Come cool off with us for a fun and refreshing Soda Pop Tasting with the King of Pop, John Nese, owner of GALCO'S SODA POP STOP (as seen on Visiting with Huell Howser #800 (2000) & #1602 (2008)
Date: Sunday, June 30, 2013
Time: Soda Pop Tasting 11:00 am then lunch at 12:00 pm
Parking: Free at Galco's Parking Lot or free street parking if the lot is full
Cost: Pop Tasting is FREE
Lunch: budget $5-$15 (Galco's Deli can make an assortment of sandwiches such as meatball, French dip, hot turkey, hot pastrami but they're most famous for their "Blockbuster" Footlong Sub which boxing legend, Rocky Marciano nicknamed after eating the sandwich. 8" sandwiches start around $4.50; footlongs $9.00, plus there are chips, candies and of course lots of soda flavors to choose from!)
We've arranged to have a fun, private soda pop tasting with owner, John Nese, who will surprise us with a variety of pop flavors from small, independent bottlers. Galco's was established in 1897 and has been family-owned and operated ever since. They offer over 750 different soda pops from bottlers all across the country and around the world. From Pennsylvania Punch to Australian Gingerbeer to a variety of Root Beers, Black Cherries, Creams and Sarsaparillas to different flavors made from cucumber, lavender and rose petals. And of course, classics like Bubble Up, Cheerwine, Crush and Faygo. John knows the history behind every bottle and brand he sells and will gladly answer questions and share any facts he can. This is a true, family-run business and the fact that it's survived for well over 100 years is a testament to the passion and love John and his family brings to the business.
After the tasting, we will place our lunch order (again, we recommend trying Galco's famous "Blockbuster" sandwich but there are other sandwich selections available to choose from) then browse around the store and feel free to take home a variety of soda pop flavors (you can purchase individual bottles - don't have to get a six pack of the same flavor!) for friends and family to try or stock up for your Fourth of July bbq! And don't forget to check out Galco's famous old time candies section loaded with your favorites from around the country!
We will eat lunch on the private back patio where John will then share a few personal memories and stories of Huell who would often frequent his store over the years. This is going to be a fun way to spend a Sunday morning and a great way to support a local, family-owned business. We hope to see you there!
Galco's began as a small, Italian grocery store in Los Angeles, California. It has been family-owned and operated for over one-hundred and sixteen years. Although the focus of the store has changed to soda pop and beer from around the world, they still maintain their Italian deli and continue to make their famous "Blockbuster" sandwiches fresh daily.
The passion for soda began when John F. Nese was a child. His father's best friend owned a soda pop bottling plant where John loved to visit in the 1950's. In 1995 John began increasing his assortment of sodas not only out of love, but also as a protest to some of the larger soda companies that were not offering him the same prices as his larger competitors. He figured why not support other small businesses such as his own?
It took a few years, but the idea finally caught on! People started journeying from far away places to get a look at the store with over 750 different sodas. Galco's then appeared on PBS's "Visiting with Huell Howser" (not once but twice!), the Food Channel's "Unwrapped" series and German Television to name a few. They have also appeared in Sunset Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The LA Weekly, The Tokyo Times and various other newspaper features. He has also been a guest on the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting System. John's love of history and trivia extends to his sodas. People who visit the retail store are impressed with his ability to share an interesting fact about any soda of interest.