Tue Feb 15th 2011 - 11:02pm
The Bay Street soda fountain was not really on my to visit list. First, it is in Staten Island. For those of you who don't know, the only way to get there is by ferry, and unlike the rest of the city the best way to get around is by car.
I also was unsure if it was still in business.
Fate took a turn with this one. A very old friend of mine named Scott now lives in Staten Island and he's been trying to get up with me for about a year now. We have not really seen each other in 32 years. I ride the ferry, he picks me up and after an interesting parking situation we find the place.
The place opened around 1939, and is from what I can tell the last soda fountain standing in Staten Island. We see the sign on the door. Apparently it closed 10 months ago, but someone bought it, has restored it and will be opening it this coming weekend. Yup, not open yet.
So in poking around I raise the interest of someone inside. It's a friend of the owner who is helping with the renovations. He lets me in. They did a very good job. They still had the original 1940's Liquid Carbonic fountain, complete with ceramic syrup wells and matching original pumps. (I really wanted one of these, but they are impossible to find in good condition). There is was. We talked a bit about what was planned, and I'm happy to say that Staten Island is in good hands with the new owner. I wish him the world of luck and hope we get up on the phone some time soon.
It was very good to see Scott too (Hi Scott!)