Fair Oaks Pharmacy

One of the new things to this version of Atomic Redhead is the addition of “Sleep & Eat” a section dedicated to the hotels and restaurants we visit. It should be noted that I am by no means a foodie, so these posts are not so much reviews, as they are going to be along similar lines as posts about historic locations, museums, etc., as we strive to find the most unique and historical places to stay and dine at. While I have written about these sort of places before, I am eager to expand upon this subject matter further on the blog, and hope to inspire you to visit these locations! You can find this new section under “Places to Explore.”

Fair Oaks Pharmacy has been serving the citizens of South Pasadena for over 100 years. Yep, this place first opened its doors, known then as South Pasadena Pharmacy, in 1915. And get this, it was originally owned and financed by a woman! Pretty darn neat considering the time period. At some point in the 20s it became Raymond Pharmacy and it is under this name it went from being strictly a pharmacy to also being a soda fountain. In the 1940s it changed its name yet again, but this time for good, and became the Fair Oaks Pharmacy, named after one of the streets it borders.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy neon sign, done in green, red, and white.

Drugs neon sign

Fair Oaks Pharmacy reminds me a lot of what Watson’s in Orange used to be like before its god-awful change a couple years back. It’s a mix of old and new, and if you look past the retro metal signs, you’ll the true vintage gems. One of the fantastic things about Fair Oaks is it isn’t afraid of the super old-timey menu items from the past, including true ice cream sodas and phosphates!

We stopped in for lunch and split their classic burger so we could leave plenty of room for dessert, as this place is known well for its desserts, especially its Kitchen Sink Sundae which was featured on Food Network’s show Guilty Pleasures, as one of Duff Goldman’s favorites. You can check it out here.

We ordered the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae because I can never pass up a dish with a brownie in it, as well as an ice cream soda.

Interior neon reading "Soda Fountain"

Fair Oaks menu, including phosphates!

Lime ice cream soda

Interior neon reading "Compound Pharmacy"

Amazing vintage 1950s Coca-Cola dispenser.

Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae

Outdoor neon reading "Sodas"

And in case you’re wondering, yes, this place is still a pharmacy! Clearly others are curious too.

Sandwich board reading "Yes!! We are a Pharmacy"

Fair Oaks Pharmacy is located at1 526 Mission Street in South Pasadena. Please visit their website for more details!

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