50-cent soda pop machines in Duluth

pop-50-cents“One soda … 12 ounces. Fifty sen! Sold. It’s been a pleasure frequenting your establishment.”

–Michael Douglas as William “D-Fens” Foster in the 1993 movie Falling Down

I noticed recently that Twin Ports Cyclery in the West End has a pop machine inside that charges 50 cents, which is the amount that should be forever recognized in the U.S. Constitution as the official price for a can of carbonated water, citric acid and corn syrup.

I’m wondering if there are any other 50-cent soft-drink machines around town. Please note them in the comments.

I know the Last Place on Earth probably still has its 40-cent (or was it 45?) machine, but even at that price it hardly seems worth it to go in there, and the place is shut down right now anyway … or has it reopened again? I can’t keep up. Please consider all questions in this paragraph to be rhetorical.

Oh, and I don’t want to hear about any 55-cent machines. Might as well be a dollar.



about 10 years ago

Pop. The word that should be forever recognized in the Constitution of the State of Minnesota for a can of carbonated water and corn syrup. Not soda my fellow Minnesotans, pop.


about 10 years ago

The VA Clinic in Superior has one!  Much loved and appreciated by staff and patrons alike.


about 10 years ago

Outside the Kenwood Super One, there are two 50-cent pop machines.

Barrett Chase

about 10 years ago

According to this map, the vast majority of the country (at least by area) says pop instead of soda (though the south simply calls it "Coke"). What I think is interesting is how some people who grow up calling it pop purposefully switch to calling it soda for whatever reason.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

What I'm wondering is if someone is going to develop a 50-cent pop-machine locator app in the next 24 hours or if it already exists.


about 10 years ago

I lived in northern California very briefly, and can report that although everyone here would know you meant pop if you asked for a "soda," people out there stared as if I had three (not two, but three) heads if I asked for a pop. So in that brief period of time, I was conditioned to ask for soda. It's not that I'm too cool for pop, I swear. In any case, you can solve the problem by ordering beer instead. Also, I like 50 cent pop.

Barrett Chase

about 10 years ago

About 10 years ago, there was a 25-cent machine in front of Kmart in West Duluth. I can't remember whether it sold Shasta or American Fare, but I remember that it was always empty. These days it's hard to find machines that even sell cans. Mostly it's bottles for $1.25-$1.75.

K. Praslowicz

about 10 years ago

Pop is what you do to zits.


about 10 years ago

I grew up in Cali, where we called it "soda," although, in my family, we called it "bellywash."  When I lived in the South, we called it "coke," no matter the brand. Now I call it "soda pop," because it just seems odd to call it simply "pop," even 20 years after moving here. But then I don't drink the stuff, so it doesn't come up often in conversation.


about 10 years ago

Pop is what you do to zits. But that is the verb form of the word, not the noun. 

Here is how I see it ... Soda by definition is carbonated water. By adding the "pop" to the term, you are indicating that it is flavored carbonated water. So in the effort to avoid confusion between plain soda and flavored soda, pop is the operative word. 

Since soda has more syllables, it takes longer to say than pop. Thus the logical choice for shortening the term while maintaining the meaning is to shorten it to simply "pop."


about 10 years ago

There are some parts of the country (south) where you ask for a 'coke', no matter your preference, and they will ask you 'what kind?'  You then elaborate: Pepsi, Orange Crush, Dr. Pepper, whatever.


about 10 years ago

When I was growing up in the South, we called them "cold drinks."  It was said as if it were a single word: a "coldrink."

JP Rennquist

about 10 years ago

The 7-Up machine at the Union Gospel Mission was 50¢ but it might have gone up, I vaguely recall not having enough change recently.

I know of another 50¢ machine in Cloquet but with the road trip you come out behind.


about 10 years ago

There is still one .25 cent coke machine in Winona. Known to the locals as "cheap pop."


about 10 years ago

All of this is fine, but I'm more upset by the idea of a 55-cent pop machine.  That would just be cruel.  

When I was in high school I was a conscious "soda" user because I thought it made me seem ever so much more cosmopolitan.  Of course, then I started drinking cosmopolitans instead, which seemed to render the previous irrelevant.


about 10 years ago

Barrett, I am ashamed to admit that I am one of the pop-to-soda people.  I grew up in Nebraska, and so in the early 80s, and also like jessige, I felt I had to switch to 'soda' in order to grasp at whatever sophisticated worldliness I could get.  This also accounts for my switch from 'aunt' ANT to 'aunt' ONT.

This also accounts for my sartorial choices of neon pink and purple clothes, and Molly Ringwald hair cut, but those were actually excellent choices in retrospect.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

Faith Haven Apartments has a 50-cent pop machine in the basement laundry area.

So, as far as verified Duluth/Superior 50-cent machines go, we've got Twin Ports Cyclery, the VA Clinic in Superior, the Kenwood Super One (x2) and Faith Haven.

Any more?


about 10 years ago

The recycling center in Two Harbors was 45 cents for many, many years. They went to a half-a-buck a couple years ago and then recently shot up to seventy-five cents. Crying shame. It's unbelieveable that they can get $1.69 for a 20 ounce soda at the convenience stores! I put myself through soda-anonymous a few months back but fell off the wagon during this holiday season. Something about being up late wrapping and drinking a diet soda!

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Say it ain't so, Faith Haven.

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