Disappointment in Indiana

Junior Burger
2004/06/17 13:51:20
Be warned... The Roadfood review of Zaharako's in Columbus, Indiana is WAY off base!

We were visiting the in-law's, who frequented Zaharako's while teenagers, and we insisted on trying it out after the favorable Roadfood review. What a bitter disappointment.

First, the place hardly resembles the photos. Everything is covered with dust and grime and it was filled with cigarette smoke. There was one elderly man behind the counter who began to explain to us (obviously not his regular customers) that he had been at the hospital all morning. What appetizing information.

We wandered to the back to look at the organ and let the in-laws go down memory lane. The pipe organ was interesting, but the old man almost fainted trying to get it started.

It became obvious that he was the only help in the place when he came shuffling in from the back with a package of hot dogs and sliced cheese from the back freezer.

The place was so overwhelmingly filthy and dilapidated. I finally told my husband that if all five of us ordered something it just might kill the man - even if it was just an ice cream.

We thanked him and left.

My biggest regret is that I can't submit a review because we didn't actually partake of their offerings.

You've been warned...
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2004/06/27 06:45:06
I lived in Columbus, where was it...I cant seem to place this place.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2004/06/27 07:46:32
Thanks for the warning. It is unfortunate that these things do happen. But your visit will help others avoid bad situations. We are doing a show-off the area tour today with SoCal visitors...Columbus and Madison are the two stops. Now we will rethink our lunch break in Columbus.
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2004/06/27 11:02:05
Zaharako's,which everybody in Columbus referred to as "The Greeks",is at 329 Washington St,across from where they tore down the whole block to build that "Commons Mall".Its like 2 doors down from the corner of 4th St.
To be honest with you,I never knew that you could buy food there.When I was a kid I only knew it was a soda fountain and candy store.Even then,the old merry go round and band organ that they had in the back was old as the hills.It must be ancient now.
There is a very exhaustive and very cool website at
with hundreds of pictures of Columbus as it looked in the 50s and 60s (when I lived there),old newspaper and yellow pages ads,lots of fascinating pages of editorial content,maps,all kinds of stuff.Must reading for any Columbus native or anybody who wants to learn how the city developed into what it is today.
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2004/06/27 11:15:37
Side Note to the Mayor:
For a better shot at Roadfood,I would go round the corner to the Columbus Bar,322 4th St,which is well known for its Tenderloin sandwiches,and at least when i used to go there,was a pretty classic example of a downtown smalltown Midwestern tavern.It,like the Greeks,has been there since forever,but with more adult ambiance.
Or you could go down to Nashville and Gnaw Bone.I wonder if they still have that old horse turning the sorghum mill.Probably a different horse by now.
Lew Z
Junior Burger
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2004/07/19 21:38:00
Billfish, the 1908 German pipe organ plays better for some reason then it did five years ago when it was video taped for a BBC travel program. I got a revelation last month that the organ is going to outlast me. Of course, everything there may outlast me.

Frankly, I have been thinking alot about the two soda foundtains now. Nearing is the 100th annversary of the introduction of the ice cream cone at the St. Louis World's Fair on July 23, 1904, which created a big stir at the fair and then throughout the country. The soda fountains were at the fair and brought to Zaharako's after the fair ended.

Unfortunely, we have some extremely busy times like Christmas when we can't seem to have enough help show up. I do believe that we are among the best preserved of the early American ice cream parlors, but I know that we sometimes have a bad day. I do appreciate all the comments of eveyone.
Junior Burger
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2009/06/13 10:11:18
It is restored, open under new ownership. See the other thread.
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2009/06/14 21:44:50
its amazing that this thread starter has only posted once in the last 5 years
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: Disappointment in Indiana 2009/06/14 23:58:10
Times to bring lots of changes ! Everything I have read of the reopening has been positive about the place.