Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, May 14, 2021

it's a sign!
No, I haven’t opened up a bottling company — nor a greasy spoon diner.

If you lived in the Northeast from the 1950s through the ’80s, you probably came across a regional variety of brews called Costa Sodas, with that simple but distinctive logo. Costa Beverages was based in Newburgh, NY, and kept chugging for decades until shutting down in 1988.

Growing up in Newburgh in the ’70s and ’80s, my parents would often stock up on the Costa bottles of sugarwater. Naturally, I’d get a slight thrill out of going down into the basement and seeing a couple of rows of glass bottles, all festooned with my first name. (It’s not like I’d come across it in too many other commercial products or media.)

I snapped the above picture this morning, in Newburgh on Washington Street. How is it that a 20- or 30-year-old storefront sign is still in view? This sign is located in Newburgh’s ‘hood, where there are plenty of dilapidated buildings and run-down neighborhoods. Fact is, my old hometown, located fifty miles north of Manhattan, has been in a decades-long decline. While there are some nice areas, the inner city has prompted unfavorable comparisons to the South Bronx and other blighted areas. So it’s no surprise that a long-vacant building serves as an artifact to a company that’s been out of business for years.

While I’m not thrilled about seeing the town never-endingly mired, I’m glad I caught sight of this minor piece of nostalgia.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/14/2006 01:29pm
Category: Food, History, New Yorkin'
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8 Feedbacks »
  1. Just take it :)

    Comment by David — 05/15/2006 @ 1:57 AM

  2. Oh, I did ;)

    Comment by CT — 05/15/2006 @ 11:37 PM

  3. i collect costa machines, signs etc…..grew up swilling the stuff out of those green machines….i’ve got 2 of em, always looking for more….

    Comment by pete — 06/28/2006 @ 10:00 AM

  4. anybody have any costa stuff for sale ? pete…914-755-9052

    Comment by pete — 07/17/2006 @ 7:26 PM

  5. Saw your reference to the sign promoting Costa Beverages on Washington Street in Newburgh, which you published here lasy year. I preceded you growing up in Newburgh by some 20-25 years, and I remember when Costa went into business in my old home town just after World War Two. At one time, the local swimming resort at Crystal Lake, on the flank of Snake Hill and at the end of Ellis Avenue (which was also built and began to operate just after the war) stocked nothing but Costa products at their refreshment stand. Where are you located now? My family left Newburgh in 1949 at the behest of the DuPont Company, but remnants of my extended family continued living on in Newburgh and Balmville until 1993, in spite of its degradation. But now, after 45 years of desperate blight, and as the Tired Old Town is beginning to look up again (aided by the redevelopment of the airport at Stewart Field and the reconstruction of the Hudson River waterfront). Sadly, I can only view this new surge in progress from afar: two years ago, I moved from Fairfield County CT to Beautiful Beaufort SC. Where are YOU now, Costa?

    Comment by Bob Wilson — 06/22/2007 @ 6:48 AM

  6. GUSSIED-UP SODA, TRANSLATED…

    I’ve seen and partaken of Grown Up Soda, aka GuS a few times. It’s a native New York brew, so it’s all over the place; and, true to its purpose, it does provide a less-sugary alternative to the Cokes and Pepsis of the world.
    But it j…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 10/07/2021 @ 9:01 PM

  7. HOMEGROWN TERRORISM FROM MY HOMETOWN…

    The news broke last night: Four jihadist-wannabes were arrested while attempting to blow up a carbomb in front of a synagogue in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.
    Disturbing enough. More disturbing from my personal perspective: All four of these joke…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 05/21/2009 @ 2:54 PM

  8. I’m a relative of the owners of Costa Beverages, and I’d appreciate any pictures of the stuff you have. My email address is Newburgh91@gmail.com.

    This sign is now gone by the way, I drove past one day and realized it was a missing a few months ago lol.

    Comment by Joe — 05/22/2009 @ 3:27 PM

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