Framing the Dialogue

Travel Treasure – Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor

Nestled in Pittsburgh’s famed Strip District is Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor. So what’s the big deal about another ice cream joint? Originally opened as a pharmacy in 1923 it also provided a place where folks could buy drinks and treats. I actually remember a local “drug store” where I grew up that offered the same fare. The grandchildren of the original owners, James and Mary Klavon, reopened the store a number of years ago. They serve food, but the main attraction is the soda fountain and ice cream.

When you go you HAVE to try a “phosphate.” These are the original “sodas” that are made-to-order in any flavor you wish. They even offer sugar-free flavors for those of us watching our weight. If you ask nice they’ll gladly drop a scoop of ice cream into your phosphate for what we in Pittsburgh call a “soda.” The grandkids sell the same ice cream as their grandfather, Pittsburgh’s Reinhold’s Ice Cream. My friend partook of this chocolate sundae…I abstained. My waistline, if not my taste buds, was better off for my will-power.

I recently had lunch there and while the food menu is modest, the food was good. I, however spent more time exploring the store than eating and one of the owners delighted in showing us around the store at all of the nostalgic items. This from their brochure, “Everything is original, including the woodwork, the sixteen foot marble counter, the ‘Bastion Blessing’ stainless steel soda fountain, the inlaid terrazzo floor, the Art Deco light fixtures, even the banana split dishes.” The soda fountain stool seats were modeled after Coca Cola bottle caps.

Klavon’s is a delight for the eyes as well as the mouth and nose. If you’re in The Strip, take a trip.  If you live far away you can visit on-line. 

2 CommentsLeave one

  1. Annette says:

    Klavon’s is a true gem. It’s now one of my favorite places in Pittsburgh. My mission will be to try to come up with as many phosphate mixtures as I can think of – the possiblilites are almost endless. Somebody has to try to do it. Guess it will take awhile and taste pretty good.

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