And not that casino in Las Vegas or place in Europe. It's the venerable old roadhouse on Route 66 in Gardner, Illinois, which closes tomorrow after being open since 1926. Owners Bob and Peggy Kraft are in their mid-80s, and like the Old Coot of Route 66, Ernie Edwards, says, "gettin' old and the equipment was too" so time to get out to pasture. I sure wouldn't want to be running an operation like a restaurant-bar at that age.
We used the new GPS to get there which took us I-55 to the Gardner exit from Joliet. First signs of a problem were the numerous vehicles parked on Route 66. Then, good luck finding a parking place in all the mud, blood, and beer (kidding about the last two, but plenty of mud).
The line waiting to eat was out the old basement door. I don't do lines and waiting whenever possible, so any thoughts of eating were dashed. None of that great Peggy's spaghetti sauce for me.
Hoped to get a seat at the bar to be regaled by Bob Kraft's sense of humor, but folks standing by it. Bob, however, was there and with his signature bow-tie. The last several times there, we were disappointed to find he was not at his usual position behind that bar.
I managed to side-step my way to the men's room for one last look at the mile high urinal and toilet. Decided this was not the place to be, so scrambled out to the mud and the car.
Sure would have liked to have had a meal and listened to the stories, but it was not to be. We're driving Route 66 northward from Pontiac, Illinois, today. We drove on here last night and ate at the Baby Bull, also on 66. Maybe they will be open and less crowded when we drive by. We'll stop in.
Good to See the Locals, Fans, and 66-ers Are Seeing the Krafts Out in a BIG Way. --RoadDog
Ryder Lewis Park, Carolina Beach, N.C.
2 hours ago