Highland Park’s King of Pop to host a soda tasting

If Eastside wine bars and beer brewers can hold tastings, why not purveyors of soda pop?  Next month, Galco Soda Pop Stop in Highland Park will hold its first-ever Summer Soda Tasting. It’s an event to promote new soda flavors as well as raise funds for the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition.  Coalition organizer Nicole Possert* said Galco owner John Nese had turned away previous requests to hold public tastings but decided to hold the Summer Soda Tasting to help efforts to reopen the nearby Southwest Museum on Mount Washington.  Possert offered a few details:

There will be product introductions, new soda flavors, tastings of various flavors from the brands:  Hanks, Fentimans, Bundaberg, Waialua Soda Works and Red Ribbon.  In addition to soda tastings, the store will be open so people can stock up on any soda, candy, beer, wine.  And all the proceeds from all store sales at the event will also be donated to the Friends of the Southwest Museum by Galco’s.

Admission is $12 and advance purchase tickets are now on sale online.

* Possert is an Eastsider contributor.


  1. For $12 expect a thimble of soda. This place has gone down the drain over the last 10 years. And not a single employee is friendly. John Nese is friendly only if you have a camera in his face.

  2. I’m really excited about this and will be purchasing a couple of tickets. @Tim-Tom My friend feels the same way about John Nese but I disagree. John Nese has always returned a smile to me and has always been friendly, so is Peggy and she makes the best sandwiches! I’m excited to join in the fun and so glad that John is opening his heart and holding this event for such a great cause.

  3. The sandwiches used to be better and half the price. And Peggy hasn’t been friendly in the 25 years I’ve dealt with her.

  4. Guys, this is an event to benefit the Southwest Museum. No need to discourage people from attending because you don’t like the owner or the sandwiches. Focus on the positive.

  5. Its hard to hold back these thoughts given that Galcos really is a rip-off. I went in there to check out their beers recently. Great selection but outrageous prices. I will never buy anything there.

  6. The employees at Galcos have always been great to me. John Nese spent about 10 minutes with my family and I explaining the different styles of root beer. In my experience, the soda/beer brands that are sold locally are priced normally, while regional drinks are marked up because, I assume, it costs more to ship. Though, I agree about Peggy.

  7. If they are proved “normally” why is it that I can get them cheaper even at overpriced stores like Bristol Farms? Anyone that pays Galco prices is either a sucker or has money to burn.

    I am not normally this passionate but I feel that a store with such gross markups doesn’t belong in this neck of the woods.

  8. Actually, whocares, corporate businesses often have more buying power than small, local businesses–they buy in larger volume, allowing them to offer lower prices. Personally, I’mwilling to pay a little more to support local business, especially when they are willing to support such causes as the Southwest Museum.

  9. I’m looking forward to visiting this shop on Sunday, July 24th for the Friends of the Southwest Museum.

    This is the type of unique small business that makes America great, catering to a specialty market.

    Small business is the backbone of the economy, the true way for honest job creation and those that survive do it against all odds. Case in point expressed in the video were the recycling laws that favor big business, but not the environment by being anti-competitive and discouraging re-use over recycling and of course the Pepsi salesman.

    The cards are stacked against small business and in favor of big business even though big business is sometimes like big government or the Defense Dept – a little overweight and bloated.

    If the negatives stated by Tim-Tom were true about the employees, owner, and pricing, then Galco Soda Pop Shop would be out of business.

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