Jeff & Debi Rua visited many soda fountains while traveling through various cities and old western towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Washington and Montana. These vintage fountains were a big draw for Jeff who, aside from having an old soul, has been restoring old homes for 30 years. This stainless apparatus with tubes and faucets, situated beneath a giant mirror and surrounded by old wooden shelves and classic fountain glasses, always made us feel like we were stepping back in time. So when the Apothecary moved out of the 31 Market St. building, owned by Jeff's mother Ginny, our wheels started turning. Although a century ago, soda fountains were on almost every street corner in America, they are now of a bygone era. Saugerties seemed the perfect place to launch a revival of the classic American soda fountain that could be enjoyed in our community by generations new and old.
And so the creative process and construction to our old building began. We lugged home a Bastian Blessing Soda Fountain purchased from Bill Kennedy, owner of the Udderly Smooth Hand Cream factory in Salem Ohio. All in all, a two and a half year process ensued involving: a market analysis & business plan, complete clean out of the attic & basement (filled with old receipts and bank statements from Lamb's Hardware), installation of hat channel, many layers of fire proof sheet rock, brand new flooring & sub floor, insane amounts of wood trim, ongoing plumbing and electrical upgrades, installation of an ADA restroom, researching period correct glassware, lighting, paint colors, tables/chairs, experimenting with homemade soups, paninis, salad dressings, confections, sundaes, learning a point of sale system, restaurant management courses......and so on (basically folks, it was a TON of work).
With a strong vision but very little restaurant experience,
a carpenter and a speech language pathologist, threw caution to the wind and opened a nostalgic little cafe and soda fountain at 31 Market St. We are truely grateful for the outpouring of support from the community since we opened our doors.
If you haven't had the opportunity to stop by our theme eatery for a beloved countertop classic, a homemade soup or confection, or a classic burger & shake, please do so. We look forward to meeting you!