Sorry, St. Paul Dew do’ers: The era of Pepsi products with your Culver’s ButterBurger is officially over

Wisconsin-based burger chain Culver’s announced this week that its restaurants are ditching Pepsi sodas in favor of Coca-Cola products, and several St. Paul diners seem… just fine with that, thank you very much.

At the Midway Culver’s, on University Avenue, the transformation is already complete.

After Culver’s corporate office made the call, store manager Brian Genis said, Coca-Cola representatives showed up Thursday morning to make the change to a pop machine featuring Coke, Sprite, Mello Yello, and their corporate cousins.

Culver’s house-branded root beer, diet root beer, Dr. Pepper, and brewed iced tea will all still be available, the company said on social media. Other products like Coke Zero and Diet Dr. Pepper will not be offered.

Anecdotally, Genis said, Coca-Cola has been a frequent customer request.

One customer, who on Thursday evening was in the process of combining Powerade, Fanta and Hi-C — all Coca-Cola products — declined to share his thoughts.

Coca-Cola rules the fast-food pop machine scene at places like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Subway, and plenty more. And Culver’s isn’t alone in ditching Pepsi. Arby’s made the switch to Coca-Cola in 2018. Chains like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell — all of which were formerly owned by PepsiCo — remain safe havens for Pepsi and Mountain Dew loyalists.

Meanwhile, the Culver’s location on the East Side, next to the Sun Ray Shopping Center, still has a Pepsi machine — for now.

And maybe folks won’t miss it too much when it disappears. During dinner there on Thursday evening, diners seemed to trend toward preferring Coca-Cola products and sounded fairly ambivalent about the whole switcheroo.

“Doesn’t matter to me — I’m a Coke guy,” one person said.

As long as Culver’s keeps the root beer, the other soda brands on offer are not a big deal, said Josh Haugen, who lives up the street from the restaurant.

And even though Andy Svoboda of Maplewood is pretty disappointed Cherry Pepsi is on its way out at Culver’s, he’ll make do.

“Aw man,” he said. “I like Pepsi better. I always get the cherry; tastes better than Coke. But they’re all just the basics.”

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