Ava Soda Fountain Closing After Decades in Business

Locals sad to see 5-cent cones go

AVA, Mo. -- For more than 40 years, Ava Drug Store has provided medicine, odds and ends, and delicious root beer floats.

If you've never been, you better hurry up, as the Soda Fountain will be no more after this Friday.

The Ava Drug Store first opened it's doors to the small town back in 1950. It has stayed a thriving small business, even if it feels like stepping into a time capsule.

The Soda Fountain has been a fixture in downtown for decades.  It burned down in 1958 and was rebuilt the following year.  Then, new building owners closed it in 1981 and it wasn't reopened until 2003.

Walgreens currently leases the building, which is owned by Ava mayor David Norman.

"It's sad that it's gonna go. Especially sad for me and my family but, sad for the town," says Norman. ,

Norman is a third generation pharmacist for the pharmacy.

"Did the soda fountain make money? Why no, and did we set it up to make money, absolutely not."

He says the soda fountain has been a part of his family after opening up for the first time in 1950.

"The nostalgic value of the soda fountain is endless."

See a photo gallery of images from the soda fountain here

News of the soda fountain closing, for him and others, is hard to believe.  "It takes away something from the store, It takes away something from the town,  not to have it."

And it's been a popular destination for many.

"It's not just taking something out. You're taking something out that's become an attraction for the town, a tourist stop, a place for motorcycle groups and Model A groups."

Norman recalls, those once kids now return as adults, along with their own children for a taste of nostalgia.

Eating their famous 5-cent ice cream cones and sandwiches, all prepared from family recipes.

"No matter what the price is if it doesn't taste good, you've been cheated. So you're ice cream has to be good, your sandwhiches have to be good."

Rachel Welch is a longtime customer that has been coming to the Soda Fountain for more than 10 years. "It's a lot of memories that we're going to lose."

Welch remembers the soda fountain fondly.  "I mean I came here with my friends,  this was our after school, we came here, got two scoops of icecream and a cone."

Now, she is giving her two kids the chance to experience memories for which she is forever thankful.

"The soda fountain is something that I want to share with them. Since you know I came here when I was a teenager so I want them to be able to be a part of that."

The decision has been met with heavy hearts.

"It's going to be hard cause now we have to find us a new place to go on our weekly lunch." Tammy Hinrichs has been coming to the soda fountain for more than 30 years. "But I probably won't come in here that much. It's going to be sad."

As the soda fountain closes many will get their favorite fixings one last time.

The building will still serve as Ava Drug Pharmacy as people get their prescriptions filled.

Walgreens had no comment about the reasons for closing the soda fountain. 

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