End of an Era: Shoshoni Malt Shop’s furnishings, equipment removed Monday

Furnishings and equipment inside the Shoshoni Malt Shop were removed Monday and the sign was painted over, leaving just the shell of the structure.

By Ernie Over, managing editor, County10.com

(Shoshoni) — A Wyoming icon that had slipped in recent years is now a part of history. The Yellowstone Drug Store, aka Yellowstone Malt Shop, aka Shoshoni Malt Shop is now a vacant building.

A pickup truck and trailer hauled off the malt shop’s furnishings and most equipment yesterday (Monday), and the sign was painted over ending an era when the store was a “must stop” whenever travelers or locals drove through Central Wyoming.

The “World Famous Malts and Shakes” that were once served up in a 1900s era building in downtown Shoshoni attracted world-wide attention through promotional efforts of the Wyoming Travel Commission and, later, the Wyoming Division of Travel and Tourism and the Wind River Visitors Council. Bright blue and white car bumper stickers promoting the famous malt stop can still be seen around the state.

The former, and world-famous, Yellowstone Drug in Shoshoni, shown in this file photo, attracted travelers with malts and shakes served up from an old style soda fountain.

But the downtown location owned by the Shoshoni Masonic Lodge was sold, and the malt shop moved to the east end of town where a succession of owners failed to regain the malt shop’s stature and popularity. Additionally, the well known “Yellowtone” name was removed from the business.

“It just wasn’t the same, it was just another malt shop,” one Shoshoni resident who did not wish to be identified said Tuesday morning after the business relocated. “Once it moved out of its downtown location in the Masonic building, it lost its appeal. It’s really sad. I’ll miss it.”

The former location of the store featured a tall tin silver colored ceiling, a classic ornate wooden soda fountain back bar with high counters and stools out front, dozens of varieties of hand packed ice creams, and a dining area featuring small glass tables with wire backed chairs. Assorted brick-a-brack and Wyoming souvenirs filled several aisles of shelves, an old time version of a modern convenience store. A hand lettered sign above the soda fountain proudly counted up how many malts had been served up that that week, month and year.

Business began to drop off at the malt shop once it relocated to the east end of town, despite efforts to promote the new location. (file photo)

The relocated malt shop was in a former fast food restaurant building, absent of the name and ambiance that once made the downtown location special.




  1. Leigh T Hanlon

    I always stopped here on my way to Thermopolis.

  2. Leigh T Hanlon

    At least in the old location, wasn't there a joke sign about how they charged a lot more for malts than shakes because they didn't like to make malts?

  3. Liz Pursel

    I'm so going to miss that place. I haven't had a really good malt in a long time. And now I probably won't ever now :(

  4. So sad…I loved that place…that was a great place

  5. Linda Pursel

    Good memories though…it made the long trip to Casper worth it…I too will miss it.

  6. Trenna Olson Sonnenschein

    Just goes to show that Location can be everything. I'm a local and it had lost it's appeal to me when they moved to the new location. I stoped at the new location once for a Malt and it wasn't that special without the atmosphere that was created by the old malt shop. Now it's just a part of history like our old General Store that had it's own claim to fame back in the day.

  7. Darla Miller-Keever

    I believe there was a lot more going on than "Location" Trenna….It did lose the appeal when it moved along with the shakes/malts..

  8. Linda Bloom

    Your right Darla…it was never the same after they moved. But it had changed even before that. They stopped using the old malt mixers and got the kind that DQ uses. Not near as good. I remember as a kid taking a ride on the weekend just for burgers and malts. Any time you went through Shoshoni you had to stop even if you had just eaten in Riverton! LOL

  9. Matt Hossner

    Good riddance! It attracted Indians from all directions! I will not miss seeing those savages in our town.

  10. Brittani Phillipy

    That really sucks, I will miss this place, best malts ever!

  11. Lance Dryden

    So now my buddy Tinnelli owns the building and we have awsome Holloween party the 25ths of October. He has been fixing the building up also leaving the old ceiling and bank vaults alone. There's also a creepy tunnel underneath the whole place!!!

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