Scant weeks after Minnesota got its first artisanal, new-wave soda fountain at Eat Street Social, we’re getting another one. I went this morning and got the skinny.
It’s called Lynden’s Soda Fountain, and it’s going in to the old Kopplin’s space next to the Nook on Hamline. (Kopplin’s, of course, relocated to glorious new quarters on Marshall.) The new space is unrecognizable as Kopplin’s, though. When I visited, the space felt vast, and was bisected the long way by an immense, cool white marble counter. One side of this counter will be for ultra-fancy, third-wave Dogwood Coffee and a vintage St. Paul soda fountain, which was rescued from the Christ Household of Faith church near the Cathedral in St. Paul, driven to Chicago for full refurbishment, and brought back. The soda-fountain will have 1919 Draft Root Beer, and, at first, sodas from Brooklyn’s celebrated P&H Soda Company, though co-owner John Lynden tells me they may be making their own syrups soon. They’ll also have ice cream, from Madison, Wisconsin’s Chocolate Shoppe, and so will be able to make the whole raft of classic floats and sundaes that make up the American pantheon of soda-fountain treats. (Trivia: One of the legends behind sundaes has it that soda fountains were so popular that they were banned on the Sabbath, and a Sundae was basically an ice-cream float without the charged water, that is, it’s ice-cream plus soda-flavoring-syrup.) You’ll be able to sit at one of the eight stools at the soda counter, or at one of the three or four stand-alone tables, and have your classic sodas in glassware, or there will be a take-out counter, in case you want to get your egg-cream to-go. A wall of candy is also planned, some old-fashioned, some to tempt the nearby high-school students of Cretin-Derham Hall. And thus a new generation develops passionate thoughts about Green Dragons? (That’s a lime phosphate soda, of course.)
Real estate developer John Lynden tells me that the idea for Lynden’s came from several sources; his mother used to be a soda-jerk in Richfield, he’s always had a soft-spot for antiques (he owns an 1894 book with original pharmacy soda fountain recipes), he’s also always had a sweet tooth, and he’s friends with Randy Hanson, the force behind the fascinating blog Summit Sips, who gave him a gift of vintage cola syrup, which changed his life.
Nice! Projected opening for Lynden’s? Mid-April.
Lynden’s Soda Fountain, 490 Hamline Ave., St. Paul, lyndens.com