Galco's Soda Store
I'd seen this place on Food TV, and read about it here and elsewhere, but yesterday was my first actual in person visit. What a cool little treasure of a store.
Galco's Soda Pop Stop (5702 York Blvd, in Highland Park, (323) 255-7115, (http://www.sodapopstop.com/home.cfm), is essentially a small grocery store that is devoted to nothing but bottled and canned soda and beer. Every exotic beverage you have ever heard of, and many that you haven't, are on sale here. Aisle after aisle of small batch ginger ales, cherry lime concoctions, odd cola beverages, unusual diet sodas and other interesting brews are there for you to peruse. They have a good selection of chilled bottles, too, so you can try stuff on site, and one whole aisle is devoted to exotic bottled beers. (They carry Arrogant Bastard products, btw.) Got a chance to speak briefly with the owner, and he is a true believer. (Told us about how they had been able to resurrect, and now stock, some of the earliest, non-carbonated bottled sodas that had been sold in the US. during the 1920's and 30's.) Everything is available by the single bottle or in four or six packs, and they have hundreds of types of soda. We ended up spending $50 and coming away with almost two cases of interesting looking single bottles of various different brews, including a bottle or two of my childhood favorite, Bubble Up, a bottle of Reed's Cherry Ginger Brew, some Frosties's Blue Cream Soda (which is, delightfully, the exact color of Windex), Cool Mountain Gourmet Razzberry soda, Pennsylvania Punch (micro-crafted!), Nuky Rose Soda, Moxie Cream Soda, Goya Tamarind Soda, and several varieties of cherry limeade, root beer, diet black cherry soda (die schlanke Linie, don't you know), and at least a dozen different types of ginger ale. So much fun!
Galco's is going to be my regular circuit from now on. And conveniently, it's right down the block from El Arco Iris (5684 York Blvd., (323) 254-3401), so I can scratch two itches with one, slightly long, highly caloric, weekday lunchtime field trip from downtown.
While Galco's is great, there are two caveats:
It's not cheap. You do pay full retail and then some. However there is a 10% discount when buying a case.
For some unexplained reason, they're pretty rigid on what they stock. They will NOT stock any domestic canned sodas, meaning that you won't find something as wonderful Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge there. Nor will they take requests if they fall out of their business principles.
We love this place -- every time we go, the owner pops by to offer assistance, and he really knows his stuff (and is just plain nice as pie). He has the makings for "Berliner Kindl Weisse," a very low-alcohol German beer that is mixed with raspberry syrup, delicious and impossible to find.
Don't forget the aisle of hard-to-find candies.
Galco is a walk down memory lane and a total treasure. I used to live in the 'hood and enjoy shopping for vintage soda and candy after a meal at Arco Iris.
Now all I can think of is Ting and Abba Zabba! Your post has me salivating like Pavlov's dog.
This is a real neat place, I go every now and then for my fix of Bubble Up. And the owner's daughter is a real hottie!
I agree that prices are on the high side but without much, if any competition, he can almost name his price.
I love their selection of root beer and ginger ale.
The sandwiches are decent.