Tuesday, May 23, 2017
News From Along Route 66, April 2017: The Riviera Fire in 2010
APRIL 23-- The Streetcar Diner was also a target of the Riviera Roadhouse fire in 2010. It was suspicious from the start and Liz and I were sure it was arson. But we never heard anything about the cause after the fire.
This is the first time we heard that it definitely was arson as gasoline was used and another, thankfully unsuccessful fire was attempted in the diner.
They know who did the arson, the Riviera's last owner. At this point it appears they don't know where he is, but I hope he is caught and serves serious time.
The former trolley car was converted into a restaurant in Gardner in the 1930s and later moved to out behind the Riviera where it was restored by the Illinois Route 66 Association. It has now been moved to Gardner's park which features the famous two-cell jail.
It was so sad to drive by the now empty and cleared site of the Riviera during the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Festival two weekends ago. We had not been by it since before the fire as it was too painful. We were happy to have the chance to have a root beer float in the diner and liked the marker to the Krafts outside of it.
Great Memories of the Riviera. --RoadDog