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.

Popeye's Soda Shop - Dresden, Ohio

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.popeyes-soda-shop-collage

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.

Side Salad

Side Salad

Hamburger and Fries

Hamburger and Fries

  • 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.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fries

Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Fries

  • Popeye’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich: A juicy grilled chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles.  Served on a multi-grain bun.
Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad

  • 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)
Popeye’s Soda Shop
416 Main Street
Dresden, OH  43821

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10 comments on “Hole in the Wall Review: Popeye’s Soda Shop, Dresden, Ohio

  1. Adam says:

    Is that bacon on the grilled chicken sandwich, or did they leave the skin on?

  2. Chaz says:

    I love these little old-fashioned places. Sort of looks like it has the feel of going back in time some. I like that 50cent sundae with the tiny spoon. Nice touch. Also, great choice on those rolls for the burger and chicken sandwich. I hate when the bun can’t contain the sandwich. The kaiser roll look pretty good. Nice post Heather.

  3. Bear Silber says:

    I’ll like Chaz…I love these types of places…and that Kaiser roll looks awesome!

    How come you didn’t try the Popeye’s Original? All out of slaw?!? Oh man, I woulda been a little upset.

    I like their use of humor with the naming 🙂

  4. I love how lots of times these places carer more about their food than large chains do. The quality and how they put it together to make it appeal to you.

  5. Really old school. I love seeing the old places where I am not being bombarded with TV’s, information, advertisements in the menu etc… A root beer float, patty melt and fries is what I usually go for at the throw back diner.

  6. Heather says:

    @Adam-I actually had the grilled chicken breast sandwich and the chicken is skinless and there isn’t any bacon on it. The chicken is very good, tender and full of flavor.

    @Chaz-Thanks. The one bite sundae is the best. The kaiser rolls are soft and do hold the sandwich together well.

    @Bear-The group that I was with had a “special” reservation for after the restaurant was closed. We could only select between one of the three menu items shown above. I plan to try one of their “signatures” the next time I am in the area.

    @Erin, WIBIA- The staff really made us feel at home. They had real quality food.

  7. Justin says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t been sued by Popeye’s, the chicken place, or the people that own the Popeye character.

    Actually, it depends on who came up with the name first, I guess. I know in East Lansing, MI, Papa John’s has to call itself Papianos or something, because some other business already has the Papa John’s name.

  8. sweetspot says:

    I love the one bite sundae idea. I’m careful of what I eat and don’t eat much so I never get ice cream because I hate wasting and I won’t eat it all. That’s the perfect amount for me.

  9. Becca says:

    Although the ice cream and milkshakes were really quite delicious, nobody in our family liked the hamburgers. They tasted like salty soyburgers. The onion rings were very greasy, and the french fries were cold. The price of the food was outrageous (7.50 for a Wimpy Burger) compared to its poor quality. Our family will not be going back. We put our burgers in boxes and went down the street to Creno’s Pizza, which was absolutely delicious!

  10. Wanda says:

    I got Popeyes Wicked Chicken basket last nite and I was extremely surprised at the amount of chicken that was in there. It was pretty good and well worth the price. I got full and will definitely get it again! 🙂

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