Highland Park Soda Fountain is about to break some hearts.
The 106-year-old institution is closing its longtime Knox Street location to make way for the construction of a 12-story office building with retail on the street level. It's unclear when or if the soda fountain will reopen in the growing district.
"From what it was even 20 years ago or 30 years ago, it's totally different, which is good. It's been a whole resurgence of this area. Trader Joe's, all the different stores, so this is good. But it makes traffic a little heavier, parking a little more challenging and rents can then go up," said owner Gretchen Williams.
Williams and her husband Sonny bought the shop back in 2006. Both had been frequent customers of what was then called the Highland Park Pharmacy.
While the pharmacy closed and the name changed in 2010, little else has.
"You've stepped back in time. I can't tell you how many people come in and stop and look around and say, 'It's still here.' And that's what kind of hurts because you're like, 'It's not going to be here for long,'" Williams said.
After it was reported Friday by our media partners at The Dallas Morning News that the shop would close, it's been inundated with customers hoping for one last meal at the counter that's hardly changed in its century long history.
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"It's so sad to see something so close to home for people go away," Taylor Robinson said.
Still, the Williams said they don't own the building, which makes closing the only option for now and possibly forever.
But there's still time to come in for a milkshake and a grilled cheese sandwich cooked in view of customers who sit at the long counter lined with stools fastened to the floor. Eating at Highland Park Soda Fountain is an American-made experience that's slowly fading away.