Tuesday, August 18, 2015

News From Along Route 66-- July 2015: Phillips 66 Cottage Stations and the Tropics Restaurant

JULY 9--  The Oklahoma's Brihanna Bailey wants to track down old Phillips 66 cottage-style gas stations in the OKC Metro area.

She has found four so far: two on Robinson Avenue (old US-66).  One is now an auto repair shop and the other is a delivery place.  One is on Northwest 23rd Street (Route 66) and now vacant and once was Market C Catering.  There is another one in Norman, Oklahoma, now Ellison Feed and Seed.

These are really interesting architectural nuggets.  We have one here in Fox Lake, Illinois.

JULY 10--  The Route 66 Association of Illinois has inducted the Tropics Restaurant and Lounge in Lincoln and Steve's Cafe in Chenoa into its Hall of Fame.  Both iooperations are now defunct.

The Tropics and that great sign of theirs, was opened by Vince Schwenoha in 1950 after serving in the military in Hawaii but that was not the inspiration.  he got that from a trip to California.  It was managed by Lew Johnson until 1992.  The restaurant featured one of the first smorgasboards in Illinois.

It started a decline in the 1990s, but the building is still there.

I'm sure it won't be there too much longer.  We are fortunate in that we got to eat there and watch a Bears game as well before it closed.  The building itself wasn't too impressive, but then, that sign, wow!

Steve's Cafe opened in 1924 as a garage/gas station and lunchroom.  It was one of the first places to feature air conditioning outside of Chicago.  It closed in 1997.


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