Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and dueling banjos

We stopped at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in Columbus, Indiana for a treat during our day trip in Bartholomew County. And they had the Banjo Orchestra machine playing its whole play list! Enjoy the “Dueling Banjos”!

Vanilla Milkshake

Butter pecan and caramel sauce sundae









I caught all but the first few bars of the banjo pickin’ classic.

Here’s a post about our first trip to Zaharakos

Magnificent Welte Orchestrion music machines at Zaharakos

We recently enjoyed some fabulous ice cream sundaes at the opulent and historic Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus, Indiana. In addition to the antique soda fountains and cabinets filled with vintage flavor jars, there are several beautiful Welte Orchestrion automatic music machines displayed.

Welte Orchestrion, left. This was during our April 2021 visit.

Welte machines have a long and detailed history. Note that the term Orchestrion was coined by Welte in the 1850’s. Some refer to these types of automatic music machines as orchestrations.

Fully functional, coin operated

Play list

Large and fancy, see the clock on top?

We have been to Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum twice now. Here are the links to our posts about each visit. The April 2021 post has photos of lots of the vintage things in the shop. Our visit a couple of days ago will make you want to visit and have a hot fudge sundae.


An afternoon decadent treat

Today was one of those days where you think that you ought to be doing something. About mid afternoon we both said almost simultaneously “Let’s get an ice cream!” Sher and I often think of ideas at the same time. I suggested that we go to Columbus, Indiana and visit the Zaharakos vintage Ice Cream Parlor for the second time. You can read about our visit last April here.

Single scoop butter pecan, hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry

Two scoops butter pecan, hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry









On the drive to Zaharakos we discussed what we were going to order when we got to the Parlor. Hmmm… When we were there before we ordered lunch and said we’d be back for ice cream. Today was that day.

Ready to dive into those hot fudge sundaes!

What delicious sundaes we enjoyed! The butter pecan ice cream was the best I have ever tasted, and Sher agreed. The hot fudge was hot, not like some places. There was also a ton of the hot fudge, as it completely covered the bottom and sides of our dishes. This ice cream parlor was founded in 1900. The place is really an ice cream museum. There are many old soda fountains and several cases filled with the old flavor jars. In addition, there are several old mechanical “orchestra” machines.

Zaharakos since, yes, since 1900

Part of the 50′ marble bar

Close up of the bar, note Tiffany Lamp with twin soda dispensers

We wanted to take a little drive yesterday just to get out of the house for a while. Wanting to find something new to do or see, we headed to Columbus, Indiana which is south of Indianapolis. Sher had found an ice cream parlor online that looked neat, and it certainly was!

Collection of antique soda fountains

Antique flavor dispensers

Enjoying a cherry fountain soda

At the second soda bar, Welte Orchestration on left

Zaharakos has been serving ice cream since 1900 in downtown Columbus. It is a most amazing place. It is in a way overwhelming with the beautiful 50 foot long marble soda bar, Tiffany lamp twin soda fountain and a museum of antique soda fountains and flavor dispensers.

We had planned on getting either sundaes or maybe shakes, but once we saw the menu we decided to have lunch instead. We started with old fashioned cherry fountain sodas just like the old days. Sher ordered the grilled avocado sandwich and I went with a thick breaded tenderloin. The food was excellent.

We had an absolute ball at Zaharakos. It was fascinating seeing all of the antique ornate soda fountains and the Welte Orchestration machines.

This place is truly a museum of both soda fountains and ice cream parlors. We will definitely return for a sundae or maybe a banana split! We saw them being prepared, but we were full from our lunch.