The Exline Old Country Store & Antique Exchange has a little something for everyone, from antique shopping to grabbing a bite to eat to lingering over an old-fashioned soda fountain concoction.
At the store, a nostalgic view of the past merges with hope for the tiny town of Exline’s future. Exline native Morgan Cline built the store in 2003. Every town needs a gathering place, and the Old Country Store has become that for Exline.
The store’s importance as a gathering place can be seen in the wall full of coffee mugs with their owners’ names underneath. It is also a great place to grab breakfast. The store serves eggs, sausage, bacon, french toast and pancakes.
Eventually Cline added a soda fountain like the one he had worked at on the Centerville square when he was young. Some of the ice cream soda combinations include the cherry blossom — cherry syrup, vanilla ice cream, crushed cherries, carbonated water and whipped cream — and the black cow — root beer and vanilla ice cream. But, as the menu suggests, you can use your imagination to create new combinations.
Many of the menu items feature area names. I tried the Caldwell chicken sandwich, named for the township. It consisted of chicken, pepperjack cheese that gave it a spicy kick, lettuce and tomato on a grilled onion bun with fries for $5.99.
I was particularly intrigued by some of the specialty sundae recipes with cute local names. Next time I make it to Exline I will have to try either the Appanoose Peppermint Twist, — two scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, crushed peppermint, candy cane and mints, or the Morgan Mania — two scoops of vanilla ice cream, red raspberry and blueberry toppings, marshmallow crème, hot fudge and nuts.
Either way, next time I hope the weather is warmer. The rocking chairs on the porch look like a great place to sit outside and enjoy a balmy summer evening.Exline Old Country Store
& Antique Exchange
102 W. Main St., Exline
7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Seven days a week
Summer hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Seven days a week.