Seriously, the best parts of my childhood have long since been reduced to memories marked by piles of rubble as arcades, fun centers and anything else worth more in nostalgic value than franchise dollars have been decimated in favor of another brand new Starbucks or Walmart. I won't even get started on shopping malls... O how I miss Northland Mall...
Sandusky Soda Pops's, opened in June 2015 by Chad Kresser is part Museum / part Time Capsule, instantly evoking nostalgia allowing you to visit your past just as the DeLorean did for Marty McFly (minus Biff and those head "noogies", thankfully).
(Soda) Fountain Of Youth
The kiddos had never visited a soda fountain and had no idea what it was, when I explained it I got the following goofball responses:
"Is it like the fountain at the park where like pop shoots out the top instead of water? Because if it is I hope it's Dr. Pepper!"
"Is it where grandma hung out with her friends when she was a kid and met pawpaw like a real long time ago? Back when they like umm didn't have bathrooms in their house?"
Sigh, these kids...
However it only took them to see the giant mug shaped sign on the wall to realize, right then Munchie said "Wait .... we can get ROOT BEER FLOATS?!?"😁😁 Sure can Munch! Floats, Shakes, Waffle Cones and Cups.
The kids all got floats except Mj as he ordered a chocolate shake and they all loved them. Unlike the ones they order from Steak N Shake, they actually finished them all (Munch wore a chocolate patch of it in the corner of her mouth for quite awhile after... sadly). I bet the fact they use Toft's Ice Cream makes a big difference. If you're not familiar with Toft's, it's a Sandusky staple and made less than 5 minutes away. The locals swear by it and after tasting it last year, we've been sold.
Did Someone Say ... Sugar!?!?
Close your eyes and imagine Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, Wal-Mart and one of your best memories from the 80's (the best decade ever) combining and having a baby, pretty crazy thought right? Well that's the easiest way to describe Soda Pop's, Every kid and adult will love it (the adults quite possibly even more than the kids)!
I'm telling you we had so much fun looking at all the different types of candy, most which I had totally forgotten about. Munchie ran up with a hand full of Astro Pop's and I lit up, it's been like 20 years since I've seen one of these. Remember "Alf", the fun loving extraterrestrial from Melmack? We found a whole box of Alf trading cards! I kept saying "Hey Willy!" and cracking up as the kids gave me the "You're embarrassing us look"
Paratrooper men (remember the plastic green men you would drop from as high as possible and watch them sail back to earth as the parachute opens? I can't be the only one), Black Cow's, Abba Zabbas, Jaw Breakers (not those small gumball sized ones, i'm talking about the huge ones that would get me in trouble because they would break my braces off), Wacky Wafers, Boston Baked Beans, those little wax bottles with liquid inside, Moon Pie's (Life Hack: Microwave em'... You're welcome) and like literally hundreds of other candies. I even found the legendary "Toblerone" candy bars! Legendary because as a kid I remember staying at the Embassy Suites Hotel and always seeing these in the mini bar tray and my father telling me if I "Eat it, that will be the last thing I ever taste & the last air i'll ever breathe". Seeing that i'm writing this now, you're correct in assuming I never ate it🤣😂.
And I forgot to mention, which by the way I dont know how I did, but Soda Pops can help you with your Taffy withdraw syndrome. In this area you could only find Saltwater Taffy while Cedar Point is in season however while the park is hibernating you can swing over to Soda Pop's and scavenge thru 30+ different flavors!
The Time Capsule
As if stumbling upon a stash of Chuckles & Jimmie Stix wasn't enough of a reason to load up the Flux Capacitor and slide thru the next wormhole destination 1986, the back of Soda Pop's holds yet another reason to go full "Benjamin Button".
"Potsies Closet" is a vintage store within a vintage store and is loaded with T-shirts, games, toys, lunchboxes, you name it. As a fan of both the Florida Marlins & Michigan Wolverines, it was super cool to find both their championship shirts from 1997. Complete your trip down memory lane and bring a pocketful of quarters so you can slap the sticks just like you did as a kid playing the Nintendo classic Track & Field or one of 55 other games on the Multicade machine. On Friday's however stop by for "Free Game Friday" & just as the name implies play for free.
Is It Soda or Pop Around These Parts??
Many things divide us as a country rather it be sports allegiances, fast food favorites, presidential choices or quite possibly the most important, if caffeinated beverages are to be called "Soda" or "Pop". Now you may laugh at the last one, but this is a serious topic that has polarized the nation for as long as Dew has poured from the Mountain tops.
Now you know why this business was named "Soda Pop's", to bring the country together and make us one again (Disclaimer: Chad the owner never told me this nor has anyone else verified it, I simply threw it together as a segway into this new section however it's still a pretty plausible explanation right?).
So like the cool thing here, amongst many other cool things, is in addition to candy you'll also find several of the classic soda's (or pop's) that you grew up with. But the fun and crazy twist here is you'll also find even more soda's you never knew existed (and some you may wish never did). Just to name a few flavors: Buffalo Wing, Rocket Piss Butterscotch, Rowdy Rod Piper Bubble gum, Dinosaur Dung, Butter Soda (Not to be confused with Butter Beer of Harry Potter fame, which they also carry as well), Alien Poop and the kids favorite, the Great Chunky Flavor only found in Barf! Soda.
Debate It In Person
Soda Pop's is a cool place no matter your age and is one of those spots you'll find yourself spending more time at than originally intended. Chad is a very personable guy and you can sense that like many local business owners, his enjoyment derives from seeing others enjoy the trip down memory lane that i'm sure inspired him to open Soda Pop's in the first place.
We don't visit the Shores & Islands region without stopping by and loading up on our favorites, and we highly advise that you make Soda Pop's a regular depot for you as well! While you're there don't forget to leave your pin on the road map.
Visit Soda Pop's on Instagram
Then stop by and explore at:
209 W Water St,
Sandusky, OH 44870