Watson Drug and Soda Fountain; a product of the Golden Age of American History, somewhere in time when Main Street, U.S.A. was the center of life for every American City. This was the era of the Gay Nineties. The horseless carriage had just been introduced, gold was discovered in the Klondike, rural free postal delivery had been established drives in a surrey were still a way of courting. Dr. John T. Dorrance developed Campbell’s condensed soups, which sold for 10 cents. John Kellogg, a physician at the Battle Creek Sanitarium and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg developed wheat flakes (called Gransosa) in 1894, in a attempt to create a more digestible bread. The cereal, a vegetarian diet and water treatments were such a success that people came to the sanitarium from all over. In 1895 Charles W. Post was one of the patients. He took some of Kellogg’s ideas and developed Postum, a malt beverage and Grape Nuts.

The foundation for a drugstore and soda fountain emerged. Drugs were freely available and abuse was common. Heroin was sold as cough medicine. The American Drugstore began with the introduction of scientific fact into pharmacy and medicine.
Watson Drug Store
Watson Drug Store In 1899, Watson Drug opened as K.E. Watson’s, first on Glassell St., then to its present location on Chapman Avenue in Orange, CA. It was around this time in many parts of the United States laws were passed that prohibited the selling of soda water on Sunday. As an alternative on Sunday’s, local soda fountains began selling ice cream sodas, minus the soda, which left only the ice cream and syrup. That became the recipe of what we know today as the ice cream sundae. In 1915, Watson’s opened a soda fountain, complete with ice cream soda, sundaes, and phosphates. In the ensuing years, American-style “comfort foods” have been added to the menu and has remained the mainstay of Watson’s restaurant menu. In 1965, Keller Watson Jr. retired from Watson’s and in 1971, an ambitious young pharmacist named Scott Parker took over the business. In his mild, soft-spoken manner, Scott has given his customers and patients that comfortable breath of nostalgia with his individualized service, making sure everyone is taken care to the best of his abilities, offering consultations and advice on prescriptions and always striving to offer medications for the best possible price. Last but not least, Watson’s makes “house calls”! Pharmacy personnel will deliver medications for those who are unable to visit the pharmacy.
Watson Drug today, is a mélange of nostalgia from the Golden Age; the soda fountain, managed by Scott’s son, Steve features hand-made malts, shakes, phosphates, sundaes and all the breakfast, lunch and dinner (many items from another place in time) you can eat, while listening to the jukebox, filled with tunes made popular fifty years ago.

Scott’s Pharmacy where every customer is treated with care and concern, along with their unique “chosen with care” gift boutique, featuring many items styled in a by-gone era. For the sweet aficionado, a whole array of candy from the 50’s can be had.

The inside and outside of Watson’s has been used to film many movies. Notably, That Thing You Do, used Watson’s as a set, as did the Barbara Eden film The Stepford Children and Burt Reynolds’ Cannonball Run. Producers of television commercials have also used the natural ambiance inside Watsons to film spots starring (among others) Don Knotts, Shelly Hack, and Jimmy Smits. Even President Geroge W. Bush has stopped by for one of our famous malts.
watson drug store