HIGHLAND PARK– After more than a century of serving up its iconic milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches, the Highland Park Soda Fountain will flow no more.
The 106-year-old iconic fast food joint with its signature far-stretching counter and round stools will fold up and close up its Knox Street location, Sunday.
“It is closing at this point for redevelopment,” Co-owner Gretchen M. Williams told NewsFix. “They’re redeveloping this whole Knox area.”
You can blame the city’s changing landscape. Developers say the space will make way for the construction of a 12-story building, featuring offices and retail shops.
Some die-hard customers, however, are not ready to see the uptown mainstay go away.
“I have been coming here since I was 10 years old,” Diana Mathes Wuaring told NewsFix. “I lived about two blocks away over on Lexington. Everything changed but this was always consistently the same, which was very nice.”
“My mom, when she was a little girl, she used to ride and come out here for lunch, so my four older brothers and my sister always have been coming here, so I just love coming here,” Grade Schooler Juliet Dimock told NewsFix.
An online petition has garnered over 5000 signatures, and counting, as of Saturday.
People have also flocked to the restaurant’s Facebook page to express their
“This should not be happening,” Tommy Mawk wrote.
“This will be a very sad day for HP,” Bruce Hardy wrote. “You were a huge part of my childhood.”
The public has until Sunday, Sept. 9 to indulge.
“We’ve really enjoyed our time here, and it’s been really fun to get to know a lot of the customers,” Williams said.
There’s no word on whether the business will try to reopen somewhere else.