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Canoga Park's Beloved Old-Timey Soda Shop Is Closing. Their Ice Cream Float Was Unrivaled

The counter at Jerry's Soda Shoppe inside the De Soto Pharmacy in Canoga Park. Seen in 2011. (Photo by Elina Shatkin)
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Jerry's Soda Shoppe is one of those places that feels like it was ancient from the moment it opened its doors. Located inside the De Soto Pharmacy in Canoga Park, it has been serving ice cream floats, sundaes, egg creams and scoops to residents at its 1950s-style soda counter for a two-and-a-half decades.

The shop's signature dessert is an ice cream soda. Is it the best ice cream soda in Los Angeles? We're not going to pussyfoot around. Yes. Here's why:

It begins with a frosty glass mug dipped in chocolate sauce. It's filled with Lappert's vanilla ice cream, fizzy soda water and more chocolate syrup. The whole thing is crowned with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and a maraschino cherry, then served with a sidecar of soda water (in case it's too rich and you need to water it down or fizz it up). The ice cream soda, heavy in its glory, is served on a plate to catch the inevitable overflow as you dig in for the first bite. (Pro Tip: Take several long, hard pulls off the straw before trying to extract the spoon.) As you work your way through this behemoth -- even the small size is a bellyfull -- you can break icicles of hardened chocolate off the mug or scrape away at it like Rodin carving his Thinker.

On Tuesday, on August 21, the De Soto Pharmacy -- and Jerry's Soda Shoppe along with it -- will close its doors.
The ice cream soda at Jerry's Soda Shoppe inside the De Soto Pharmacy in Canoga Park. Seen in 2011. (Photo by Elina Shatkin)
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The old-school ice cream shop is named after the late Jerry Meyers, who bought the pharmacy with his family in the 1980s. He always wanted to serve up ice cream treats to customers, according to his son, who spoke with KPCC's Take Two on Friday.

"It was always kind of a dream of his," says David Myers, who now co-owns the shop.

David Myers says that he and a friend built the soda foutain in 1994 after the Northridge earthquake, to help fulfill his father's dream.

The rise of social media has brought new customers to the ice cream shop -- and the most popular item on the menu is still the ice cream.

But rising rents and insurance costs for the pharmacy have prompted Myers and his mother to move on. Customers have shown an outpouring of love since the announcement.

"We've gotten some very touching letters," he says. "Having a hard time, a lot of them."

De Soto Pharmacy: 20914 Roscoe Blvd, Canoga Park.

Take Two's Emily Henderson contributed reporting for this story.

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