Greetings, all. Today I have some news to share that may just blow your mind. It is a fact that Nikki Hawks Jones, owner of Occasions Candy and Gifts, is meeting with vendors and looking into the possibility of opening an old-fashioned soda fountain in downtown Conway. Now picture me waving my arms and shrieking with excitement. Now you may have a hearty laugh at my expense.
But seriously — if this works out for her, would that not be a cool attraction in downtown? I am already imagining sitting with my friends at a tall table on some bar stools, enjoying an ice cream soda after dinner in one of downtown’s other fine establishments. That’s right, because it will be open late, as well as having free WiFi (a modern twist to the old-fashioned soda fountain).
If you are not familiar with Occasions Candy and Gifts, it is located on Oak Street between Front and Chestnut Streets at Mountebanq Place. Right now Jones envisions moving the store into the back of that building, which has a kitchen and an area just right for a soda fountain.
As with a lot of other kinds of businesses, starting a soda fountain from scratch takes a lot of research, so there is no timeline available on when this might be happening. If you think it’s a fantastic idea, drop by the store, pick up some gummy bears, and tell Nikki you are looking forward to sweets with straws in them.
Goodbye, bad rumor
Apparently an untrue rumor has been making the rounds, so I’m out to stop it. Most people are aware that Cast Iron Skillet has opened on Skyline Drive near Old Morrilton Highway, but did folks realize that Hole in the Wall Cafe remains open on Markham Street? Toni Burrows is the owner of both locations, which serve pretty much identical fare. I guess someone started spreading a rumor that Hole in the Wall had closed, even though I have repeatedly said that “Skillet” is a second location. Shame on whoever did that.
I was going to mention it a week or two ago, but the Salvation Army Store has moved from downtown to the shopping center roughly across from Walmart on Skyline Drive. I’m referring to the area where Heath’s Catfish House is, as well as the Ketchum’s Coffee stand, and the former location of Puff’s $12 Zoo.
Who remembers what was in the large building on the west side of that area 30 years ago? The first person under 40 to convince me they have the right answer gets bragging rights. I can’t remember for anything.
Have a good week, everyone.
(Rachel Parker Dickerson is a freelance columnist/journalist. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)