You may be familiar with its iconic 66-foot soda bottle, but can you guess how long it takes to clean the floor-to-ceiling glass shelves? Whether you are a first-time visitor or a regular customer, here are five interesting facts to know about this popular stop on Route 66. We got the inside scoop from POPS staff—and now we are sharing it with you.
POPS is a must-see Oklahoma landmark in its own right. This ultramodern gas station showcases thousands of colorful soda pop bottles. In addition, POPS includes a popular restaurant featuring a traditional soda fountain, mouth-watering burgers and hand-dipped milk shakes that serves approximately 475,000 people each year.
To learn more about this popular tourist attraction, we spoke with with POPS General Manager Marty Doepke to get answers to some interesting questions about the venue’s history, best-selling sodas and more.
Fact #1: It’s NOT actually named after soda
Have you always assumed that the name POPS is inspired by the more than 650 types of soda pop featured in the building? If so, think again! The name POPS is actually a tribute bestowed by the owner for his own father, whom he affectionately calls “Pops.”
Fact #2: the most popular sodas
With more than 600 choices of bottled beverages, are you curious as to what the most popular flavor might be? And what specific soda has been sold the most in POPS history? Wonder no more! “Dublin Dr Pepper is our best selling soda ever,” Marty reveals. “And root beer is the number one flavor sold overall, with more than 80 varieties available.” And speaking of root beer, POPS’ own Round Barn Root Beer is a proprietary house blend that is available only in Arcadia.
Fact #3: The Weirdest Sodas
If you’ve ever browsed the shelves at POPS, you might have noticed bacon-flavored or peanut butter-flavored sodas. Interested in knowing which one Marty would consider to be the weirdest? “There are too many in the running for most unusual,” he explains. “But some of the top contenders would be Beefdrinker’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky Soda or Lesters Fixins’ Ranch Dressing Soda. We also feature sodas with some pretty unusual names, including Avery’s Kitty Piddle or Pimple Pop. There are some unusual fruit sodas, too, including Sioux City Prickly Pear and Hot Lips Marionberry.”
And POPS sodas truly come from all over the world. “In terms of soda that has traveled the farthest distance, we feature Bundaberg sodas from Australia,” Marty adds. POPS features sodas from 13 different countries, including Austria, Italy, England, El Salvador, Brazil, Lebanon, Canada, Jamaica and Mexico.
Fact #4: How much does a gigantic, light-up soda bottle weigh?
Every night, the 66-foot tall soda bottle structure lights up with hundreds of LED lights, twinkling in an array of colors and patterns. But how did the signature soda bottle and straw come to reside outside the building? “The outside soda bottle weighs over four` tons and was delivered in one piece,” Marty shares. “It was made by WW Steel in OKC and took an entire day to bring it from downtown to Arcadia.”
Fact #5: How long does it take to clean all those shelves?
If you struggle to keep your shelves dusted at home, just imagine the daunting task facing POPS staff. With dozens of glass shelves lining the walls all around the building and hundreds of bottles of soda artistically arranged on those shelves, keeping them clean is a year-round job. But just how long does it take to clean the shelves at POPS?
“Roughly two weeks.,” Marty says. “Restaurant staff are assigned two shelves to clean each shift, excluding weekends. It’s all monitored on our shelf chart. Once the chart is filled, we start over again.”
POPS is located northeast of Oklahoma City and approximately five miles east of Edmond, at 660 W. Highway 66. The store is open daily from 6:00am–10:00pm and lunch and dinner are served from 10:30am–9:00pm. Breakfast is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00am–10:30am.
While you are visiting POPS, be sure to take in another interesting attraction. found just down the road. Arcadia’s Round Barn (107 E. Highway 66, Arcadia; www.arcadiaroundbarn.com) was originally built in 1898 and has become one of the most photographed landmarks on Route 66. More than 100 years old, the restored barn is 60’ in diameter and two stories tall. A gift shop on the bottom floor offers Round Barn t-shirts, Route 66 memorabilia and other souvenirs.The barn is open seven days per week from 10:00am–5:00pm and admission is free.
For more information, call 405-928-7677 or visit www.route66.com.