a very happy un-birthday, featured on the freak shakes menu at soda fountain photo by adam rothbarth

First Look: Soda Fountain at St. Louis Union Station

Renovations are nearing completion at St. Louis Union Station, and in addition to a massive new Ferris wheel boasting views of downtown and the new St. Louis Aquarium, three new restaurant concepts will open inside the historic building. The first, a ’50s-style eatery called Soda Fountain, will open Sept. 30 in the former Hard Rock Cafe space.

Conceived by Lodging Hospitality Management and brought to sweet, sugary life by Union Station executive chef Russell Cunningham, Soda Fountain is an expansive 10,000-square-foot space boasting 215 seats.

Between sundaes like the Neapolitan Banana with three kinds of ice cream, fudge, caramel, pineapple, nuts, cherries and whipped cream, and the Rise and Shine with cinnamon ice cream, maple glaze, caramel, crumbled waffle cone, fruit and whipped cream, diners should have no issue finding plenty of ice cream dishes.

There are also 12 Clementine's Creamery ice cream flavors – mint chip, peanut butter-banana and gooey butter cake, to name a few – available for scoops and floats. Basic shake options include flavors like vanilla, creamsicle and butterscotch, and malts are available, as well.

For the customer with a serious sweet tooth looking to indulge their wild side, Soda Fountain offers Freak Shakes, which Soda Fountain describes as “a very unusual and unexpected improvement to your everyday milkshake.” Freak Shakes includes the Cotton Candy with a vanilla-frosted rim, pearl chocolates, rock candy, whipped cream, blue cotton candy and a gummy shark. Oh, and the base is a milkshake. There’s also The Key to Happiness, which has graham cracker crumbs, lime curd, candied lime wedge … and a slice of key lime pie.

Soda Fountain has a savory side, as well. The food menu features traditional American dishes like a griddled cheeseburger, a fried chicken sandwich and a BLT. Further sandwiches include a tuna melt, an egg salad and a PB&J. A small list of sides includes crinkle fries, onion rings and classic chili.

Those looking commemorate their big day out to Union Station should look no further than Soda Fountain’s retail store, where they can purchase candies, shirts, hats and souvenirs.

The restaurant’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday, making it a prime spot for lunch, dinner or a dessert-y nightcap. To that end, Soda Fountain will offer a rotating list of about five beers, a few wines and a composed fountain drinks like the Aromatic Phosphate with Angostura bitters, allspice dram, rye, grenadine, lemon, acid phosphate and soda. 

Here's a First Look at Soda Fountain. 

Adam Rothbarth is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Editor's Note: The article was updated at 1:50 p.m. Oct. 1 to include information about Clementine's Creamery supplying the ice cream.