U.S. News

On Famed U.S. Road, A Gas Station That Sells 486 Kinds of Soda

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

On fabled Route 66 in the heart of Oklahoma, there's a new stop for road-weary travelers.

It's called "Pops"--an over-the-top gas station and diner that features nearly 500 different kinds of soda pop. Hence the name.

It's the latest business venture of Oklahoma billionaire and Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon. McClendon wants to give travelers an experience worthy of the iconic highway--and he's doing it with soda.

A Must-See on Rte. 66

Lots and lots of soda--7,500 bottles worth, stacked along specially-contructed windows that show them off day or night.

Want Carousel Blue Razz? How about an AJ Stephans raspberry lime rickey? Need a Brainwash? You can try up to 486 kinds of soda at "Pops."

McClendon spared no expense making sure everything is just right.

"I'm kind of a get-it-done-in-the-trenches kind of guy," he says. "I think that's how you win."

But winning also means turning a profit. Something McClendon knows a little about as CEO of the nation's largest natural-gas company. He started it in the 1980's with an investment of just $50,000. Today it's worth $16 billion. 

"Will this make money? absolutely!" he says. "Would anybody else have done it quite the way we did it? Probably, this is a little unconventional." 

Unconventional but unique--from the futuristic canopy and gas pumps to the 66-foot high "Pops" sculpture that makes a nighttime drive past the establishment something to behold.