Pops – Quirky Route 66
Pops – a must visit spot on Quirky Route 66
Road trips are a great way to see a country. Leave time to stop for snacks, gas, and stretching everyone’s legs. Also, plan for some fun stops to explore the quirkier side of the United States.
Just north of Oklahoma City, in the small town of Arcadia, is a gas station called Pops. Opened in 2007, it is a retro-themed cafe, store, and gas station located on historic Route 66.
This fabulous retro cafe has a soda pop theme. You can’t miss the spot as you’ll see the 66-foot tall soda bottle statue long before you get there. This cool statue weighs 4 tons and is lit up at night.
Inside, POps has an inventory of 700 types of soda flavors. By them off the shelf or from the refrigerator. We each chose a few flavors and then had a taste test. Our favorite? Hippo Blackberry! Our least favorite? Bacon. Our description? Well, it isn’t that bad, but it isn’t that good either.
The cafe serves hamburgers, shakes, and fries. It was a real treat to have fried okra. It was REALLY good- just like my grandmother used to make Thank heavens vacation calories don’t count or I surely would have gained a few pounds just from this treat alone!
The main POPs location and statue:
660 W. Route 66
Store hours: daily 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
Restaurant hours: daily 10:30 am to 9:00 pm
Breakfast served weekends only – Saturday and Sunday 7:00 – 10:30 am
Smaller POPs location:
6447 Avondale Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Monday – Thursday 10:30 am – 8:00 pm
Friday 10:30 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Quirky Route 66 – The name Pops
It would make perfect sense that a store that sells more than 700 types of soda pops would be called Pops, right? As reasonable as that sounds, it isn’t true. The owner named the store after his father whom he called Pops.
Quirky Route 66 – Most popular flavor soda at Pops
The most popular category of soda flavor here is….rootbeer! We aren’t surprised really because we love rootbeer, too and we sampled several of the 80+ varieties of root beer. We really liked Earp’s original Sasparilla from Orka Beverage, Inc.
Even though rootbeer is the most popular category of soda it isn’t the most popular in terms of the amount sold. Pops sells more Dublin Dr. Pepper than any other soda. This soda hails from Waco, Texas (Also home to Baylor University. Go Bears!)
Quirky Route 66 – The World’s Largest Soda Bottle Statue at Pops
The steel soda bottle statue weighs 4 tons and was created nearby in Oklahoma City at W & W Steel company. It was delivered in one piece. I can just imagine seeing that thing going down the road on the back of a truck!
Quirky Route 66 – Admire the Collection
Two walls of the store/restaurant are lined with glass shelves and on these many shelves are many bottles. Rows and rows and rows of soda bottles with the light shining through is actually a colorful and pretty sight. Check out this photo I took looking up from underneath at the table where we had lunch.
I told the kids we should each choose 5 sodas and then sample them. What fun we had!! We were especially interested in the one named “Brain Wash” until we heard it contains jalapeno juice. Just the word jalapeno has my mouth aflame so I said no way.
Thankfully the bottles on display are glued to the shelves which explains how perfectly ordered they are. This also keeps them from getting broken because you can reach the lower shelves and I’m sure many a person has tried to pick on up and examine.
They are also sparkly clean and I mean PERFECTLY clean. With that much sun coming in the glass window with glass shelves and glass bottles you couldn’t hide dust. They keep them that way by dusting two shevles at every single shirt just working their way around the store.
Quirky Route 66: Explore the Flavors
With more than 700 soda flavors you can expect some fun names and crazy flavors!
Some of the strangest flavors we saw:
Ranch Dressing (I like ranch dressing but couldn’t bring myself to try it.)
Teriyaki Beef Jerky
Quirky Route 66: Food
This nostalgic cafe has some really cool nostalgic food. Come hungry as the portions are big and in addition to trying all the soda flavors you’ll want a shake! They make a wide variety of shakes – choose the ice cream and the soda for it. There are lots of possibilities but I can’t imagine better than a root beer float.
Now, just look at his mouth-watering photo of fried okra with my hamburger. OK, it isn’t really a hamburger – it is a veggie burger. I’m not a vegetarian but I wanted to try it since the kids had burgers.
Quirky Route 66 – Souvenirs
We love a souvenir and I always buy key chains. I use them as ornaments for our Christmas travel tree! They are small, lightweight, inexpensive and really easy to find. Sometimes I buy two and then hang one on my gym bag because….well, why not?
But, the very best souvenir here is a bottle opener! We decided to bring back to the hotel some bottles so dad could give them a try and we needed a bottle opener.
The shirts are fun, too, with a picture of the large soda bottle on the back. They come in really fun colors.
Quirky Route 66 – Who started Pops
So, who is the brainchild behind this great idea that is Pops? None other than
Route 66 is a great place to meander and explore. You’ll find so many historic, quaint and beautiful spots along the way. You’ll also find some pretty unique and wacky stuff, too!
COMING SOON – Read all about Route 66: What is the big deal, anyway?
No matter where your road trip takes you, you’ll want peace and serenity in the back seat. Check out these fun and educational activities to keep the kiddos happy!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist