If you haven’t been to Galco’s Soda Pop Stop (located at 5702 York Blvd. in Highland Park), you’d better have a really good excuse. The place is nothing short of wondrous. Housed in a nondescript building that used to be an ordinary grocery store, Galco’s is home to more amazing, marvellous things than I had ever dreamt of, in the form of 450 different kinds of soda pop. They have cucumber soda, and celery soda, and espresso soda, and almost any other flavour of soda pop you could think of, all served up in old-timey glass bottles.
And also, there are at least 34 different varieties of rootbeer available at Galco’s, which is an important fact that I learned last weekend. I was having some of my esteemed colleagues over for a rootbeer tasting party (all the cool kids are doing it) so we headed up to Galco’s the day before to stock up, thinking that maybe there would be a dozen or so different rootbeers, at most, and instead came home with 34. John Nese, the owner of Galco’s, was a total gentleman and insisted on helping us haul our spoils out to the car, and made sure that we’d picked up a bottle of Red Ribbon, one of the hardest rootbeers to find because it’s made with a process that somehow involves dry ice (sounds like mad science to me).
Nese is a fascinating guy who really believes in the importance of small businesses – you can see an interview with him here. And I really recommend going to the Soda Pop Stop as soon as you can – and you should totally try the cucumber soda because it’s amazing. As for the rootbeer tasting party, we only got through eight different varieties before we succumbed to sugar comas, so we’re gearing up for round two this weekend.