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Zaharakos Designated Dream Drive in Indiana

The National Geographic Traveler April/May 2018 issue hails Zaharakos as one of the amazing escape destinations while taking a dream drive in Indiana. The article (page 60) reads: Family Fun Loop, Indianapolis-Columbus-Bloomington-Indianapolis. The Hoosier State's heart ticks at all the right family-vacation boxes: three children's museums; summer horseback riding at Brown County State Park; and the five-scoop, shareable Big "Z" sundaes at Columbus' Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. Start and end the 133-mile loop at downtown Indy's White River State Park, home to the Indianapolis Zoo.

Thank you, National Geographic!



Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Bicentennial Bucket List

Zaharakos is featured on the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Bicentennial Bucket List. This list includes 200 of the most definitively Hoosier things to do in Indiana.

"Eat homemade ice cream at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus – Bartholomew County"


ted selected Zaharakos as
The Best Ice Cream Shop
in the state of Indiana

Three Greek brothers opened Zaharakos at the turn of the century. The 19th century. Yes, Zaharakos has been giving Columbus its sweets fix nearly continuously for 117 years. Sadly, there was a brief closure in the 2000s when the last remaining descendant (running the establishment) passed away, but a local businessman took over and preserved one of the most singular experiences for any American who cares about ice cream, history, or (hopefully) both. The homemade sodas and sundaes taste like a simpler time, thoughsome of that could come from the fact that it feels like you’re eating in an ice cream museum, with much of the shop’s original fixtures in decor still intact. Oh, and if you want to go to an ACTUAL ice cream museum, they now operate one on the second floor with stuff like soda fountains that predate the civil war. -- ML


Read all about it:




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Zaharakos Designated Hot Spot in Indiana

The 2017 Group Tour Indiana Travel Guide has named Zaharakos as one of the top designated hot spots to visit in Indiana. Thank you, Group Tour Media!

Their article reads: Zaharakos. This fully restored ice cream parlor dates to 1900. But Zaharakos offers more than sweet creamy treats. Along with a full lunch and dinner menu, groups can enjoy the adjacent museum and the owner's collection of self-playing musical contraptions and antique soda fountains.



Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Bicentennial Bucket List

Zaharakos is featured on the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Bicentennial Bucket List. This list includes 200 of the most definitively Hoosier things to do in Indiana.

"Eat homemade ice cream at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus – Bartholomew County"



Scooping Up Support
Ted Cruz Visits Zaharakos

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and his daughters Catherine, left, and Caroline stop for ice cream at Zaharkos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum during a campaign stop Monday, April 25, 2016 in Columbus.

For more pictures and info click here


Spoon University Names Zaharakos
Best Ice Cream Dessert in the State

by Erin Newsome. Nothing hits the spot quite like brownies with ice cream, and Zaharakos in Columbus kills it in that department...

Read more about it <click here>


Zaharakos featured in
my Indiana Home

Thank you to the editor of "my Indiana Home" magazine for the exemplary coverage of Zaharakos.

To read the complete article visit:

or click here to download a PDF file.

My Indiana Home is produced for Indiana Farm Bureau members.



Zaharakos featured in TRAVEL
Best of the Midwest 2015
from the Editors of Midwest Living magazine

Thank you to the editors of Midwest Living magazine for calling Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum a "restaurant we love" in their 2015 Best of the Midwest Travel issue.

This issue ranks Columbus as one of the top summer getaways. Pick up your copy to read about Columbus and the top picks for 17 states.

PDF file click here.












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Eat your ice cream? Study shows antioxidant ice cream can promote overall health

From the

Read more here



Zaharakos Since 1900 Timeline Book receives 2014 PIAS Award of Excellence

Zaharakos and the Merrick Printing Co., Inc. were presented with an Award of Excellence by the Printing Industry Association of the South for a 24-page timeline book published in October of 2013. This book documents an abbreviated record into the history and timeline; museum and collections; mechanical music; and preservation at the historic ice cream parlor and museum.

Debra Slone, designer; Jill Anderson, production artist, and Rhonda Moravec, copywriter.

You can purchase a copy in the country store at Zaharakos.

PDF file click here.









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Best Ice Cream/Confections
2013 Award Winner

LocalEats represents the best local restaurants worldwide. No national chains! Through research, they gather the opinions of ciritics and local bloggers, trusted friends, and site visitors. So, if a restaurant is listed on LocalEats, you know it's good!

Zaharakos proudly accepts the 2013 Award for Best Ice Cream/Confections.














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Garrison Keillor performs at
Elliott Hall of Music on the
campus of Purdue University

Humorist, author, and storyteller Garrison Keillor returned to Elliott Hall of Music as part of WBAA's 90th anniversary celebration. The live broadcast on October 27, 2012 was sponsored in part by Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum.

A Prairie Home Companion has grown into one of radio's most popular shows, with four million weekly listeners on more than 600 public radio stations.

WBAA • What Matters • Public Radio from Purdue is part of the npr® digital network










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The Daily Disher

Folks near and far have heard our story...
and good news travels fast. Click on a link
below to read what others have to say
about Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum.
















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Indianapolis Monthly

According to the September 2012 issue of Indianapolis Monthly magazine, a trip to Columbus would not be complete without a stop at Zaharakos.


Discover Columbus

Home & Away September/October 2012

by Amy Lynch

The sundaes arrive at our table looking like something out of another era, in tall curvy glass dishes with long spoons, whipped cream and cherries on top. There's even a small boat of extra hot fudge on the side. The root beer float is similarly old-fashioned, right down to the house-made syrup and paper straw. Everything tastes as it looks: delicious.


Read the entire article by clicking on the link... View PDF file











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Zaharakos: Where the Schmaltz is Made

by Joe Dudeck

IndySpectator is an online news source -- a succinct guide to the most important happenings and events occuring everyday in Indianapolis and the surrounding area.

Trouble with the link? Download a PDF file.


Columbus, Ind.: A Midwestern Mecca Of Architecture

by Susan Stamberg

Tourists may come to Columbus for modern architecture, but they can't leave without stopping at Zaharakos.

Click on the link above to read the article.



Read more about Zaharakos on Click here....


Columbus Indiana Visitors Center website has a wonderful array of information and photos about Zaharakos.

Click here...


Enjoy this video on youtube created by wthr Channel 13 in Indianapolis. Click here to view....



articles from The Republic newspaper in Columbus, IN:

(click here) Everything Old Is New Again...

(click here) A Grand Old Reopening...


The New York Post says, "No One Suits Up For Christmas Quite Like Columbus"

Click here to


DAR recognizes Moravec for Zaharakos dedication

Jane Johnson, regent of the Joseph Hart Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, presented a national historic preservation award Thursday, December 15, 2011 to Tony Moravec, owner of Zaharakos. Click here to read more...








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Zaharakos Gom Sandwich selected
as one of the Super 46 Sandwiches

The Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IODT) worked with Indianapolis Monthly and the Super Bowl Host Committee to develop a list of Super 46 Sandwiches -- the 46 Best Sandwiches in Indiana that Super Bowl visitors should eat while in town. The publishers of Indianapolis Monthly have selected the Zaharakos Gom Sandwich for the Super 46 Sandwiches list.

On January 3, IOTD will host a Super 46 playoff system where users can vote for their favorite sandwich. Seeding and pairing the sandwiches for weekly contests and will announce a winning sandwich on February 2.

We hope you stop in to enjoy this classic "grilled cheese, sloppy joe" sandwich that has been a hometown tradition at Zaharakos for many years.

Our thanks to IODT, Indianapolis Monthly, and the Super Bowl Host Committee for this special recognition.


Zaharakos featured on
The Official Best of Indiana

Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum has been featured on "The Official Best Of" website as well as on television at WBBM/CBS Chicago and the History Channel. Click on the image to the left to view the segment.





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Governor Daniels visits Zaharakos

Governor Mitch Daniels enjoyed a creamy, butter pecan milkshake at Zaharakos while in Columbus on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.


Congressman Mike Pence

Congressman Mike Pence (center) hosts media at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in Columbus, IN just before his Gubernatorial Kick-off held at The Commons on June 10, 2011. Pictured on the left is Tom Snyder, IvyTech President and to his right Tony Moravec, owner.


Senator Richard Lugar

Senator Richard Lugar shakes hands in the Zaharakos dining room on Friday, June 10, 2011. He was in Columbus with Governor Daniels, Congressman Pence and Mayor Armstrong to celebrate Cummins' expansion announcement.





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CBS Sunday Morning visits Zaharakos

Charles Osgood, anchor of CBS Sunday Morning, made Zaharakos his first stop upon arrival in Columbus, IN.

Owner Tony Moravec provided Mr. Osgood and his crew a home base from which to work while filming the introduction and in-betweens for the CBS Sunday Morning program to air on May 22, 2011.

Mr. Osgood was very gracious and accommodating. He reflected upon his time spent as a soda jerk in his younger days. And when it came time to film a segment, he pulled a Green River from the 1904 Onyx Soda Fountain as he created transitions for the show. In his generosity, Mr. Osgood provided Tony a signed autograph stating, "Tony, You and your soda fountains - ice cream parlor are pure magic! Love the music machines!"

Our sincerest thanks to CBS and the Sunday Morning crew for their time and attention to Columbus and Zaharakos.



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No. 1 Thing Every Hoosier Must Do!

According to Indianapolis Monthly Magazine August 2010 issue, Zaharakos is No. 1 on the list of 50 things every Hoosier must do. The article states:

Sit at the Counter at Zaharakos. At this 110-year old marble palace, the sundaes are hand-dipped and cherry-topped. But what makes this Columbus institution really sweet is the counter-side charm of Wilma Hare and her fellow soda jerks, who will pull you an ice cream soda the way it was in 1900 and serve it with a side of sass: “When that ice cream hits the carbonation, it will explode like a volcano. And I will laugh at the look of panic on your face.” All you need to do is poke the paper straw through the layers of fizz and cream and, quickly now, start slurping!


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Zaharakos featured in Hamburger America

Read about Zaharakos on pages 99-101 in Hamburger America: Completely Revised and Updated Edition. It is a state-by-state guide to 150 great burger joints by George Motz.


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The First "Name A Sundae" at Zaharakos

Matt Barker's Mystic Mint Sundae made its debut at Zaharakos during the month of March 2011. The opportunity to create and name a sundae came through a generous donation to the kidscommons annual fundraiser. Matt's sundae, which he enjoyed free of charge all month long, consisted of hot fudge on the bottom, covered by rainbow sprinkles, a generous scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream and three cherries. All other patrons ordering this treat received a 50-cent discount.

Wonder what next year's creation will be?



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Watch a video featuring Zaharakos from the television show "Savor Indiana" click here


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National Attention for Zaharakos

The National Trust for Historic Preservation's travel blog,
Gozaic, featured Zaharakos in June 2010:

Zaharakos has been a Columbus institution since it was opened in 1900 by three Greek brothers with the last name "Zaharako." The store closed in 2004, but was restored and reopened in June 2009. Its mahogany bar, with two marble and chrome soda fountains, dates back to the early 1900s. There is a Tiffany-style lamp on the bar and the Welte Orchestrion, which had been removed and sold to a collector, was purchased back and returned to Zaharakos. This is a one-of-a-kind destination that is filled with the sights and sounds of a turn-of-the-century confectionary and soda "shoppe." All the ice cream is made on the premises, and the Green River Float is a bright green soda with a lemon lime flavor.


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Zaharakos featured on Easter Seals Ornament

The 2009 Easter Seals of Bartholomew County Christmas ornament features the renovated Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum.

Easter Seals is a nonprofit agency that issues collectible ornaments. It is the United Way agency’s largest fundraiser. Rose Ann Day-Dunlap, the local program’s executive director, said the ornaments reflect the rich architecture of Bartholomew County and make great Christmas gifts for the “hard-to-buy-for person” for family and friends who no longer live in Columbus.

You can purchase the Zaharakos ornament year round in the country store (adjacent to the restaurant) where all items sold are proudly made in the U.S.A.



Awards and Recognition

Company of the Year Award. Zaharakos honored as company of the year. The Business Connection...a publication of The Republic newspaper. Click here to read more...





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Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce

presented Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum with the 2009 Company of the Year Award.

Click here for a map



Southern Indiana Preservation Award. Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.

Tony Moravec won recognition for his restoration of a beloved Indiana treasure, Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Columbus. Known far and wide for its authentic vintage interior, the institution closed in 2006 after 106 years in operation and the community mourned. Moravec stepped forward to redress the loss. He not only refurbished the interior’s walnut and oak woodwork and onyx soda fountain, he also recreated a nineteenth-century storefront to replace the 1950s façade that didn’t match the authentic interior. He even bought back the 1908 Welte organ that had been sold to a California collector when the place closed. Washington Street was closed for the day and a long line trailed down the block when Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum reopened in June 2009. Moravec will accept the award at Historic Landmarks Foundation’s honors event in Bedford.more...


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City Proclamation City of Columbus, Indiana.

Mayor Fred Armstrong proclaims the day in honor of Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. Owner Tony Moravec tips his hat as the mayor presents the proclamation. Thousands gathered on Washington Street for the grand reopening on Saturday, June 6, 2009.



The Proclamation read by Mayor Fred Armstrong reads:

Proclamation to all to whom these presents may come, Greetings:
Whereas: after two years of restoration, Columbus businessman Tony Moravec and his team has brought a treasured institution back to life for Columbus residents; and
Whereas: returned to its early 1900 elegance, Zaharakos will serve as a magnet for visitors from all over the world; and
Whereas: one of the centerpieces of the “new” Zaharakos is the original Welte organ that entertained generations of Columbus families for almost a century; and
Whereas: the turn-of-the-century theme is reflected throughout the original building and the annex that as acquired during the restoration to accommodate hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia from the original business and other historic ice cream parlors across the country; and
Whereas: most of us here today can certainly identify with Zaharakos during some period in our lives and today, we celebrate the return of this national treasure at the grand re-opening of Zaharakos.
Now, therefore, I, Fred L. Armstrong, Mayor of the City of Columbus, Indiana, ask all to join me in welcoming back to downtown Columbus, one of the most spectacular ice cream parlors in America as we celebrate today, June 6, 2009 as
Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum Day
in the city of Columbus. Let the sodas flow and the music roll.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the city of Columbus to be affixed this 6th day of June 2009.
Signed: Fred L. Armstrong
Mayor, City of Columbus, Indiana


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News Release
Indiana Economic Development Corporation

Governor Daniels Honors Two Bartholomew County Businesses with Awards for Longevity

Indianapolis (Nov. 4, 2009) – Governor Mitch Daniels honored two Bartholomew County businesses for longevity and community service in the Statehouse today during the annual Governor's Century and Half Century Business Awards.

The governor presented Zaharakos Inc. with a Century Award. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, joined Daniels in honoring all of the Indiana companies for their commitment to Indiana.

"Simply speaking, building a business takes drive, business acumen and sometimes a little luck. Building a successful company which spans decades and generations, however, is a truly special accomplishment. It is my honor to recognize Hoosier entrepreneurs who have left permanent marks on their communities through their homegrown enterprises," said Daniels.

The Governor's Century and Half Century Business Awards honor Indiana businesses that have remained in operation for 100 or 50 years or more and have also demonstrated a history of community service. More than 1,300 companies from across Indiana have been recognized during the 19-year history of the Awards.

Zaharakos Inc. was founded by three brothers from Greece as a candy store in 1900. The owners continued to innovate, adapt and look for new ways to grow over the years, which enabled the Columbus company to survive two world wars, the Great Depression, and the rise of fast food restaurants and pre-packaged grocery store ice cream. Today the old-fashioned ice cream parlor still features a traditional soda fountain and back bar.

Nominated by individuals or organizations within the same community, the Governor's Century and Half Century Awards honor Indiana's well-established companies and their outstanding contributions to the economic growth and prosperity of the state.



loriacceptsZaharakos was honored for 100 years of service to the Columbus community on November 4, 2009. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Lt. Governor Becky Skillman presented the State of Indiana Century Business Award to Lori Latimer, center, who accepted the award on behalf of Tony Moravec of Zaharakos.





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Friday Night High School Football
WNDY TV Channel 23

Zaharakos was a proud sponsor of high school football on WNDY TV Channel 23.


Steel Horse • Sundays 10:35 p.m.
WNDY TV Channel 23

Zaharakos was featured on WNDY TV Channel 23 on June 28, 2009. Steel Horse is Indiana's only program for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts. The show airs every Sunday at 10:35 p.m. Hosts: Steve Reeves and Angela Jenkins. To view the segment, visit:

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Special Events (past)

A Scoop of Inspiration. Riley Family Reunion and Ice Cream Social was held at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum on Sunday, August 30, 2009. This event was free to Riley families.




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Book Signing. Saturday, August 29, 2009. Columbus native, FARMbloomington restaurant chef, Daniel Orr, was on hand to sign his newly released FARMfood: Green Living with Chef Daniel Orr. Read more...





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Hot Rods and Rock & Roll
September 19, 2009

104.9 The River hosted the 13th Annual Hot Rods and Rock & Roll in downtown Columbus. Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum sponsored a concert performed by Rick K and the Allnighters. The crowd (pictured below, left) filled Washington Street and enjoyed the music, food and fun.






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hrrrcrowd crowd2

Sock Hop at the Soda Shop
September 19, 2009

The young and young at heart danced to the great sounds of the 50s during the first event held in the Green River Banquet Hall at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. The room is magnificent with 3 wide screen TVs and beautiful hardwood floors that shine like glass.

Our fashionable judges (in poodle skirts), Charlotte Battin, Christie Shaff and Martha Richards, evaluated contestants throughout the evening. The swinging style of Dan and Diana Taylor caught the judges' attention and earned them first prize in the dance contest (pictured at left). Our second place winners, Shirley Rohnke and Brad Hansen, were a joy to watch as well.

The Dancin' DJs, Don and Jean Kingen (, kept the joint a jumpin' with favorite song selections, a twist contest, and a limbo contest!

Thank you to all contestants and participants who made the sock hop fun for everyone.




thirdplace youngdancers


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Zaharakos, One Unforgettable Location Since 1900


Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum
Re-opened on Saturday, June 6, 2009

Historic Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor to Re-Open June 6

COLUMBUS, IND. – The sodas will flow and the mechanical music will roll during the Grand Re-Opening Weekend at Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum on Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, 2009. This national historic landmark will feature the best of the old, carefully restored, and many new areas to delight and inform.

The restoration began in 2007 has returned Zaharakos to its early 1900 elegance. The soda fountain icons featured in National Geographic, Time, and other publications now take center stage, beautifully framed by the restored tin ceiling and skylights and the refinished maple floor from the 1890s. The double backbar from 1911 is a spectacular 50 feet of mahogany cabinets with stained glass, marble pillars, mirrors and brass. The bar’s arched mirrors frame two Mexican onyx soda fountains from the 1904 World’s Fair. The front bar has a 40-foot counter of smooth marble and onyx that supports a delicate centerpiece: the Tiffany-style lamp of stained glass and marble from 1905. Each piece has been polished, refinished, and restored to provide a visual feast for the eyes.

Zaharakos has also returned musical delight to the menu with the restoration of its 1908 Welte orchestrion. This self-playing organ is designed to sound like an orchestra as it plays music from punched rolls of paper. When a roll is unwound by the orchestrion’s motor, the small, precisely placed holes in the paper direct airflow through different tubes to play 182 pipes of wood, tin and brass—plus several drums and a triangle. The sound is magnificent and the experience is unforgettable. Although this rare icon of Zaharakos was sold to a private collector in 2006, it was repurchased and has now been completely restored.

The Zaharakos that re-opens in June will have twice as much room as it did when it opened on October 20, 1900. Purchase of the building next door has created space for several new areas to delight and inform. The Whitman Room features the original 1900 doors and a private soda fountain for special events. The new museum will provide fascinating ways to look, listen and learn about the history of soda fountains and mechanical music.

For over 100 years, Zaharakos has been a destination to delight all of the senses. You will find previews of the careful restoration of this national historic landmark online at You will find the best view this June when the grand re-opening brings America the sweet sodas and sounds of one of its finest ice cream parlors.

# # #

About Zaharakos

When three brothers from Greece opened Zaharakos as a candy store on October 20, 1900, they opened what has become one of the finest ice cream parlors in America. By 1911, guests could enjoy music from a Welte orchestrion and home-made ice cream and sodas from two soda fountains, a Tiffany-style lamp, and a spectacular 50-foot double backbar. The restoration began in 2007 has added a soda fountain and mechanical music museum. Zaharakos will re-open in June 2009, beautifully prepared for another 100 years of sodas, sundaes and smiles.

Anthony Moravec, Proprietor
Phone: (812) 378-1900


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Delight Your Senses With the World-Class Icons of Zaharakos

The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis inspired the Zaharako family to invest in the elegant icons that have made Zaharakos one of the finest ice cream parlors in America. These important and enduring symbols of the soda fountain era have been carefully restored to delight your senses as you linger over sweet and frothy treats at the spectacular backbar and listen to the beautiful, bold sounds of the Welte orchestrion. The quality of these icons is complemented by the iconic beauty of Columbus, Indiana. The small town where three brothers from Greece opened their store has been called the “Athens on the Prairie” for its world-class architecture (Saturday Evening Post, 1964) and a “jewel in the region” as a top historic destination in the world (National Geographic Traveler, 2008). When you visit America’s Athens on the Prairie, delight your senses with the world-class icons of Zaharakos.

A rare pair of Mexican onyx soda fountains (1905) held the fizz and flavors of sweet soda success.

The spectacular double backbar (1911) has 50 feet of mahogany, stained glass, mirrors and marble.

The elegance of the past shines on in the stained glass of the Tiffany-style lamp (1905).

The Welte orchestrion (1908) adds musical delight to the menu with 184 pipes of wood, tin and brass.

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Share the News

Zaharakos is an important part of living American history—a soda fountain and ice cream parlor from the early 1900s that was grand in its day and is now one of a kind. You can help us share the good news about the return of this national historic landmark by using the public service announcements below.
When you use the optional soundtracks, your audience will hear the newly restored Welte orchestrion play “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin—a fitting song for one of America’s finest ice cream parlors.

Pronunciation Guide
Zaharakos                         Zuh-HARE-uh-koes
Welte                               WELL-tee
Orchestrion                        or-KESS-tree-un

15-Second PSA  (click here to download)
The historic Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus, Indiana, will re-open in June. Visit for details on the restoration of this national landmark and its Welte orchestrion.

30-Second PSA  (click here to download)
The historic Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum in Columbus, Indiana, will re-open in June. But you don’t have to wait until summer for an inside look at this national landmark. Visit online at for details of the renovation. You can also see how the rare Welte orchestrion is being restored and view several items from the soda fountain and mechanical music museum.

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