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What Is 'This 97-Year-Old NYC Diner Still Makes Their Coke The Old Fashion Way' Meme And What Does It Mean?

97 Year Old NYC Diner Still Makes Their Coke The Old Fashion Way
97 Year Old NYC Diner Still Makes Their Coke The Old Fashion Way
By Aidan Walker

7932 views
• Published about a month ago

Published about a month ago

You may have scrolled past it the first time, thinking it was an ad or one of those posts that seems to blow through the feed for no reason, the digital equivalent of a stray plastic shopping bag sailing down a city street. But then the second, third, fourth, fifth times you saw how This 97-Year-Old Diner In New York Makes Their Coke The Old-Fashioned Way the question was unavoidable. Is there something to this video?

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7265894387790449966

Let's explain how a piece of so-called "engagement bait" tumbling around the internet emerged as one of February's top memes.

Where Does 'This 97-Year-Old Diner In New York Makes Their Coke The Old-Fashioned Way' Come From?

At some point in the 1920s, the Lexington Candy Shop in New York City opened and began serving Coca-Cola alongside other refreshments. Then, in 2022, TikToker @newyorknico walked through the doors and filmed the staff constructing a Coca-Cola out of concentrated syrup and carbonated water with a scoop of ice cream on top. The video went extremely viral: over 45 million people saw it in two years, and 4.8 million of them liked it.

The video kept popping up across the internet over the two years that followed. There were prominent reposts on TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and X. At a basic level, it is wholesome and interesting content. Most people are interested in seeing how old-fashioned Cokes were made and feel good both during and after watching it.

The meme also has a nostalgic vibe, an emotion that almost always does well online. Many shared it and most got good numbers off the video, including @Zvbear, the troll who would later become infamous for posting deepfaked AI pictures of Taylor Swift.

What Does It Mean When People Post About 'This 97 Year Old Diner In New York Makes Their Coke The Old-Fashioned Way'?

Many of the most viral posts about the old-fashioned Coke are sincere: people think it's cool that this diner still makes it that way. But in February of 2024, the phrase started being used almost like a copypasta, paired with various images that have little to do with New York, Coca-Cola, or diners.

The appeal seems to be in the non-sequitur vibe of the meme, expressing a love for exactly this kind of random content that the internet increasingly seems to tailor-made to spread. It's also, like many memes that spread on X these days, turned into its own weird meta thing.

How Do You Make Coke 'The Old-Fashioned Way'?

Most Coke comes pre-mixed in stores, but at its base, the beverage is a syrup combined with about five times as much cold, carbonated water. If you like your Coke sweeter, you can add in more syrup. Some retailers and websites sell syrup, especially since restaurants and other businesses with soda machines do make Coke the old-fashioned way, but inside the machines and not manually.


For the full history of the "97-Year-New York Diner That Still Makes Their Coke The Old Fashioned Way" meme, be sure to check out Know Your Meme's encyclopedia entry for more information.

Tags: 97 year old nyc diner coke x brainrot clickbait