Retro baby, retro! Hidden away in the tiny nook that used to be a small, inconspicuous convenience store is a little place that will have you harkening back to the days of poodle skirts and Danny Zukos. Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery is a little soda shoppe slash ice cream parlour, family-run by a charming couple, Ron and Roberta LaQuaglia. Walking into this parlour is like walking into Diagon Alley (that’s right, I made a nerdy Harry Potter’s reference…FYI there IS an ice cream parlour there)—the magic happens when you first enter the shop and feel like you’ve waltzed into the 1940s when you catch a glimpse of LaQuaglia in a triangle hat and crisp white apron.
You’re instantly greeted with a sweeping countertop and it’s not at all uncommon for a tiny child to be beaming up at you with a spoon in its mouth, next to candy striped straws. Retro swiveling stools wrap around the side of the counter and you are faced with the SODA FOUNTAIN. The understated, clean, and simple aesthetic gives the place an uncanny nostalgic feeling, especially when the soft strains of a Sinatra song play in the background. Yes, I think this might’ve been what the 40s felt like—I can only imagine a child’s pure joy in anticipation for a fistful of candy or a towering sundae.
Glenburn promotes local BC businesses by using ice cream provided by Birchwood Dairy and Earnest Ice Cream. All their sauces are made in-house and they use local made syrup (a variety of flavours—banana, strawberry, chocolate, lime, rootbeer—to name a few) for their soda fountain. According to their menu, fresh local fruit and nuts are also used as often as possible as well. The Tuesday sundae while I was there was called Blackout (for $7) and it was the mother of all chocolate sundaes. With a hot fudge base, chocolate ice cream embedded with choc chips, topped with the spired perfection of a Russian Onion dome of whipping cream, and garnished with a chocolate wafer, it lived up to it’s namesake.
The menu in chalk uppercase—SUNDAES. MILKSHAKES. SODAS. FLOATS. MALTS—also lists delicious pie and coffee, and they even sell assorted specialty candies lined in vintage jars against a wall. There’s not a chance you’ll get away from this place without a pocketful of candy, or sticky fingers and traces of chocolate rivulets to your wrists. Sodas are $3 and milkshakes, sundaes, and floats range from $4 to $7, with a special kids menu (12 and under) all under $5.
There’s no better way to spend a rainy Tuesday evening than hanging out at a place like this with friends, racing to the fudge at the bottom of the icecream bowl.
Know of any amazing local desert shops? We’re dying to hear about ’em!