Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Highland Park has been getting some major press. Not only did the September 4th episode (“Snack Food Tech”) of Modern Marvels on The History Channel feature the 109 year old store, but today’s edition of The New York Times covered it as well (link via LA Observed):
The 10,000-square-foot shop still looks like a timeworn Italian deli, down to the chipped linoleum and faded 1950’s sign out front. But the half-dozen aisles are now lined with 500 varieties of soda and 425 of beer, both new and long forgotten. Among the most eye-popping are Manhattan Special Espresso Coffee Soda, a mud-like drink loaded with caffeine; Red Ribbon Cherry Supreme, which is neon pink; and Jamaica’s Hot Hot Hot, a pale ginger beer so spicy that it almost burns your lips. Most are packaged in old-fashioned glass bottles and cost between $1.75 and $3.
Several exotic brands hail from distant shores — Sangaria Ramune, a melon-flavored Japanese soda with a marble in the bottle; and Kolashampan, a cream soda from El Salvador. The obscure beers are also imported, including Grozet Gooseberry Wheat Ale from Glasgow ($5.99) and a four-pack of Duchesse de Bourgogne Flemish red ale ($17.95).
Whenever possible, Mr. Nese tries to carry sodas with natural ingredients. Nuky Rose Soda from Florida, for example, is made from crushed rose petals; Plantation Style Mint Julep from Pennsylvania is flavored with real mint; and Nesbitt’s Orange has telltale orange zests at the bottom of the bottle.
You’ll find Coke and Pepsi, too, but the cola is made in Mexico, where independent bottlers still use real sugar, as opposed to high-fructose corn syrup.
(Photo courtesy of Stephanie Diani / The New York Times.)