Pops lures thirsty travelers

Thursday, December 27th 2007, 5:34 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther, INsite Team

ARCADIA - A soda drinker's Mecca lies in Arcadia, Okla.

"Our signature is the fizz," said Marty Doepke, general manager of Pops.

On any given day thirsty travelers can select from almost 500 different kinds of soda at Pops restaurant and shake shop. Flavors range from root beer to banana to even celery. A giant 66-foot-high pop bottle calls Route 66 travelers off the road for a sip. The enormous steel bottle rests outside the Pops gas station and is a Route 66 landmark. But it's the hundreds and hundreds of pop bottles inside that really make patrons stop at Pops 66.

"We don't sell as much gas as we expected, but the food and soda--they've been incredible," Doepke said. "There's nothing that sits for very long, everything sells."

Since Pops 66 opened in August, it has sold more than 200,000 bottles of soda. Doepke estimates the Mecca soda shop sells between a few hundred to a 1,000 bottles per day.

"If it runs out, you know really really quick," Pops employee Kevin England said. "We have to keep it stocked all the time."  

From Japan to California,  Pops' customers come from across the world to sample the sodas. When first-time visitor James Smith picked a soda he took a trip back in time.

"I like anything that's reminiscent of old Route 66 because I'm old enough to remember when that was the only way (to travel) west."