Big State Fountain Grill is an old-fashioned soda fountain in the purest sense of the word. The soda jerks (and I use the term lovingly) make a shake thick enough to eat with a spoon, and the short-order grill turns out a burger big enough to satisfy most any appetite.

With the colorful checkered linoleum floor and chrome-accented tables and chairs, the restaurant looks like a place out of Happy Days, complete with an old jukebox in the corner. A lot of red Naugas gave their hides to cover all those stools around the horseshoe-shaped bar.

The soda fountain has anchored Irving’s old central business district since it opened in 1948 as a drugstore. In 2014, Rick and Susan Fairless expanded the business and menu into a fun destination, with a larger kitchen replacing the pharmacy. They also offer a selection of classic candies not found at most candy counters and an eclectic assortment of Texas souvenirs and gifts.

Big State Fountain and Grill is at 100 E. Irving Blvd. in Irving’s Old Town. The diner is about two blocks from the Texas Musicians Museum. On Saturday evenings, the restaurant hosts a classic car “Cruise In” that mixes music and grease. The kitchen is open daily from breakfast to dinner. For operating hours, call 214/307-5000 or go to