glenburn soda fountain

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Have you ever wanted to step back in time? Perhaps feel like an extra in The Outsiders, wearing a leather jacket, tight jeans, and slicked back hair with a switchblade comb? Yes? Well have I got a place for you to visit! Glenburn Soda Fountain is located on Hastings Street in North Burnaby, and is the spitting image of an old-school soda fountain (as portrayed in the movies, I’m not old enough to remember personally). It also sells various types of candy starting at a nickel (another throwback) and a decent selection of old-timey toys, too. I saw Silly Putty.

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The menu features seasonal specials, but certain mainstays are available year round, like the sodas and floats. There will likely be things on this menu that you’ve never heard of before, like the “phosphate” add-in, which I found alarming thanks to the chemical name. Egg creams are rare to find in the Lower Mainland; I only know what they are because I had one in New York. The fountain sodas are handmade with syrup and soda water, but the floats use Pop Shoppe pop. I wonder if you can order a float using one of the handmade soda flavours — I’ll have to try that next time. They also have a rotating selection of pie and ice cream on a second blackboard that I didn’t get a picture of.

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I didn’t get to ask the owner myself, but a good source has informed me that most (if not all) of the appliances and fixtures at Glenburn are restored vintage, including the mixers, hot cocoa warmer, and the entire back counter they sit on (which also houses the soda taps and syrup containers). They clearly went for broke here in recreating a period experience.

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I tried a ginger fountain soda. Have I mentioned I love ginger? I’ll drink the spiciest ginger beers with gusto, but strangely I don’t like chili peppers or spicy food. This one wasn’t as fiery as some of the ginger drinks I’ve had (Grace’s ginger beer from Superstore is the best/hottest I’ve found), but the ginger flavour was definitely there, unlike store bought ginger ales (aka sugar water). It wasn’t too sweet either, which I liked. Just the right amount of refreshing flavour and carbonation.

Maybe I’ll come back in the summer in full out greaser clothes and go for the full 50s experience. Bring a friend, we can make it a flash mob. Only half kidding.

Glenburn Soda Fountain
4090 Hastings Street
Burnaby, BC
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