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Hidden Cincinnati: Get a sip of summer nostalgia at The Root Beer Stand

WCPO root beer stand.png
Posted at 1:44 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 21:01:06-04

SHARONVILLE, Ohio — Sixty-four years after the little orange building went up on Reading Road, The Root Beer Stand can still draw a crowd. Owner Eric Burroughs and his family serve up to 200 gallons of root beer on the busiest summer days, delivering a dose of nostalgia alongside burgers, chili dogs and ice cream.

“It used to be the main thoroughfare right here, Reading Road,” Burroughs said. “So a lot of truck drivers, families on vacation would stop here, get an ice-cold mug of root better. Now, it’s kind of an icon in the community.”

Burroughs and his relatives do things the old-fashioned way when preparing their menu, too.

The root beer is homemade. Their chili recipe is a closely guarded secret. The cheese garnish on their cheese coneys is freshly shredded every day inside the stand.

“We do everything in kind of the way it used to be done,” he said, adding later: “There aren’t many places like this anymore.”

The kitchen opens in the spring and closes after Labor Day, making it a favorite stop for kids on summer vacation. Nicki Byrnes, who nurses her own fond memories of summer lunches at a root beer stand, brought her children recently for one last celebration before school started again.

Burroughs said he’s proud to run a business that helps people in the Sharonville community mark the passing of time each year and reflect fondly on their own childhoods when they bring their families.

“It has to stay,” he said. “It can't be beaten, and more things that we lose, the more you lose that identity of an area or a neighborhood. And you don't want everything to be the same everywhere you go. You want to have the hidden gems that you can go find and have those experiences you can't have anywhere else.”