Cheap Dates: The only time when being a jerk is acceptable

A soda jerk that is… Have an egg cream at Dave’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain in Belfast
Wed, 11/07/2012 - 11:30am

This is a bit of a quirky Cheap Date, but it’s kind of fun; you’ll like it. When is the last time you ever saw teenagers willingly hanging out with Baby Boomers after school having milkshakes and listening to 1950s music?

Unless you’re well into a “Back To The Future” movie marathon, the correct answer is... never. Until now.  Make a trip to Belfast on a regular school day afternoon around 3 p.m. to the Chocolate Drop Candy Shoppe, a retro-designed old-fashioned soda fountain shop on 64 Main Street.

The shop, which opened this past June, carries all kinds of old-fashioned candies and modern gourmet chocolates. Half of its interior was transformed into Dave’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain, complete with signature red stools, a low, kid-friendly counter, the iconic soda fountain handle, syrups and a bevvy of glassware. Soda jerk Dawn Desmarais explained: “We’re pretty much packed with teens by 2:20 in the afternoon. They’ll all sit at the counter ordering chocolate milkshakes, while we rock out to the '50s music. They love it. The older people who come in will even start dancing when they hear ‘their’ songs and the kids just crack up. It’s fun.”

She said it’s the only scenario where she’s ever seen the two generations hang out together.

The chocolate sodas and egg creams are most popular drink for the older folks and chocolate shakes are the most popular for the teens. They carry Round Top ice cream from Damariscotta.

“We have the least expensive prices in town because we want to make it affordable for the kids and the families,” said Desmarais.

Now isn’t this kind of a cool Cheap Date? Go in with the gang or your squeeze on a regular school day afternoon and immerse yourself in the unusual dynamics. Watch the soda jerk do it up the proper way, creating a special soda from scratch. Dave’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain offers all homemade soda syrups, including real Coca Cola syrup.

In fact, go for an egg cream. What you’ve never had one before? Little known fact: An egg cream originated in Brooklyn and the modern way of making it does not use any egg; it’s strictly mixed with chocolate syrup, milk and carbonated water. There are multiple theories why it is called egg cream, but the explanation on Dave’s Old Fashioned Soda Fountain menu is that the original soda was modeled after a French drink called chocolate et crème.  However, New Yorkers couldn’t pronounce “et crème” so in their New York guttural twist, it became ‘egg cream’.”

 Check out their Facebook page or call 207-338-0566 for more information. and watch our video to see how a soda jerk works her magic.

Cheap Dates is a new series dedicated to scrounging the most amount of fun out of the Midcoast on the fewest dollars.

Kay Stephens can be reached at