(Editor’s Note- Our friends Austin and Lacey at one of our favorite local blogs Oklahoma Dispatch have agreed to let us syndicate some of their content here. Go check out their site, like them on facebook, and just generally give them some love.)
It’s been gray, snowy and cold in Oklahoma for the last couple of days. Not exactly the type of weather one would typically idealize for a road trip, but us Dispatchers are prone to cabin fever (that is unless we’re in an actual cabin) and hitting the road tends to be the only cure.
We’ve mentioned a few of our favorite go-to places when we need a quick getaway, but none come up quite as much as a little place called POPS on Route 66.
The 66 foot toll soda monolith lights up at night…
Ok, so I’m obviously kidding when I call POPS little. Since opening a few years ago on Route 66, POPS has developed itself into one of Oklahoma’s biggest and most widely recognized tourism destinations.
For those not in the loop, POPS is a hyper-modern gas station that carries hundreds and hundreds of different sodas. Everything from the big name standards to the wildly obscure (see the Judge Wapner Root Beer below) can be found stocked in the many coolers within. POPS also houses a restaurant that serves up sandwiches, burgers, salads, and other traditional diner meals.
While these elements could easily play out in a tacky tourist trap fashion, POPS takes every precaution to make sure its name is revered in the highest regard amongst travelers of all kinds. For starters the building itself mixes the old timey Route 66 Americana template typical of Oklahoma, but funnels it through an incredibly modern architecture style that’s not likely to be found at any other gas station (or anywhere else for that matter). The restaurant, which in less competent hands could be treated as an afterthought, is pretty freaking delicious and staffed better than a lot of the high-end eating establishments found in the city. The place is always meticulously kempt, both inside and out and the actual layout of the place is eye-catching, yet tasteful.
While POPS has all of this going for them, the real star of the show is soda. We’re talking root beer, cream soda, fruit flavors, novelty sodas, colas, pretentious sodas, sodas that make you say “huh?”, organic sodas, synthetic sodas, locally made sodas, sodas of every color, creed, shape, size, taste, and variety you can imagine… POPS has it all.
I am a man who certainly appreciates novelty, and POPS has a way of fulfilling that need quite sufficiently.
Rain Man’s favorite soda?
Snacks for the old at heart
As an Oklahoma City resident, POPS more than anything acts as the perfect short term afternoon road trip when a change of scenery is needed. It’s only a twenty minute drive away, and it’s always easy to find someone willing to go with. Everyone comes home full, and has a few crazy treats to take home with them. What more could you ask for?
(c) Austin Tackett and Lacey Elaine Dillard All rights reserved. See Oklahoma Dispatch for original release. Please do not reproduce without Austin or Lacey’s permission.