Hole in the Wall Review: Popeye’s Soda Shop, Dresden, Ohio
This is not your ordinary Popeye’s. Located in heart of Dresden, Ohio, this little restaurant was originally opened in 1963 by Dave Longaberger, the founder of the Longaberger Basket Company. It was originally named the Midway Dairy Bar. People kept calling it by Dave’s nickname, Popeye’s, so the name became Popeye’s Dairy Bar. In 1981, the restaurant was sold so that Dave could finance his basket company. It re-opened in May of 1990 in its current location as Popeye’s Soda Shop.
As you walk through the door, you are transformed back to the 1950’s. The restaurant is set up as an old time soda shop with bright colors. Teal, pink and white cover the chairs and some of the other decor along with black and white checkers. Some of the displays include old 45’s, classic pictures and a large gumball machine. The layout is very spacious with tables in the middle and booths surrounding the outside perimeter. The back of the restaurant has a small bar with bar stools where you can drool over their delicious desserts which are made fresh and changed up each day.
Popeye’s Soda Shop Menu consists of your normal soda shop fare. Baskets of fries, sweet potato fries and their signature onion rings made with their homemade batter are available. You’ll also find soups, salads, sides, cold sandwiches, burgers and chicken sandwiches and desserts. Some notable items you’ll come across:
- The “Popeye’s Orginial” (Thinly sliced ham stacked on a Kaiser roll. Served with a cup of homemade bean soup and cornbread with red pepper relish on the side. Price: $8.00)
- “Wimpy Burger” (Two juicy hamburger patties smothered with our own special sauce and melted American cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. Served on a Kaiser roll. Price: $7.25).
Everything on the menu is under $10.00. They normally serve their coleslaw with your meal, but they were out the day we visited, so they substituted a side salad or applesauce. The orders at our table were a side salad, Popeye’s Hamburger, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and the Grilled Chicken Salad.
- Popeye’s Hamburger: A 6 oz. hot and juicy beef patty right off the grill topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles. Served on a Kaiser roll.
- Popeye’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich: A juicy grilled chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles. Served on a multi-grain bun.
- Popeye’s Grilled Chicken Salad: A bed of salad greens, topped with slices of grilled chicken, parmesan cheese and croutons. Served with crackers and your choice of dressing.
Popeye’s has a famous sundae called the “One-Bite Sundae”. The One-Bite Sundae is described as “A Miniature sundae topped with chocolate, whipped cream and sprinkles.” You may think that this isn’t very big for a sundae, but the trick is that it comes with a mini spoon. Taking the mini bites helps make it feel as though you are eating a regular sized sundae. See the picture below, the sundae compared to a glass of tea. This is a great sundae for those wanting to indulge yet are still watching their weight. The One-Bite Sundae will only set you back $0.50.
Although times have changed, the great food and fun atmosphere that Dave created 40 years ago continues. If you are ever in the Dresden area, stop by to experience this wonderful flashback to the 50’s. Popeye’s Soda Shop is worth the stop.
- Recommendations: The Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich, Any Burger, Grilled Chicken Salad, The One Bite Sundae
- Food: 7.25/10
- Menu Variety: 8.00 /10
- Atmosphere: Casual/Family
- Price: $$ Moderate $7.01-$14.00
- GrubGrade: 7.50/10 (Good)