Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery is installing a salvaged and restored soda fountain in its Fremont scoop shop. Originally housed in a 20s-era pharmacy on Second and Yesler that closed several decades back, the 80-year-old gooseneck fountain was bought by Bluebird owner Josh Reynolds from a Seattle man that was storing it in his backyard pool house. "I don't know if it was working, but he had set it up," Reynolds says. "His grandkids grew up and he was looking to get rid of it."
The long marble fountain has original brass draught arms, an antique milkshake machine, stools, and a working cash register. "It's not meant to be a gimmick," Reynolds says. "We're trying to be authentic and nail all the details." Since the fountain hadn't been used for decades, Reynolds forked over cash to completely restore it, a process that included repairing chipped marble and mending draught lines.
Bluebird currently makes its own soda (and beer) at its Capitol Hill and Phinney Ridge stores, but now the company's soda-making HQ will shift to Fremont. In addition to root beer for floats, Reynolds plans to make his best-selling snickerdoodle soda and seasonal flavors like pumpkin on the restored fountain.
A social history buff, Reynolds worked with MOHAI to find pics from the original fountain (like this one) in the public domain that he's planning to blow up and put on the walls of the store. He's wrapping up a five-month remodel in the next few weeks, which happens to be the time of year when root beer floats start to be in high demand. Look for doors to re-open at Bluebird in Fremont by the end of April.
· Bluebird [Facebook]
[Photo: Bluebird Facebook]