Things To Do

Roadtrip: Dublin Bottling Works Turns 121 and Celebrates Small Town Style. Plus, 7 New "Retro" Sodas.

Dublin Bottling Works is celebrating its 121st birthday next Saturday, June 9, with "fanfare, music and a giant outdoor party in downtown Dublin."

I'm thinking this is a great road trip for the kids. You know, we always say we're going to get them out to the country more -- let them stare at vast empty fields, count telephone poles and look at cows. It's character building.

Then, get them all hopped up on Dublin soda for the two-hour car ride home.

In addition to a few smallish runs (10-2-4K), there's a Tour de Pepper bike race and an Alley Fest art and craft show.

More important, they will unveil "The New Kids," which are seven retro drinks, all made with pure cane sugar by Dublin Bottling Works.

The new sodas are Vintage Cola, Retro Grape, Retro Crème Soda, Cherry Limeade, Vanilla Cream and Tart-n-Sweet Lemonade. There will be ample samplings available.

Guided tours of the antique bottling line and two museums are free all day. Be sure to get a cold frosty made with pure cane sugar syrup, any flavor you'd like, topped with Blue Bell Ice Cream then more syrup.

For a complete road trip, I have it on good word from Bruce Vincent, who does a lot of work for Dublin Bottling, that Granny Clark's Restaurant has some solid food. For the full "West Texas Hollywood Tour," he recommends Mary's in Strawn, for the fried chicken, then to Dublin for a frosty. That's a bit west, then straight south.

(Sidenote: I just looked up Mary's in Strawn on FB and found this comment from a friend: "You know you're in the country when you ask for a glass of wine and all they have are wine coolers!" That sounds like a party.)

Soda geeks, get the old Chevy cleaned up and ready to go. Save your pennies next week for a little extra gas and relish a day of small-town fun and old-school soda.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.