The big black and white photo of Elvis on the wall, the bowling shirts for sale in the waiting area, and the pink poodle skirts on the waitress are not your first clue that you have stepped back in time when you walk in to Marv’s Classic Soda Shop in Black Diamond, Alberta.
Marv’s Classic Soda Shop is everything you’d expect a classic soda shop to be, except it isn’t as popular as it once was. Marv made the news this week as one of the ancillary stories to the Alberta Floods. Black Diamond wasn’t hit with water, but roads in the area were washed out and that meant a reduction in traffic passing down the Cowboy Trail and visiting Marv’s.
He took his plea to the media and this past weekend the lineup was 2 hours long out the door and on to the Black Diamond main street.
“Thank you so much for coming,” said Marv as his curly moustache humbly greeted people in the long line. “It’s overwhelming, thank you for your patience.”
It was no problem. I waited with 2 young boys and fulfilled a promise of their favorite treat of shakes and fries for lunch after a visit to the big rock outside Okotoks.
I ordered an Elvis Burger – your regular burger toppings sitting on a bed of peanut butter and bananas. While peanut butter is a nouveau trend for burger makers, Marv’s is the originator.
For a burger, it was okay. The bun was a little dry, the patty didn’t taste particularly meaty, but the peanut butter and banana was a fun twist. It wasn’t that usual dripping greasy spoon burger I’ve come to love about drive-ins like Peter’s, Boogie’s, and the like in Calgary.
But that’s not really why we were there. A visit to Marv’s is more than just a burger. It’s a trip back in time, it’s a hand crafted milkshake, it’s a smile from Marv and that moustache. It’s a road trip out of the city to go somewhere fun, unique and special.
The wait was long, the food was okay, but the day was wonderful. I hope you’ll take some time to visit Marv’s Classic Soda Shop in Black Diamond and continue to support small and local businesses in the wake of the Alberta Flood.