The Walmart-Owned Soda Shop You Need To Visit

If you aren't familiar with the history of Walmart, then you might wonder why the low-price retailer owns an old-fashioned soda shop. You might even wonder if it's really a diner you can visit. It certainly is, and you definitely should stop by the next time you're in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, and his wife Helen first moved to Bentonville in 1950 seeking out small-town life, according to Walmart. The quaint town had everything Helen wanted, and the local climate allowed Sam several hunting seasons to take part in thanks to the city's proximity to the corners of four different states. After settling in, Sam opened Walton's 5&10 situated right on the square downtown. After finding success with his dime store early, Sam went on to open the very first Walmart in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. 

Today, his original dime store is the location of the Walmart Museum. It's filled with an exhibit gallery, the old 5&10, and is also the home of Walmart's soda shop, the Spark Café Soda Fountain. All of the museum's components certainly harken to 1950s life.

The Spark Cafe Soda Fountain

The Spark Café isn't just a relic used as a part of the Walmart Museum either. It's actually a functioning old-fashioned soda fountain where guests can come to get treats like ice cream, sundaes, floats, sodas, and coffees among other drinks, according to the Spark Café menu. There's even a flavor called Spark Cream, which is essentially a Walmart signature thanks to the blue and yellow colors of the ice cream (via Walmart Museum). Guests can try any of the nine flavors of ice cream, but it sounds like Spark Cream is something you can't miss.

Those who've visited the quirky soda shop that hails to the early days of the Walmart enterprise seem to love it — or at least be mildly amused if they weren't overly pleased. The café is open from noon to 9 p.m. and rated 4.8 on Google. One customer, Kris Rauchle, said, "A must-see when visiting Bentonville, Arkansas. Such a fun atmosphere with delicious ice cream for locals and visitors alike. Not to mention the best prices in town!" And if that's any indicator, it must be a pretty fun place to stop in. 

But, if you can't get there right away, you can always take a digital tour of the Walmart Museum. It just won't come with the perk of ice cream at the end.