I spent a delightful day in Columbus a couple of weeks ago. I started with a stop at the Visitors Center. Its gift shop is outstanding – it features lots of locally made art, jewelry and gifts. But the real attraction for me on this day, was a much looked forward to visit to Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor.
I had heard a lot about the amazing restoration that had taken place and wanted to see it for myself. Happily, it even exceeded all of the accolades I had heard.
The entire ice cream parlor is charming with a gigantic bar with mahogany, mirrors and marble. At the center of the dining room, stands an enormous self-playing organ. The entire restaurant looks like a movie set location. The experience, from the atmosphere to the home-made ice cream, is very memorable. The menu offers a nice variety of sandwiches and soups. Zaharakos is known for its signature “gom sandwich,” a sloppy joe style treat.
During my visit, I had a chance to talk with the owner, Tony Moravec. I learned that he stepped forward to purchase Zaharakos when it closed in 2006 after 106 years in business. Since that time, he has refurbished the interior’s woodwork and onyx soda fountain as well as recreated a nineteenth century storefront. He also tracked down a 1908 organ that had been sold and restored it as well. He has approached the entire project with painstaking attention to detail and it really shows in the restored Zaharakos.
See another post about Zaharakos on the Indiana Insider Blog here
Zaharakos is open Monday-Friday from 8am – 8 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 8 pm.