In 1998, Ron and Marcia Hughes opened Soda Pop’s Antique Store in the 1911 Miami Townsite Building built by a Miami founding father, Cleve Van Dyke. The building housed Nader’s Emporium clothing store and next door housed a cigar store and a Western Union.
Because of their love of historic buildings and a passion to recreate all that history has to offer, the Hughes saw the potential of realizing their dream for an antique store and a 1900’s era soda fountain so they bought the building
Sixteen years ago—by accident or by luck—when the Hughes opened Soda Pop’s Antiques, they purchased a beautiful original soda fountain counter and back bar from a client in the antique business who could no longer use it because of its size.
The counter had been shipped in 1909 by rail from a Chicago manufacturer to Glendale Pharmacy—a long-time gathering place for merchants and citizens. A similar counter from the same manufacturer ended up in the former Upton’s Pharmacy building on Live Oak in Miami.
Almost two years ago, after much prodding from local friends, business owners and antique store customers, the Hughes began the restoration process on the other half of their building in order to house their soda fountain. The inside of the building had to be totally gutted and a tin copper painted ceiling was installed. The tile was laid, which included copper inserts, and the walls were painted. The booths were reconstructed from a recently closed well-known restaurant in Phoenix.
Ron and Marcia’s goal was to make it as true to the 1914 era as possible. Ron is a skilled craftsman and restores most of the antiques you find in Soda Pop’s Antiques. He took on the painstaking renovation, and —with some help from a very good friend, Larry Sullivan, towards the end of the job—was able to complete the job this year.
Having spent the last 25 years traveling and scouring the countryside for items for Soda Pop’s Antiques, along with soda fountain memorabilia, they were able to accumulate all the items now on display in the newly opened 1914 soda fountain. The extra-large Coke sign was purchased in Minneapolis, MN; the 7Up sign is from California; the upper coke windows are from Seattle, WA; the beautiful mission style back bar came out of Iowa City, Iowa; and, lastly, the oak cooler is from the meat market in Superior, AZ.
The Hughes’ dream for the Miami Townsite Building finally came to fruition when Soda Pops Soda Fountain opened on September 6 of this year. A grand opening is planned for late October and private parties are being booked now, also.
Ron and Marcia have one wish—that, during your visit to Soda Pops, you enjoy your walk back in time as much as they have enjoyed creating their dream!
Although in the same building, there are two separate entrances—Soda Pop’s Antiques is at 505 W. Sullivan Street and is open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or by appointment). Soda Pop’s Soda Fountain is at 503 W. Sullivan Street and is currently open Friday to Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 928-473-4344 or 480-839-4794 for more information.
Checking Out the New Soda Fountain
by Barb Stillman
Once we heard that Soda Pop’s Soda Fountain was finally dispensing delightful treats, my sister Phyllis and I had to drive over to Miami and check it out!
The historically accurate soda fountain looks amazing! Every detail has been perfectly restored and it invites visitors to step back into an earlier time. It is not an exaggeration to say that Ron is a ‘craftsman extraordinaire’ and Marcia is happy to boast—rightfully so—about his workmanship. This man can probably fix and restore just about anything!
With its antique tiles carefully replaced, the fountain’s counter is quite large, seating fifteen. The booths came from a TGI Friday’s restaurant in Phoenix. The ceiling has been tiled in the same copper style used in most of the buildings built around the Miami-Globe area ‘back in the day.’ Antique stained glass, found on a trip back to the Midwest, is carefully framed and hangs over the entrance to the back hallway.
There is a huge selection and variety of soda pop, all in vintage bottles, reminiscent from years past. The menu offers just about any kind of ice cream treat you can imagine, and a bin is filled with vintage candies. A jukebox is in the corner ready to ‘get the joint hopping’ and you could probably make room to dance by pushing some tables back.
An antique elevator from Oregon State University that Ron is restoring sits in the back storeroom. It will be used it to move merchandise up and down from the second story.
That afternoon there was a birthday party planned at Soda Pop’s Soda Fountain for two young sisters so Phyllis and I left to explore some of Miami and Globe. We promised to come back for an afternoon soda fountain treat.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Guayo’s El Rey Mexican Restaurant just down the street that Ron and Marcia had recommended. Phyllis had never been to the Miami-Globe area and I enjoyed showing her the many interesting shops that make this area so appealing.
Finally, the lure of ice cream treats brought us back to Soda Pop’s Soda Fountain and we joined a few afternoon shoppers enjoying a treat at the fountain. We enjoyed our sinfully delicious chocolate shake and brownie sundae that we chose from the chalkboard menu and visited with a couple from San Tan who had stopped in on their way home from an antiquing weekend. Marcia sat with us and amazed us with the amount of Globe-Miami history that she has learned in the 16 years she has been a shop owner there. Her stories piqued our interest to want to spend more time exploring the area—and, of course, there are more items on that soda fountain menu just waiting to be tasted!
As we got ready to head home, we thanked Marcia and Ron for their hospitality and for having the vision to create a historically accurate and functioning Soda Fountain in Miami. It is the perfect stop on your next trip to Miami-Globe.