Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Bar

Pops Ice Cream and Soda Bar.

Within the Shenandoah Valley is the city of Roanoke. Within the city of Roanoke is a community named Grandin Village. And there in the village is an eclectic little shop named Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Bar.

Pops Ice Cream and Soda Bar.

After spending the day with Nicole Cooper (Instagram: Nicole.on.the.go) playing at the Hidden Valley Golf Course and Country Club, Nicole takes us to Grandin Village for lunch. As we finish, she mentions some “must see” stores and shops, one of which is Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Bar. We say our goodbyes, we take her advice, and head straight over to Pop’s for dessert.

As soon as you make eye contact, it’s rewarding. You are transported in time with architecture that makes you feel you may be in Mid-Century Europe. The stone building with its colorful blue windows and a large green door are so inviting that they have a hint of Willy Wonka’s factory, luring you in. Signs suggest double-rich milkshakes and ice cream sodas.

Pops Ice Cream and Soda Bar.

The inside is even more magical than the exterior. Several wooden booths and tables are located off to the right. Happy-green paint layers the walls, and a “soda bar” stands with stools to the left. Ripening bananas hang on the walls along with comic books, games, paintings, and knick-knacks, all strategically located for customers to enjoy. In some ways it feels like a museum or time capsule taking you back to when life was a little simpler and less stressful.

Pops Ice Cream and Soda Bar.

Behind the soda bar is a friendly, mustached man named Steven Morris. Steven and his wife Jennifer are the owners and live nearby, here in Grandin Village. He explains with a school across the street and a theater and restaurants nearby, Pop’s can get rather busy—and that’s how they like it. Steven explains that they have all kinds of games and activities that allow the regulars and visitors to feel invited, making Pop’s a local and beloved hangout.

We kept things simple with one scoop of ice cream on a waffle cone. Creamy and delicious. We hear about all the different choices for our next visit and review the colorful chalkboard of options on the wall, including homemade soups and grilled cheese sandwiches. Steven pulls out an interesting hybrid guitar/ukulele from under the counter and plays as he talks about various bands he’s been involved with, as well as his wife’s talent for starting restaurants. They seem to be the perfect couple to run such a fun and inviting establishment.

So when you make it down (or up) the Valley to Roanoke, make sure to seek out Grandin Village—and save time to spend at Pop’s Ice Cream and Soda Shop! In this hidden Southern gem, you can relax and savor something very special that is definitely one of a kind.

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