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Celebrate Tab's illustrious career in The Sunken Lounge.
Tab display at the TWA Hotel

A Toast to Tab!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pop by for a party! Drink in our tribute to 1960s legend Tab, shelved after 57 years, and drown your sorrows in Jack & Tab cocktails till our last can runs dry

 Tab cola

We're throwing a retirement party for the one-calorie cola conceived in 1962, the year the TWA Flight Center opened. Every evening at 7 PM, a tribute to the carbonated sip flips on the Solari departures board while Jack & Tab cocktails flow. (We’ve stashed cases of the cola, discontinued in December 2020, in a secret spot — place your order before our last can is popped!)

 Tab display at the TWA Hotel

Marvel at a museum-quality oil painting of the famed fizz and pose with a four-foot replica. Then check out an exhibition about how Tab is spending its golden years. Now that it has canned the soda gig, Tab is tanning, fishing and golfing. There is life after pop stardom!

 Tab hits the beach
Life’s a beach when your working days are behind you!

The TWA Hotel shares a special connection with the bubbly beverage. As the TWA Flight Center designed by Eero Saarinen opened to great acclaim in 1962, low-calorie cola was all the rage. Royal Crown’s Diet Rite offered two calories in 12 ounces compared with regular pop’s 80 to 120 calories — and it was flying off the shelves. Coca-Cola’s chemists raced to adapt their wildly popular soft drink, Coke.

 Tab's gone fishing
The RV is gassed up and ready to go! The fish are biting and Tab knows just the spot.

Despite their best efforts, the final saccharin-fueled formula didn’t taste good enough to be called Diet Coke. (That drink wouldn’t arrive on the scene until 1982.) Perplexed about what to name their new concoction, executives asked an IBM computer. Among the 325,000 suggestions: Flug, Gaag and Burp. One of Tab’s chemists came to the rescue, as the story goes, telling his bosses, “We’ve been calling this Project Tab: Totally Artificial Beverage.”

 Tab paints
Retirement is the perfect time to put brush to canvas for a poppy self-portrait.

Marketed as a way for people to keep tabs on their weight without sacrificing taste — slogans included “Tab’s Got Sass” and “Body by Tab” — the drink was an instant hit. By the 1970s, original Tab welcomed Strawberry, Lemon-Lime and Root Beer spin-offs. The soda hit its stride in the 80s, attracting a cult following with the promise of being for “beautiful people.”

 Tab plays golf
Fore! Like retirees everywhere, Tab enjoys puttering around on the golf course!

But Diet Coke’s surging popularity was pretty tough to deny. In 2011, only three million cases of Tab were made, compared with 885 million cases of Diet Coke. As the hot pink cans began disappearing from stores, thirsty Tabaholics drove miles to get their fizz fix. “It’s like a real cult community,” Natalie Kueneman, the creator of ilovetab.com, told The New York Times in 2018. “I get five to 10 emails a month from people asking where they can find Tab.”

 Tab knits
Tab plans to finally stitch up cozies for the grandkids — and entertain them with yarns from the glory days.

In the end, neither a petition signed by 4,000 people on ilovetab.com nor calls to Coca-Cola succeeded in saving the soda. The company announced that Tab would take its last gulp on December 31, 2020. So don’t kick the can down the road — plan a trip to TWA. We hate to burst your bubble, but our Tab won’t last forever!