Greenville SC

Northgate Soda Shop (Downtown Greenville)

By: Where?...Never Heard of It...Guy


Hours of Operation: M-F 11A-8P, Sa 11A-3P

Location: 918 N. Main St.


Menu items consumed: Cherry Pepsi, Hot Dog (Homemade Chili, Mustard, and Onions), Slaw Dog

So as of a couple months ago I had no clue any soda shops were in Greenville...lo and behold, there are 2 and I just lived under a culinary rock. Well, now I have been to both (the only 2 there are in the radius…I think). Firstly the outside of this one definitely seems a little older and rundown…like, it’s original and part of its charm is a lack of updating it (to each their own…even if each's own is wrong). However upon entering this one I noticed the cool choice of playlist overt the speakers as they were blasting 90s [mostly alternative] music...different but cool.

When they say “Soda Shop” they definitely mean “Shop” here as this was like a soda fountain version of Cracker Barrel’s Old Country Store…except the dining tables are in the CENTER of it all…ya know, making a human feel a bit out of place. However it did have that super cool small town feel (tables were older wooden with the vintage feel that befit the setting with items like wooden handmade sailboat models sitting near the tables...even if there was more dust on the boats than the top of the ceiling fan your the living room during the winter...and don't act like there's not, we all know it's true) but at the same time the cramped feel is not the part of the small town that I necessarily enjoy. Upon entering it was also vague whether we were supposed to seat ourselves, wait for someone, or creepily lure and/or loiter (a little of all of these perhaps?) so I stood at the bar top looking at the menu board overhead and awaiting direction (while PRETENDING to just try to check what they had…see how I played that level of social awkwardness off? Yeah, pretty stealthy, I know). A lady kindly enough instructed my friend and I to grab a seat wherever we would like, out of all 6 or so tables that were in the building. The service was kind and small town down-home feel but also for what is ordered here not a lot of service is required. I will say that she, our server, was ready to refill my drink when it was still half full…refilling as much and as often as she would be allowed. In service summation we quickly sat, the server quickly came to take drink orders, we quickly told her we weren’t quite ready, she quickly returned, and I quickly ordered a Cherry Pepsi and two hot dogs…and in what seemed like 5 minutes (perhaps it was less) both hot dogs were ready, delivered, and quickly consumed. This was, though, my second lunch of the day so I was quite full by the end of it but even so the hot dogs were pretty good. It used to seem that hot dogs are all about the toppings but the toppings are only half the battle as the softness of the bun and quality of the dog are clearly vital as well. This bun was nice and soft while the hot dogs seemed like the generic wiener that scares a child when the lunch lady pulls it from one the boiling vat of tepid lukewarm-at-best-temperature-Crockpot-water of bacteria-filled-grossness (that’s 1 way to kick an appetite into action, am I right?). While it wasn’t bad the quality of the actual dog definitely lacked, yet also was something you would probably, to a certain extent, expect in a setting like a soda shop. The most disappointing factor was that I was looking so much forward to having a glass bottle or something vintage or throwback when it came to what container in which my soda was to be served but instead was given a cheap white Styrofoam cup...ugh.

All-in-all if you’re looking for an old-school soda shop feel I could think of a better one than you can find here (despite a rather haughty and presumptuous sign of "THE Soda Shop" on the building), but if you’re looking for one closest in proximity and you’re in the Northgate area this Soda Shop is not a bad choice for your vehicle back in time.

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