Tour the Missouri Ozarks: Best Restaurant in Ava Missouri
Ava Drug Store, where it's really 1958
Ava Drug Store
124 W. Washington Avenue
Ava, Missouri 65608
Monday-Friday : 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m
Ava Drug Store
What is Ava Drug Store
Tucked in the corner of the square in downtown Ava, Missouri, is a time capsule to 1958. Ava Drug Store isn't just your everyday pharmacy. It fills prescriptions and sells over-the-counter medicines, sure. But look a little farther to your left when you walk in the door, and you'll see a blast from the past: An old fashioned soda fountain.
Yes, it has the facade of an old fashioned soda fountain: the spinning stools, the soda dispensers, the milkshake machines. However, look a little further until you find a menu, and you'll see that Ava Drug Store's prices are from 1958, too.
Ava Drug Store is literally nickel and diming their customers. Hot tea, coffee, or one scoop of ice cream for a nickel a piece? You bet. Two scoops of ice cream and sodas for a dime? It's true! These are Ava Drug Store's prices every business day.
History of Ava Drug Store
In 1949, E. Boone Norman, Sr. purchased a lot in the corner of the old town square. By 1950, Ava Drug Company was open for business. In 1958, the drug store was completely destroyed by a fire, but it was reopened later that year with an all new fountain and fixtures.
The drug store remained a family business until it was sold in 1991. Wanting to return Ava Drug Store back to its glory, a grandson of the original owner, David Norman, bought the company in 2003. His goal was to return Ava Drug Store back to its original 1958 appearance. David Norman has accomplished his goal. A visit to Ava Drug Store is like a visit to 1958, complete with 1958 prices.
See For Yourself!
My Visit To Ava Drug Store
I must admit, Ava Drug Store has been on my must-visit list for a very long time. Really, everything's a dime? I couldn't believe it. I wanted to visit for no other reason than to say I drank a Coke that cost a dime.
The Drug Store is pretty easy to find. It's located in the corner of Ava's downtown square. There was plenty of parking on the street in front of the building, as well as nearby parking places on the square.
Walking in, it looked like your typical small town pharmacy. To the left, though, is the soda fountain. The soda fountain truly does look like a soda shop from the 1950s. There are a few booths, as well as stools at the bar. Wanting a true soda shop experience, I chose the bar.
The servers were very friendly. You would think they would get tired of tourists asking them, "is it really a nickel or a dime?" But they don't. They take it all in stride.
Ava Drug Store also serves light lunch items such as hot dogs and different varieties of sandwiches. I ordered a chili dog. The food is a little bit more than a dime, but it's still reasonable. It was a pretty good chili dog as far as chili dogs go. You could tell the chili was homemade, not canned. My chili dog was served with a side of potato chips and a pickle, as were all the sandwiches there.
After my chili dog, I was in the mood for dessert. Giving in to dessert is easy when it's only a nickel. At the time I was there, they served 11 different flavors. They also serve a regional flavor that I have only been able to find in that part of the country, black walnut ice cream. It has quickly become my favorite. I recommend giving their black walnut ice cream a try. At a nickel a scoop, you can always order another flavor if you don't like it.
Ava Drug Store also serves soda shop favorites such as floats, malts, milkshakes, and ice cream sodas. Being the lover of black walnut I am, I also had a black walnut milkshake. It was heaven.
If you're on a budget, this is the restaurant to visit. On the day I visited, I was accompanied by my mother, son, aunt, uncle, and a cousin. My uncle decided to be generous and buy everyone's lunch. He bought drinks, lunch, and dessert for five people for under $25.
I visited the drug store on a weekday right before noon and there were few customers at the fountain. However, the closer it got to noon, the more crowded it became. Ava Drug Store is a local favorite, and it has a large lunch crowd, so be sure to visit before or after noon to avoid waiting.
Ava Drug Store: A Must Visit Restaurant
Directions To Ava Drug Store
Location and Information
Ava Drug Store is a fully functioning pharmacy with a soda fountain located inside the store. It also sells typical drugstore items.
Ava is located about 55 miles northeast of Branson, Missouri. Ava Drug Store is located at 124 West Washington Avenue. It is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Nearby attractions include historic mills in Ozark County.