The Potter Sundry – Potter, Nebraska - Gastro Obscura

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The Potter Sundry

This old-school soda shop is the home of the Tin Roof Sundae, a concoction dripping in chocolate, marshmallow, and peanuts. 

Sponsored by Nebraska Tourism

When you’re as small as Potter, Nebraska (population: 300), you sometimes have to do some work to be noticed. Maybe it’s by having just one resident who keeps it all together. Or maybe you arrange cars in an homage to Stonehenge. But for Potter, getting put on the map came in the sweetest way—by inventing a beloved ice cream sundae. 

The Tin Roof Sundae was created at the Potter Sundry, an old-fashioned soda shop that today also serves breakfast and lunch Located in what was then the Potter Drug Company, the sundae was the brainchild of Harold Dean “Pinky” Thayer, the son of the pharmacy’s owner in the 1930s. The ingredients were simple, but numerous—vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, marshmallow cream, and peanuts, layered in a specific, and delicious, order. 

“He loved sweets,” Thayer’s daughter Kathy Thayer Heine told the Omaha World-Herald. “He was just a bored high school kid working at his father’s pharmacy, inventing stuff.” The name of Pinky’s sweet concoction is said to come from the restaurant’s distinctive tin tiles on the ceiling, tiles that are still in place today after a 2010 restoration. Today the space is owned by the Potter Historic Foundation, a move that helped preserve the building and its history for generations to come. 

Pinky also came up with a few other sundaes, but the Tin Roof was his masterpiece, and one that has stood the test of time. Big ice cream brands even sell versions of it, and its flavor combo has inspired cakes and pies. But for Potter, the original is the best. There aren’t many places that can say they’re known for a sundae, after all.

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Open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

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