The beloved Highland Park Soda Fountain is slated to close its doors next month after 106 years of serving Dallasites ice cream floats and grilled cheese sandwiches. The Knox Street mainstay is shuttering to make way for the construction of a 12-story mixed use building on the same block.
The Weir family and real estate firm Four Rivers Capital have partnered to redevelop the area. While preliminary renderings show that the historic building which houses the soda fountain will remain intact, owners Sonny Williams and Gretchen Minyard Williams tell the Morning News that they’re “undecided” on whether or not they’ll reopen after construction is complete.
Could a group of ice cream loving Dallasites convince them to stay? They’re certainly trying.
An online petition at www.savehpsodafountain.com has surfaced in an effort to keep the iconic spot afloat. More than 2,000 people have already signed the petition to express their love for the 106-year-old restaurant.
Reveal Modern, which created the petition, posted an update from the Weirs yesterday. Apparently, the building’s new owners aren’t happy about the closure, either.
“As part of the Weir family, it’s important to us to preserve that building. We own the land and building. We are going to be building our new high rise around the HP pharmacy building. The pharmacy chose to close their doors despite our attempts to keep them open and going,” reads the message.
“The focus of our marketing efforts will remain aligned with saving the HP Soda Fountain.”
Since announcing its closure a week-and-a-half ago, the Highland Park Soda Fountain has experienced a sudden surge in business. People are lining up out the door to get one last taste of the fountain’s frosty treats.
Personally, I have no sentimental connection to the Highland Park Soda Fountain. I’ve been maybe one time, and I was already too old to appreciate it the way I should’ve. That said, I have a soft spot in my heart for soda fountains.
Who doesn’t? They’re relics of a sweet, wholesome brand of Americana that doesn’t exist anymore.
Big State in Downtown Irving was the soda fountain of my youth. I didn’t go there much, but I feel a ping of joy every time I pass its neon sign. I’m glad to know it’s still there, that there are people inside enjoying the simple luxury of a countertop sundae.
Somehow, it’s stayed open over the decades, a constant in the land of revolving pawn shops and fast food joints. I never expected it to outlive its Highland Park equivalent.
I hope that the Highland Park Soda Fountain isn’t done for. There are a lot of ice cream shops in town, and some of them are real trendy (there’s literally a place that will print your selfie on a milkshake), but it’s just not the same thing.
The kids of Dallas deserve a soda fountain.