Caroline Groff, Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS – Launching alongside the highly anticipated 200-foot-tall St. Louis Ferris wheel, Union Station’s Soda Fountain pays homage to the classic 1950s ice cream shop with a modern twist that’s sure to look familiar to tourists and locals alike.

The restaurant, which launched alongside the Ferris wheel on Sept. 30 and replaces the old Hard Rock Café building, brings milkshakes and American comfort food such as griddled cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

While the Soda Fountain serves American classic diner food, its focus is on sweets. In addition to ordering milkshakes, visitors can visit the candy shop to the right side of the restaurant. The shop features classics from Charleston Chews and Oh Henry!’s, to a wall filled with a variety of jelly bean flavors and other retro candy. The shop also sells candy-themed t-shirts provided by Arch Apparel.  

Inside the restaurant portion of the Soda Fountain, pastel-colored menus list specialties such as sodas, sundaes and shakes such as the “Everything But…” The shake ranges from $14 to $16 and features a chocolate frosted rim coated in crumbled potato chips. A giant cookie is served on top of the glass alongside a chocolate covered pretzel stick.

Megan Nicks, a teacher in the Clayton area, tried out the restaurant during Soda Fountain’s second launch on Oct. 1. Nicks said the food is good but visited the restaurant to try their desserts. “I was surprised it was so busy for a Tuesday night, but I guess that’s a good thing,” she said.

The Soda Fountain has had many customers since its soft launch on Sept. 30 and has stayed busy since then with many customers being put on a waitlist. Hungry patrons lucky to get their ice cream fix quickly filled the seafoam and pastel booths.

Visitors to Union Station looking to get their sweet tooth satisfied can visit the Soda Fountain at 201 South 18th Street. The restaurant is adjacent to Landry’s Seafood House and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, Monday through Sunday. For more information regarding wait times, call (314) 923-3939.