Historic MacAlpine’s Diner & Soda Fountain Launches Fundraiser to Reopen

MacAlpine’s Diner & Soda Fountain opened in 1929 as a pharmacy, serving residents of the sparsely populated city of Phoenix at the time. In 1938, Fred MacAlpine bought the building and transformed it into a community staple for kids and adults alike.

In its almost 100-year history, the diner and soda fountain has seen many changes but always kept true to its old-fashioned roots. With a menu of 99 old-fashioned soda flavors, hand-dipped ice cream, homemade pies and classic diner fare, the restaurant truly feels like stepping back in time. The fountain offers not only food and sweets but also two adjacent shops selling antique furniture and vintage fashion and trinkets.

MacAlpine’s in the 1940s

MacAlpine’s is one of very few original soda fountains left in the country, making it a historical treasure to the Phoenix area. The historic building on 7th Street has seen generations of Phoenicians enjoy its ice cream floats and all-American food. The spot has been frequented by plenty of prominent figures of Phoenix and has been featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food” and in numerous local publications.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, MacAlpine’s closed temporarily. As they planned to reopen, owner Cary Heizenrader unexpectedly passed away and the restaurant had to remain closed for the foreseeable future. Cary’s wife, Monica, started the process of reopening, but ended up bedridden from an accident. She tried to sell pies, took out loans and drained her savings but still couldn’t get the restaurant up and running again.

Now, in 2023, Monica and her daughters are trying again to open the fountain up by asking for the community’s help to reopen.

“Please help us save this amazing part of Phoenix history and special piece of Americana! With your support, we will soon be celebrating our 100th anniversary and beyond,” Monica shares on the restaurant’s GoFundMe page.

The Heizenrader family is slowly reaching their goal, hoping to reopen by the end of the year. The restaurant will also be selling homemade pies this holiday season to raise money for the reopening. 

“When people walk through the door, it’s like stepping back in time,” says Monica, commenting that MacAlpine’s has the best customers. “It’s magical.” 

To help contribute to saving this historical Phoenix restaurant, donate to the GoFundMe or send checks to MacAlpine’s Diner and Soda Fountain 2303 N. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85006.

Photos courtesy MacAlpine’s Diner & Soda Fountain

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