Old-time soda fountain is a destination attraction in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Neb.- Looking for an old-fashioned soda fountain? Why not try the one found inside Springfield Drug.

The building was originally a bank and still has its exposed brick walls and bank vault. Pharmacist Keith Hentzen bought the building in the 1970's. He's been in business for 41 years. While Springfield Drug is first and foremost a pharmacy, it's crowing jewel may be the old-fashioned soda fountain that you can find inside.

How did Keith find it? "I talked to an antique friend of mine and he told me that he knew where there was a free one," Keith said. "So I went to Walnut, Iowa, and ended up with a free $20,000 soda fountain." The soda fountain has been a love of Keith's for years, and he says everybody appreciates ice cream. "It's a tourism destination. The thing about a soda fountain is they are connected to drug stores. Soda water was originally medicinal in purpose. Coca-Cola and root beer were invented by pharmacists, so that's why a soda fountain is associated with drug stores," Keith said.

Keith collects many unique items from Nebraska, and from soda fountains. He serves sundaes, malts and ice cream sodas at the fountain. "Sprinkles are a hit with little kids, so we put sprinkles on everything, and a cherry on top," Keith said.

Keith says he enjoys making ice cream sodas, but enjoys talking with people as well. If you'd to check out Springfield Drug, Keith would love to see you.