Rocket Fizz Red Licorice Soda, one of many flavors offered. Photo by Brent Fuchs.

[dropcap]It’s[/dropcap] the stuff of children’s dreams: a soda ranch. More than 600 different brands and flavors of soda, most jewel-colored, packed in cases, lining walls, enticing, silently calling, “Drink me.”

It is indeed a child’s dream come true at POPS, a gas station, restaurant and, yes, soda ranch located along Route 66 in tiny Arcadia, Okla., just east of Edmond. The large, neon glow of the 66-foot-tall soda bottle alerts passersby of what waits through the doors of the retro-yet-modern building that houses POPS.

Pops’ famous soda bottle statue lights up the night. Photo by Brent Fuchs.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the restaurant. Classic diner favorites like eggs and bacon, burgers, chicken fried steak and chicken bites comprise the bulk of the menu. Hand-dipped shakes provide a flourish at the end of any meal.

But it’s the soda selection that’s the real experience. Flavors like watermelon, pomegranate, kiwi, green apple, blueberry, orange, butterscotch, cherry, raspberry-rhubarb, pineapple, mango, peach, grape and every type of cola and root beer one can imagine call to thirsty passersby.

There are also soda flavors for the adventurous: Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Soda is flavored like the vegetable it’s named for; Avery’s Dog Drool may sound like a byproduct of the family dog, but is flavored with citrus fruit; Lester’s Fixins makes several food-flavored sodas, including the Buffalo Wing and Ranch Dressing sodas, both of which POPS carries; and Cookie Dough Bites Chocolate Chip soda makes for a tasty, if somewhat strange, dessert. 660 Highway 66, Arcadia. www.route66.com

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