The Franklin Fountain opened in late summer 2004 . I made my first trip there in the waning days of 2009 and was quite fascinated by this attempt to recreate a turn-of-the-century soda fountain. I can see myself sitting next to Mark Twain sipping a hand mixed soda when I’m inside the Franklin Fountain. The space is very narrow but the attention to detail is impressive.
They make their own dense, creamy ice creams and have a hearty list of modern and classic toppings and additions. In addition to the usual menu of ice cream based treats they also operate a traditional soda fountain, where syrups and seltzer are mixed to order.
I ordered the traditional “1904 Classic Banana Split”. They serve it with three large scoops and all the traditional toppings (pineapple, strawberry, chocolate sauce, etc.). It is also noted that the ice cream is served in glasses made to the original specifications for sundaes and banana splits from the early 1900’s. I could only eat two scoops before I reached my limit. A triple chocolate sundae was enjoyed by our 7 year old companion and she enjoyed it.
They offer classic phosphate based drinks for those really into the history aspect. The single blade belt drive fan overhead works, as we discovered when Professor Patches McDorkface, a particularly annoying patron, requested them to be turned on in 20 degree December weather. The Franklin Fountain is expensive, and the tiny seating area complimenting the half dozen seats at the counter is stocked with classic sodas and candies for sale.
I don’t know that I’d rush back, but I was delighted to have visited this Old City recreation of a turn of the century ice cream parlor.