Tour Guide Deb Slone in the Crystal Parlor Suite
Historic Zaharakos Tour
Tour price: $15
Tour length: 1 hour
See tour times and buy tickets.
Step back in time with Zaharakos’ historian on a tour of the historic ice cream parlor and museum. You will get an exclusive tour of the private second story, which houses the Mechanical Music Library, Soda Fountain Library, and the elegant Crystal Parlor suite of Victorian rooms where the Zaharako family lived until 1914
More than a century ago, three brothers from Greece opened Zaharakos in October of 1900. It would become one of the finest in America with its Welte orchestrion of 184 pipes, two onyx soda fountains, a Tiffany-style lamp and water dispenser from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, and a soda bar with a spectacular fifty-foot double back bar of mahogany, mirrors, stain glass, and marble.
Now, you can enjoy a private tour from Zaharakos’ historian, hear stories that span three generations of the Zaharakos family and discover details of the extensive restoration. Zaharakos has the largest collection of pre-1900 soda fountains (in America?) on display. You will also hear a fascinating variety of mechanical music instruments.
Then you will get an exclusive tour of the private second story, which houses the Mechanical Music Library, Soda Fountain Library, and the elegant Crystal Parlor suite of Victorian rooms where the Zaharako family lived until 1914.
The Welte orchestrion is the only one known to be on public display in a commercial setting. The double liquid Carbonic Soda fountains are believed to be the only ones left in the United States that have been in their same location and still functional. Today there are thought to be less than a hundred authentic soda fountains remaining in America and far fewer still that have been restored to their original early 1900 grandeur.
SPEND SOME TIME WITH US!
Before or after the tour, you can enjoy lunch or dinner in an enchanting atmosphere, as you listen to the Welte orchestrion. In addition to soups, salads, sandwiches, sodas, and sundaes, indulge in fountain delights that include sundaes, shakes, malts, and blended ice cream sodas, all created with premium ice cream that is made fresh at Zaharakos. You can even enjoy a hand-pulled soda at the 1911 bar.
Do I need a reservation?
Booking at least two weeks in advance of your visit is highly recommended to ensure you will be able to get tickets for a tour, which often sell out, especially in the summer and fall months.
Is photography allowed?
Photography is permitted on the tour. Cameras must be handheld; the use of flash and tripods are not permitted.
Are children allowed? Are there any age limits?
Yes, children aged 5 years and older are welcome to take the tour. The tour is not recommended for young children; all tour guests must purchase a ticket.
What is the time zone?
Indiana is in the Eastern time zone.
Is there wheelchair accessibility?
Zaharakos is an historic building – all the ground floor areas and much of the second floor are wheelchair accessible. The second floor is accessible by persons using wheelchairs for mobility by elevator. The second floor Crystal Parlor will accommodate a standard sized wheelchair. However, the library doorways are narrower than today’s standards and wheelchairs wider than 30.5 inches will not make it through the interior hinged doors of the libraries.
What visitors are saying…
Monterey Park, California visitor...
…Deb is the official historian of Zaharakos. She gave us the history of this ice cream parlor and a nice tour. We loved every minute of the tour and showed us things most customers never see. She showed us many historic photos of this parlor’s past . . . I love her passion for Zaharakos and history in general. She’s so nice and glad we met her . . . we are amazed by the historic value of Zaharakos . . . So the ice cream, I have to say, is great. The vanilla ice cream is the best I have ever had and I mean it. I have had plenty in my life and it’s far the best.
Yelp review posted December 2018 by James G
Denver, Colorado visitor...
Charm that is often lost in remodeling these days . . . Why? If you step one foot on the door, you cant help but be in awe!! To start off you see an absolutely spectacular stone soda/ice cream bar from the early 1900s. Then look up and you see the beautiful punched tin ceiling, along with hundreds of hours worth of hand carved decorative wood. If you’re nice to your waitress and ask politely, she will power up the vintage style organ . . . be sure to make room for their award-winning desserts! The dessert menu is big for a good reason. These desserts are made from the highest quality ingredients, and topped just the way you like them. Zaharakos was rated the best ice cream shop in the state of Indiana (recently). This is a “must do” for everyone visiting the area!!
Posted on TripAdvisor, Oct 2018 by jeepncolo
London, England visitor...
Tasty treat – Just had a single scoop; I don’t think I have ever had a better scoop of butter pecan ice cream ever!
Posted on TripAdvisor, August 2018 by John C