I expected Wally and the Beav
As I’ve said, there are still lots of mom & pop businesses in Portland, and lots of those businesses are pharmacies. But I did a double take the first time I passed Fairley’s Pharmacy at NE 72nd and Sandy. And not because the sign says “Rx Delivery” (though that’s unusual these days). The sign also says “Soda Fountain.”
When I was a kid, drug stores were just starting to get rid of their soda fountains and lunch counters. With daily specials like liver & onions, it wasn’t difficult to see why, though the stores were probably more interested in space to sell more cheap junk.
But Portland is a preserve for many things old-skool, so the only surprise here is that there aren’t more places like Fairley’s.
The place is small, the counter is prominent.
I sat down on one of the stools and studied the menu. Sundaes, malts, yes, it’s all here.
In spite of the serious chill in the air, I decide to go for a chocolate-banana milkshake. Once the person behind the pharmacy counter realized I wasn’t waiting for a prescription, someone came to take my order.
No soft-serve here, there was a Vespa ET-green milkshake machine behind the counter. A stainless steel container was filled with actual chocolate ice cream and actual milk (and, okay, banana flavoring), which was blended to a milkshake consistency. The milkshake was served in a classic milkshake glass, accompanied by the stainless steel container. Which had more milkshake in it!
Fairley’s is not a total time warp. The menu includes all the usual espresso drinks, and in addition to Willamette Week free copies of Just Out, Portland’s gay & lesbian news weekly, are stacked on a counter by the window.
Oh, and there’s free Wi-Fi. But no dog Snuggies.