the States for around 30 years or so and when I came home to visit. One of the first things I found was that, at least where I was, in Southern Illinois, there are no more “down towns”. Well they’re there, I guess, but people don’t live or work there anymore. Everything is decentralized…people live their lives in cars, going one place to another, they’ve little to do with their neighbors and to go shopping or eat out they have to drive for miles…maybe that’s not how things really are throughout the U.S. but that was the impression I got. Everything in zones, compartmentalized…a stand up food pusher near the exit of Wally World is not a Woolworth’s lunch counter…

      • We’ve lost a lot of the small town “togetherness” in our quest for modernization. Sad, but at least we can look back and remember!

  7. lellielieb says:

    Just a plain old Coke tasted better from those soda fountains. And it came in those specially shaped glasses. I’ve tried to explain it to my kids and failed. Enjoyed this!

  8. Ahh yes….I remember it well! good article!

  9. I remember Woolworths, but our tiny Idaho town was so small our Woolworth’s didn’t have a lunch counter. For that we had to go to Dixie’s Cafe which was open for breakfasts and lunches.

    I used to go to a lunch counter in Dickinson, ND with my grandma, but it was at a drug store (no Woolworth’s) and we shared a Sundae with bittersweet chocolate topping and slivered almonds. Grandma would talk to people and I’d be oblivious – eating ice cream.

    Mom had a small restaurant and donut shop back then so I go my ice cream sodas there.

  10. John says:

    My mom is from Rhode Island, and, there is a local chain of restaurants there called “Newport Creamery”. It’s very reminiscent of the Woolworth’s Counter. They specialize in Ice Cream, and one can still get an Ice Cream Soda — my mom, whenever she goes back to visit, makes several trips to Newport Creamery for an Ice Cream Soda, and 2 hot dogs. 🙂

  11. TamrahJo says:

    Today, while hauling landscaping supplies, I showed my son where I used to go with my Dad – he’d have a beer and visit – I got my own soda and peanuts – it wasn’t a Woolworths, but how I loved that place and going with my Dad –
    It’s boarded up and falling apart now… 😦

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