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Mar 27, 2012 09:05 AM

Lynden's Soda Fountain in St. Paul

Walking out of The Nook last weekend, I noticed that lights were on and construction was happening in the space next door that used to be Kopplin's Coffee.

The windows are painted to announce Lynden's Soda Fountain -- ice cream, shakes, malts. Maybe the posters looking for an old-fashioned ice cream shop and traditional banana splits will have another fine option soon?

A quick internet search shows that City Pages scooped the news last week (pun intended).

No word on whether ice cream will be made in-house, but there's so little square footage that it is really hard to envision.

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  1. According to Dara, the ice cream will come from Madison, Wisconsin’s Chocolate Shoppe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BatMan

      Well, that's a shame. I went to college in Madison and the Chocolate Shoppe ice cream was just terrible. Made Blue Bunny seem like Izzy's. Although maybe it's improved since the mid-90s?

    2. I'd love to be able to get a good egg cream! I usually regard that as one of those things that you only get in NYC. But I'd love to be wrong about that. I hope they go vintage with an old-fashioned soda fountain with a counter, even with the "modern twist" - that would be fun. As a kid my dad would drag me all over creation to visit the last few drug store soda fountains that still existed. He loved those places (he was born in 1910) and now so do I!

      13 Replies
      1. re: turtlebella

        I want a nectar soda like the ones I grew up with in New Orleans. A nectar soda incorporated grenadine syrup, milk and soda water and was served over chopped over ice. You could also have it made as an ice cream soda. What wonderful memories.

        1. re: docfood

          I've never heard of a nectar soda but now I want one too!


          1. re: docfood

            Grenadine? The classic was almond/vanilla extract syrup with red food coloring. Even better when they flavored a snowball with it and then drizzled Eagle condensed milk over it.

            1. re: shadowfax

              I think you're thinking of Orgeat. That is/was almond syrup and is used in Mai Tais. Grenadine used to be made from pomegranate, but now is all artificial.

              1. re: sandylc

                Nope, I'm thinking of nectar sodas from K&B soda fountains in New Orleans. It was a house-made almond and vanilla syrup that they dyed red. It was very popular until the late 70's/early 80's when the last of the K&B's closed. I don't know why they dyed it red - I always assumed it was to mimic hummingbird feeders. I can see where people would be fooled by the color into thinking it was grenadine, but grenadine was not used in a real nectar soda.

                I still make them occasionally (my mother grew up there and gets a kick out of tasting them again) using the old K&B recipe. It's easy: 3 cups sugar, 1.5 cups water. Boil into a simple syrup. Then add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of almond extract, and 1/2 a teaspoon of red food coloring.

                Soda to syrup ratio is 5:1.

                Add a scoop of vanilla to the soda, or pour the syrup over shaved ice and drizzle with condensed milk for the other classic nectar treats.

                1. re: shadowfax

                  Thanks for the real recipe Shadowfax. I always thought K&B used grenadine. Who knew?

                  1. re: shadowfax

                    Back in the day, I used to get nectar sodas and phosphates at Graeter's in Cincinnati (where I grew up). They were as shadowfax describes them. It looks like Graeter's still serves them.

                    Lyden's website shows egg creams, but no nectar.

            2. re: turtlebella

              Have you tried St. Paul Corner Drug? It is small, but accurate!

              1. re: gryffindor249

                I went to St Paul Corner Drug recently. It may be an old soda fountain from 1920, but the place generally lacked charm and worst of all, the phosphates were not good at all.

                1. re: gryffindor249

                  I have often thought about stopping there but am generally always in a rush with no time... have to MAKE time... May be I will stay away from the phosphates and try something else...

                2. re: turtlebella

                  maybe an egg cream tastes different in a retro nyc soda fountain... and it wouldn't be "right" in a grungy hipster mpls coffeehouse... but you can get an egg cream at caffetto.

                    1. re: soupkitten

                      You can also get an egg cream at Cecil's in St. Paul. I can't speak to the taste because I always end up getting a phosphate, but might be worth a try.

                  1. Has anyone been there recently? I went a couple of times a month ago. The ice cream and drinks are wonderful, but the service (particularly from a young women who didn't want to be there) was not good. There are a couple of servers who seem friendly, but this young woman was rude to us and others. It's too bad. Poor service can sink a startup restaurant.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Tmorrow

                      I heard the same thing about the service, only in reference to a young man who was more interested in whatever he was doing on his iPad. Good luck.