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Pop Into Rocky’s Grill & Soda Shop

Updated: Apr 19

After the long four-hour drive from Elon to Brevard I decided it was time to find a place to eat.

While working my way through downtown Brevard I came across one of the places I had found

in my research. Outside hung a sign which read, soda shop, with the emblem of a milkshake between the words. It hung from the classic red and white striped canvas that guarded the small outdoor seating. Below it, windows decorated with Christmas delight.

Peeking inside I could see customers speckled around the pharmacy sitting in red leather booths

and on barstools facing the kitchen. After walking in, I took a seat at the bar assuming that this

would be a quick in-and-out meal. The room was covered in antique pharmacy signs, some

representing specialty drinks, others used to cheer up the mood of the guests that read them.

A very cheerful waitress named Anna came over and welcomed me at the bar. I explained to her

my reason for coming in and she was delighted to hear that I chose her restaurant. She explained

to me that Rocky's Soda Shop has been around since 1941 however, at that time it was a pharmacy, best known for its rare soda fountains which had just recently been brought to the public. She also told me that all of the wonderful decorations including the barstools and the signs were the original decor. Even the red and white vinyl floors were replaced to look exactly like they once did in the 40s. Something about this fact made me extremely comfortable sitting there alone in an unfamiliar town.

While exchanging pleasantries with one of the chefs working in front of me he told me to order the pimento cheese hotdog as they were known for their hotdogs and their homemade pimento cheese. He had me at pimento cheese. He asked if I want two hotdogs instead of one but I denied his offer which I fully regret now.

After scarfing down my hotdog I continued my conversation with Anna and the chef. Anna generously donated a Brevard magazine to me while teaching me the history of the shop.

It is currently still run by the same family, the Varners. Unfortunately, I didn't get to speak with any of the family members however, I did see one pass through the dining area and he greeted me with a kind wave. Everyone seemed so happy to be exactly where they were without a single complaint and it rubbed off on me. Luckily for me a kind lady who sat far to my right sneakily paid for my meal and ran off before I could thank her. I didn't even get a name, but it just felt like the thing to do at a restaurant like this. So I did what any sane person would do and paid for the next person's meal. If you ever find yourself in Brevard take it upon yourself to stop in Rocky's Soda Shop, and if you're feeling generous, pay for the person's meal next to you, it might just make their day.

--Will Thalhimer


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