“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream” is a jingle heard across America during the long, hot days of summer. And a good summer ice cream can be even more special depending on where you buy and eat it. The premier, historic ice cream parlor in the Valley of the Sun could arguably be MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain on north 7th Street.
In 1928, the year MacAlpine’s was built, the busy downtown Phoenix community considered north 7th Street “way out of town”. Such Arizona landmarks as the Orpheum Theatre, the Arizona Biltmore and the San Carlos Hotel also opened their doors that year; times were booming and good in 1928 Phoenix, Arizona.
For those Phoenicians living “way out of town on north 7th Street, MacAlpine’s served as the “gathering hole” for their local community. It functioned as a pharmacy and a soda fountain, and it was the center of their social activities. Gentlemen from the neighborhood would walk through the doors for their Burma-Shave as well as their can of Prince Albert tobacco.
Barry Goldwater was a frequent visitor to MacAlpine’s, as too was North High School’s Joan Ganz Cooney, who would grow up and become one of the creators of a show called Sesame Street. “Uncle Frank” always stopped by when in the neighborhood visiting friends – that’s “Uncle” Frank Lloyd Wright to architectural history.
They came to MacAlpine’s to socialize with friends and to eat ice cream. Today we can choose from one of the 34 “Ice Cream Soda Concoctions” such as the Velvet Elvis (the King of ice cream sodas with Vanilla Ice Cream & Red Velvet soda), or the Purple Cow (grape soda with vanilla ice cream), or even Scarlett O’Hara (strawberry ice cream floating in passion fruit soda).
MacAlpine’s boast 99 syrup flavors that can be found in an ice cream soda, soda pop, phosphates, egg creams, coffee, Italian sodas, French sodas, shakes and malts. A sampling of those flavors include such names as dill pickle, dreamsicle, James Dean, licorice, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Marilyn Monroe, tiger blood, root beer, cream soda, etc, etc., etc.! Anything here flip your ice cream switch?
MacAlpine’s is just one of those fun places to go and especially if you have a love for those “days gone by” when you sat with a special someone to share one milkshake with two straws. You can relive that time or experience it for the first time by simply getting out and traveling down to MacAlpine’s and enjoy some ice cream, delicious ice cream!
MacAlpine's is located 2303 North 7th Street in Phoenix, Az.