BEST OLD SCHOOL SODA SHOP Phoenix 2006 - MacAlpine's Soda Fountain and Espresso Bar
Established in 1928, MacAlpine's is the closest Valley residents can get anymore to an old-style soda shop. From the black-and-white-checkered tile and the vintage soda signs to the old jukebox packed full of 45s from artists like Petula Clark and The Platters, everything about the joint harks back to the days when Hula-Hoops and waitresses on roller skates were new fads (but, alas, the servers at MacAlpine's do not wear roller skates). The menu is old-school, too, with sodas available in 30-something flavors, from spearmint to wild cherry (and they'll top any of 'em off with whipped cream, too), and traditional American grub like Coney dogs and BLT sandwiches. The story on the menu mentions a rumor that Wayne Newton got his start at MacAlpine's in the '50s, when Lew King walked in and heard Newton singing along to the jukebox and invited him on his variety show, where Jackie Gleason spotted the youngster and started him on his trajectory to Mr. Las Vegas status. Competitors may try to emulate the '50s, but none of them will ever capture the spirit of those years the way MacAlpine's does.