I know this is going to be a fun stop on Route 66 just outside Arcadia, Oklahoma, when I spy a 66-foot pop bottle on the horizon. Getting closer I can see it stands in front of an uber-modern structure with gas pumps in front. I have never seen a gas station like this, but upon closer inspection, I realize the attraction here is inside where more than 600 kinds of soda pop are for sale and a restaurant offering American cuisine is hopping with customers.
This is Pops, the brain child of Aubrey McClendon and designed by architect Rand Elliott. Opening in 2007, it quickly becomes a tourist attraction.
The motto here? Food, Fuel, Fizz! The atmosphere? Fun!
Glass walls lean in over the restaurant and retail area supporting shelving with hundreds of soda bottles arranged by color glistening in the midday sun.
On the store side of Pops is a cooler the length of one wall. Six-pack cartons enable customers to pick and choose from a rainbow of flavors from Guava and Kiwi to Cookies & Cream and Zombie Brain Juice. If it exists, you’re more than likely going to find it here.
There is simply something fun about finding a unique flavor and enjoying it while taking a break at one of the picnic tables out back.
So, if you’re ever cruising down Route 66 in the heart of Oklahoma and spy a pop bottle on the horizon, make time for a look-see at this new American roadside attraction.
If you go:
Pops is northeast of Oklahoma City, just east of Edmond at 660 W. Highway 66, in Arcadia; 877-266-POPS (7677); www.Pops66.com.
Oklahoma City tourism information: 800-225-5652; www.VisitOKC.com.