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Having a Sock Hop at the Soda Shop

May 9, 2013



Remember the ice cream parlors of yesteryear? The chrome siding on the shops, the plethora of pinks, reds, and whites dancing through each piece of machinery and equipment, just the thought of it can change any adult into a kid again. But now those soda shops, diners and drive-ins have taken on a new face. The counters have traded their lacquer for laminate, the chrome stools have now turned into heavy wooden chairs, and their menus have gone from burgers to wraps.


If you’re tired of cheap knock-offs of fountain shops and you’re ready to bring back the sounds of whip cream cartridges hissing and burgers sizzling, then there are a few things you will need to get started.


First thing is first; you’ll need a good grill.  All the patty melts, burgers, and specialty grilled cheese you’ll be making will require a sturdy grill that can be used for years to come. While you can buy one brand new, for a start up it is best to buy one from a local restaurant that is closing. They are cheaper and it may cost you less to take it from one place to another than it would be to have a new one mailed to you.


Then you will need a fryer. Some of the best food from diners, drive-ins, and fountain shops were from the fryer. These should also be bought used too. They are often much cheaper and still work as well as they did when they were first purchased. While used machinery may not last forever, they will last long enough for you to make a profit in your soda shop and you can buy a brand new one.


But what would a fountain shop be without dessert? To make all the banana splits, milkshakes, floats, and pies you will need some equipment. Most of it you should be able to get used along with the fryer and grill but some of it will require a trip to restaurant supply store. Pieces such as a Mosa whipped cream dispenser or NO2 cartridges will require some thought. While ice cream makers are somewhat similar and all pies should be handmade, a whipping cream cartridge can differ depending on brand and purpose. A good nitrous oxide charger can be a wise investment but be sure it is meant for a diner instead of a fine dining restaurant. Some dispensers will have whipped cream that is thicker while those who attend your grand opening sock hop will want whipped cream that is airy and light.


Before you decide to open a real swell diner for all the cool cats to hang out in, be sure that you have all the equipment and even a glass soda siphon if you have some money left over. With a lot of work and some ladies on roller skates it will surely be a success.


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