After six years on South Lafountain, Jamie’s Soda Fountain is closing its south location and returning fulltime to downtown where it started.
Owner Jim Whited said it’s a feeling of “coming home” since the restaurant has had a presence in downtown since 1984.
“We’ve been wanting to come back downtown. It’s our home. I’ve spent 30 years downtown, and it’s more personal,” he said.
While Whited has been wanting to consolidate the locations, the push came with a rent increase at the south location.
Now that downtown foot traffic is picking back up and more buildings are being built and put to use, Whited said it’s time.
“We think with the growth of this city, the apartment complex, the future of the YMCA, the Armstrong Landon building being put to use, there’s just more people,” he said.
Whited said the reason a second location was opened in September 2006 was because of the declining customer base in downtown.
“That’s why we left. All the banks were downsizing. Conkle’s moved. When everything moved out, the customers were gone, but it looks like it’s coming back now,” he said. “We see a growing downtown community coming, and we want to be a part of the new downtown.”
Whited said employees, such as Susan with 17 years, Nancy with 14 years, Alex with eight years, and Mary with 22 years, are looking forward to being together again in one store.
The south location will close on Oct. 31 and the downtown location will be closed Nov. 1-3 and reopen on Nov. 4 with a full menu. Jamie’s will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“We have several things out there at the south location that we don’t have down here, but we’re bringing all that down, like liver and onions and chicken livers and the platters and everything,” he said. “We will always remain an old-fashion soda fountain with old-fashion fountain cokes.”
Jamie’s Soda Fountain is located at 307 N. Main St.