Get the scoop at WWII Museum in NO
Reviving an icon of America’s past, The National WWII Museum is gearing up for the grand opening of its latest attraction, a Soda Shop by award-winning Chef John Besh. The new dining venue will be open just in time for National Ice Cream Day, July 17, designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Besh brings his famed culinary expertise and creativity to the menu. Visitors will find fountain sodas in melon, pineapple, nectar and special seasonal versions, served in vintage 1-quart seltzer bottles; house-made ice creams and milkshakes in flavors as Bananas Foster, Sector Candy Bar Crunch, and Creole Cream Cheese Red Velvet; and an array of signature sandwiches, homemade soups, sweet treats and breakfast items including a “build your own biscuit” option.
The Soda Shop is located in The National WWII Museum at 945 Magazine St. in New Orleans at the corner of Andrew Higgins Drive. It will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Reminiscent of the soda shops that were commonplace in the 1930s and 1940s, the new “hot” spot for cool treats will boast original spinning soda stools from New Orleans’ historic Krauss department store. The Soda Shop combines nostalgic design touches with contemporary architecture to create an inviting, evocative space.
“When guests enter the new Soda Shop at The National WWII Museum, we want them to be transported back in time,” said Besh, “back to the heyday of soda shops, when a stop there meant fellowship and festivity — perhaps welcoming a G.I. back home — and handmade ice cream creations and other treats.”
The first soda fountain with counter service opened in 1903, and soon these new establishments became popular gathering spots across America. In the 1920s, they were hailed as a greater ally for the temperance movement than any sermon preached from the pulpit.
By the 1930s and 40’s, soda shops were enjoyed by all ages and were especially popular among teenagers who came both for the treats and to play the jukebox. Sadly, soda shops gradually declined with the post-World War II migration from the cities, where early soda fountains and soda shops were concentrated, to the suburbs.
“One of our goals at The National WWII Museum is to engage visitors with an immersive experience that enables them to learn in a variety of ways,” said Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, museum president and CEO. “Whether they are speaking with one of our World War II veteran docents, enjoying 1940s musical entertainment in our Stage Door Canteen, watching our 4-D multi-sensory cinematic experience Beyond All Boundaries, or, now, having an old-time ice cream soda after the show in a unique new soda shop, guests here will get the full, historical perspective.”
Besh is also the creative force behind the American Sector, a casual dining restaurant that opened in the museum in 2009. For more information, visit www.american-sector.com.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the War that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front.
For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit its Facebook fan page.