He wasn't a thief. Over the years, this place has been robbed many times. Bricks through the windows, even, during the riots. I've looked plenty of thugs in the eye, but this man, his goal was something else. Darker. It was like the Angel of Death had come to Riverdale.
Pop is the original owner of Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, but in "Chapter Fifteen: Nighthawks", the diner was secretly bought by Lodge Industries; in exchange for Pop's silence, he stayed on as manager of the diner. Throughout his years working at the Chock'lit Shoppe, he's remembered every single order of his loyal customers, that was their favorite meal to be ordered. He hopes to work at the diner, until the day he dies, since he's been working there for a really long time, taking pride in his job and doing what he loves to do. He is also an eyewitness to the shooting that happened at his diner where Fred Andrews was shot at by an unknown man.
Very little is known of Pop's early life, therefore, an accurate description of his life leading up to the start of the series is currently unavailable. However, he has spent many years in Riverdale, as Hermione Lodge, who had left town at least fifteen years ago, was fairly familiar with his delicious cheeseburgers.
Pop Tate was taking orders at the shoppe, as he would any other night. Veronica Lodge then entered the diner, informing him of the order she had earlier called in, under the name Lodge. Two burgers was the order, they're almost ready but she has to wait, he said.
The following night, Archie Andrews enters the diner, he asked Pop if Betty Cooper had been there, to which he replied "Nope. Just the nighthawks in tonight". In reference to Jughead Jones, who was sitting alone in one of the booths. 
Like he would any other night, Pop Tate was taking orders at the diner and serving customers. He did this as Betty Cooper and Chuck Clayton discussed plans that would take place later on. Pop Tate later worked catering for the Taste of Riverdale. 
As usual, Pop's worked at the shoppe that night, he came by the booth which housed Archie, Fred, Jughead, and FP to collect the bill, Fred offered to pay, but FP insisted that it was his treat, as he called Pop's back over to cover the bill. 
During service at the shoppe, Pop was approached by Betty, who asked if Jughead had been by, to which Pop responded that he hadn't. But he did inform Betty that Archie and Veronica had earlier came by the shoppe with that very same question. 
An Act of Violence
"Here you go, Juggy", Pop said to Jughead as he proceeded to write his manuscript of Jason Blossom's death. A couple days later, after taking Fred Andrews's order, a masked gunman entered the shoppe, jumped on the counter, and put a gun to Pop's head. However, it wasn't Pop who'd suffer from a fatal gunshot wound. The gunman turned his attention towards the Andrews, then pulling the trigger, and shooting Fred in the abdomen. As the shooter ran out the shop, Fred laid on the ground bleeding as Pop called for help.
With Archie and Fred at Riverdale General Hospital, Pop Tate prepared to clean up the blood left behind from the shooting when he was interrupted by Betty and Jughead, who came in looking for Fred's missing wallet. Betty informed Pop that while Fred was out of surgery, they wouldn't know more until he woke up. The police had already stopped by the diner, but in case they wanted to double check, Pop's pointed Betty in the direction of the booth Fred was sitting at moments before he was shot. Jughead asked what happened from Pop's point of view. Unfortunately, he didn't have much to add. As soon as the gun was taken off of him, he took cover. He didn't even remember calling the police. How much money did the shooter get away with, Jughead asked. Not a penny, Pop Tate replied, leaving Jughead to wonder what kind of thief shoots up a restaurant but doesn't take a single dollar. According to Pop's, the shooter wasn't a thief. He explained that over the years, the diner had been robbed many times, even during the riots, where bricks were thrown through the windows. He had looked plenty of thugs in the eye, but the shooter's goal was something darker. It was like the Angel of Death had come to Riverdale. With no luck in finding the wallet, Pop Tate offered to make them something to eat.
Afterward, Pop's accompanied Betty and Jughead back to the hospital, where they treated everyone to take out from the diner.
Did you see what they wrote of my Chock'lit Shoppe, Pop Tate asked Jughead as he entered the diner. In black spray paint, alongside the door read; "Death Diner", thus making Pop's the latest casualty in the town's on-going battle against darkness.
The next day, Jughead returned to the shoppe with Betty to ask why he was selling the diner and who was buying it. As much as it shamed him to say, he was selling it to ChugMo, the liquor store chain. With the diner's closing quickly approaching, Jughead made a last supper request for his father, FP, who was facing twenty years in jail, meaning that'll he'll be forced to eat from a terrible selection of food for his time served. So, barring an eleventh-hour miracle, Jughead was hoping for his last meal in Riverdale that Pop could make FP his favorite, which was fried chicken, cornbread, onion rings and an orange freeze. With such a good memory, Jughead joked that it was very "Rain Man" of him. It came easy to Pop's considering how long he had been in the business, he thought he would be in it until the day he died. Suddenly, Betty spoke up, making known her disappointment with the outcome of Pop's dilemma. She asked if he had signed the contract to sell yet, to which Pop Tate replied that it was currently being drawn up. Betty then instructed him not to sign because she had a plan.
Betty's plan consisted of an organized event which was to be held at the diner in an effort to save it. In preparation for Retro Night, Betty instructed Kevin, Veronica, and the entire River Vixen squad top clean up the vandalized shoppe.
Retro night had finally come, and while it started out a bit slow, business quickly picked up as residents from all across town entered the diner. Josie and the Pussycats even performed a cover of the hit song Milkshake. As the night came to an end, Pop's sought to formally thank Betty as it was her doing that would keep Pop's from closing the diner. He also sent out a thanks to the Lodge family and Lodge Industries for their charitable donation which provided a little cushion for any unforeseen events or tragedies. He then gave Betty a hug as the shoppe exploded with applause. However, what Pop Tate was neglecting to mention is that Hiram Lodge had just purchased the diner from him, and that in exchange for Pop's silence, he would stay on as manager.
Pop Tate told Alice that he didn't judge her for what she did in the past as she came into the diner to order her regular. Initially, she had not the slightest clue as to what he was referring to. So, Pop handed her the latest print from the Blue and Gold, which was published by Betty. On the front cover, was Alice's mugshot from many years ago, when she was a young member of the Southside Serpents.
The next day, Pop took Nick St. Clair's order of two turkey burgers and a Cobb salad to-go, during which time, Nick conversed with Cheryl about their last encounter.
Pop Tate called Sheriff Keller and Mayor McCoy after finding a letter from the Black Hood affixed to the front door of his Chock'lit Shoppe. In this letter, the Black Hood issued a test, one that would last all of 48 hours. He asked of them to show him that they are pure of heart. However, should they continue to sin, the attacks would resume.
That night, Pop approached Chuck and Josie as they chatted in a booth. He noted that it was nice to see Chuck at Church on Sundays. Maybe he could even get Josie to come, Pop commented.
The following night, Pop Tate received a call from the Black Hood. Afterward, he informed the diner that they had failed the killer's test, and given that they were all sinners, the reckoning was upon them.
In the days leading up to Christmas, Pop Tate thanked Fred and Archie as they gifted him with a large Christmas tree. However, it was Fred who felt as if he should be thanking Pop for allowing them to set up shop in front of the diner.
Christmas morning, Pop Tate handed out drinks while Josie and Kevin sang just outside the diner.
With Christmas behind them, Pop Tate began taking down decorations around the shoppe.
Later that day, as Pop Tate prepared another order for Hiram, Archie apologized for having to make him double check the order. He explained that it was more to make sure that he got it right since Hiram's special orders could get pretty complicated. Pop Tate told him not to worry about it since after all, Hiram was the boss.
A couple nights later, Pop's shoppe was the location of Hiram's poker game with a few of his old friends, one of which, Paul Boucher, wasn't pleased his order, claiming he ordered cheese curds, but what he received was vomit. Paul asked Pop if he owned the diner, which he no longer did. Hiram jumped in to claim the diner and demand that Paul apologize for disrespecting Pop Tate. But Paul refused. Deciding it was best if he get some fresh air.
Pop Tate approached Jughead to see if he was ready to order. However, Jughead was there on business. He asked Pop Tate if it was true that Hiram Lodge secretly bought the Chock'lit Shoppe. Which it was. Pop Tate told Jughead about how the Tates have owned the diner for over 80 years. When his mother gave him the keys, she made him promise that no matter what, he'd always keep the shop in the family. While Pop Tate did what he needed to do in selling the diner to Hiram, his mother would be devastated to learn that he had went against her wishes in not keeping the shop in the family. So Pop Tate asked that Jughead keep this information to himself. At least while his mother was still alive.
After work, Pop Tate headed over to the Pembrooke, where he told Hiram about Jughead asking questions about the shoppe's ownership.
Pop Tate serviced Archie and Jughead as they sat in a booth discussing the demolition of Southside High. Later that week, Pop Tate headed down to Southside High, along with many other residents of Riverdale in support of Jughead's protest to save the school.
The town gathers for Midge's funeral to pay respect. Cheryl sings a song in Midge's honor. She and the rest of the River Vixens are dressed in all-black cheerleader uniform. Midge's death has seemingly taken a great toll on Riverdale, Mrs. Klump and Moose especially. Pop Tate stands alongside Archie and the Lodges as the service commences.
Pop Tate calls Archie to inform him that Reggie is at the diner and he looks like he needs help. Shortly after Archie arrives with Moose Mason and Kevin Keller, the diner is attacked by the Ghoulies, a Southside gang led by Malachai. Kevin and Moose block off the door as Archie calls the sheriff station. Unfortunately, no one answers. When the Ghoulies bust the front window, Archie runs behind the front counter with Pop to ask if he has a gun. Unfortunately, he doesn't. Pop Tate had his fill of gun fights during the war. But Pop Tate does however know a trick that he learned during the riots in 1979. He has Hiram's leftover over liquor from the poker. He suggests that Archie use it to fend off the Ghoulies by creating Molotov cocktails. Archie does just that. He fends the Ghoulies off long enough for Tom, Fred and FP to arrive and force the Ghoulies to retreat.
Later, Pop Tate gets a call from Hiram after he learns that the Ghoulies attacked the diner. He explains to Hiram that Fred, FP and Tom saved the diner. Everyone is even referring to the three of them as heroes. After hanging up with Hiram, Pop Tate receives a surprise visitor at the diner. A fairly tall and intimating man. The man, later to be identified as Small Fry Boucher, is looking for Hiram. He claims that Hiram is an old friend of his father's. He then asks Pop Tate for Hiram's address.
Both the mayoral election and student body election are held in the gymnasium of Riverdale High. Among the voters are Pop Tate, Weatherbee, Sweet Pea, Josie, Moose, Veronica, Reggie and many others.
Three months have passed since that fateful evening in the school gymnasium where Archie was framed by Hiram Lodge and arrested for the murder of Cassidy Bullock. Archie's trial is now in session. Pop Tate sits in court as the trial unfolds. Archie is being prosecuted by District Attorney, Ms. Wright. She attempts to paint Archie as a bad person in her closing argument as Mary, Archie's counsel, attempts to shed light on all the good deeds Archie has done.
The Judge calls everyone back in to reveal that the jury is still deliberating, but he's also dismissed them for the evening. They're sequestered and he's instructed them not to read anything about this case, nor to discuss it with anyone. They'll reconvene all Tuesday morning after Labor Day. With that being said, the Judge advises Archie to spend the weekend with his family and loved ones.
Labor Day weekend is over and Archie's trial is now in session. Josie, as well as the rest of Archie's friends and family are in attendance. However, the jury could not reach a verdict. They're deadlocked. Six-to-six. With that, the jury is dismissed. In lieu of another trial, the State is prepared to offer a deal for a lesser sentence. Instead of prison, time served plus two years in juvenile detention, if Archie will plead guilty to the crime of manslaughter. Archie takes the deal and in arrested.
Pop is an older man, who's on the heavier side, with dark skin, dark brown eyes and grey hair. He has only ever been seen in his standard issue Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe uniform. His choice in clothing outside of work has yet to be revealed.
Based solely on the little interaction Pop Tate has had, he appears to be a kind man that is loved by many in Riverdale. His diner, Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, is the local hang out spot for the teens of Riverdale, some more than others, like Jughead Jones, who he referred to as "Night Hawk".
In the Archie Comics, his name is Terry Tate and in the oldest iterations, he was a Caucasian middle-aged man. In the sixth issue of the TV series tied-in Riverdale comics, his name is given as Terrence Tate.