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July to September 2005

Welcome to Roadside Peek News. This section will feature a news peek of what's happening out on the road. While not pretending to be comprehensive, we hope you'll visit this section from time to time to keep up on just a sample of issues that are roadside related. Don't forget to check out the Roadside Peek main page for the day's update.

News from: Current | Q2 '05 | Q1 '05 | Q4 '04 | Q3 '04 | Q2 '04 | Q1 '04 | 2003 | 2002 | Main

Roadside News - Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Johnie's Wilshire to Reopen for One Day Only

Los Angeles, CA - As part of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Curating the City: Wilshire Boulevard event, the Modern Committee will re-open the long-shuttered googie-style Johnie's Coffee Shop for one day only!

Designed by famed L.A. architects Armét & Davis, it first opened in 1955 as Romeo's Times Square. By 1957 it had become Ram's and by 1966 Johnie's. Johnie's closed in 2000.

The above text was taken from Be sure to visit this website for more details.

Many thanks to Kent Bulza for update

Roadside News - Monday, August 29, 2005

The Blue Swallow Motel to Reopen

Tucumcari, NM - The historic Blue Swallow Motel on old Route 66 in Tucumcari, N.M., is reopening for business.

Although it remains for sale, owners Dale and Hilda Bakke recently returned to their motel and will be running it indefinitely. They had announced the motel's closing in winter 2005 when a relative in
Minnesota had become seriously ill.

The motel's phone number remains unchanged at 505-461-9849. The motel, along with its Web site at, should be fully operational before the Labor Day weekend. Call the Blue Swallow for more information.

Many thanks to Ron Warnick for update

Roadside News - Friday, August 19, 2005

Georgia Welcome Station At Risk of Closure

GA - The old Georgia Welcome station on US 301 is at risk of closing down and being demolished due to budget cutbacks. This building was opened to the public in 1962 and is a good example of googie. It is the oldest continually operating state Welcome Station in the USA.

This station needs more than anything else to have visitors stop by and sign their GUESTBOOK to show Georgia that there is enough interest to continue funding it.

Look at the cool early 60's architecture, particularly the space ship influenced roofline. How many old Buicks with portholes and outrageously finned Cadillacs must have stopped here?

For more information, please visit this special page on the website.

Many thanks to Bob Cara of for update


1930's Era Vegas Restaurant Razed

Las Vegas, NV - The familiar restaurant along Fremont Street has now been bulldozed. Yes, we're talking about the Green Shack.

Said to be the oldest restaurant in Vegas back in the late 1990's, the Green Shack began serving its famous friend chicken and mashed potatoes back in the early 1930's. However, dwindling business proved fatal and the Green Shack went belly up in 1999. The restaurant was a notable part of Vegas history and had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

Many thanks to Chet Wilson for update

Roadside News - Friday, August 12, 2005

There Goes Another Vegas Roadside Motel

Las Vegas, NV - After being closed down this past May due to alleged prostitution, the Del Mar Motel along Las Vegas Boulevard was bulldozed this past Tuesday, August 9. According to the August 10 edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Del Mar was sold by the owner after it was shut down and the new owners may plan to build a hotel or condominiums at the site.

Apparently the marquee and lettering on the motel were not saved. It was hard to miss this motel as you raced down Las Vegas Boulevard north towards the downtown area away from the strip. Another roadside icon has now become a memory.

Del Mar Motel (back when it was still open)
Del Mar Motel (fenced off and closed)

Many thanks to Allen Sandquist for contacting us with demolition news update

Wendover Will is Back After A Short Hiatus

Wendover, NV - During a Fall 2004 trip to see the third of the Nevada neon cowboys, news was that Wendover Will had been removed just the week prior with its fate unknown. A little discouraging piece of news, especially after a 900+ mile trek.

Well, sounds like his disappearance was just temporary. On June 9, 2005, the City of West Wendover dedicated the Wendover Will Monument (which includes Will) at its new location at the city center along Wendover Boulevard. Wencover Will had been donated in 2004 to the City of Wendover.

Historical Route 66 Harvey House For Sale

Barstow, CA - The historic Harvey House and railroad depot in Barstow is now up for sale or long-term lease by the City of Barstow. According to the August 5th edition of the San Bernardino Sun, there is a possibility that the Western America Railroad Museum will attempt to obtain grants and make a bid to purchase the site.

The Barstow Harvey House closed down as an operating train station in 1973 after being built back in 1911 by the Atchison, Topeka Santa Fe Railway.

Roadside News - Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Last Summer for the Marysville Drive-in Theatre?

Marysville, CA - Since 1966, the Marysville Drive-in Theatre (formerly Sierra Drive-in) has been entertaining residents and visitors to Marysville with its open air entertainment. The drive-in owner and operator Bob Golding states on his website that after running the drive-in since 1978, he has lost his lease and property owners have sold out to developers. One potential scenario has this site turned into a mini-mall.

Drive-in theatres have been disappearing at an alarming rate over the past years, and it's always more of a shame when the theatre is shut down against the wishes of the drive-in owner and operator.

The Marysville Drive-in will be open until at least October 30, 2005. If you're in the area, stop by and support Bob in his efforts to save his business.

Many thanks to Sean Jones for communication of news.

Mid-Century Roadside Mecca Still On the Endangered List

Treasure Island, FL - For the last year or so, the popular Florida resort Treasure Island and its dozen or so mid-century themed motels have hit the endangered list. Much like the situation facing Wildwoods, NJ, Treasure Island has seen property values skyrocket. With the aging of the properties, the old mom and pop motels have become the focus of investors and developers with intentions of tearing down the old treasures and replacing them with condos.

As stated in the Feb 2, 2004 news update on RoadsidePeek, please see the Save Treasure Island page if you're interested in helping this cause.

Many thanks to Kevin Powers for communication of news.

Roadside News - Wednesday, July 6, 2005 (Updated July 25)

Historic Route 66 Town Hit by Fire

Williams, AZ - The famous Route 66 town of Williams, AZ faced the lost of a landmark building when a fire broke out on June 20 along what is sometimes called "whiskey row." The building, next to the Canyon Club and Red Garter Bed and Bakery, was subsequently demolished about a week later.

Whiskey Row view from Route 66
The middle building has been demolished

Photo by

Whiskey Row view from railroad side
Photo by

According to the Williams-Grand Canyon News, the fire to the 100 year old building is of a suspicious nature as no gas or electricity service was available in the building.

The Red Garter Bed and Bakery
Photo by

A second fire broke out around 5pm and the Canyon Club's dance floor was wrecked. The Red Garter faced some smoke and water damage.

The Williams-Grand Canyon News also posted a shot of the historic building being torn down.

Many thanks to Jodey Elsner for communication of news.

Update July 25, 2005:

Fashion Apartments
Williams, AZ

Photo and info courtesy Jodey Elsner

Here is a photo of the back of the Canyon Club as well as a photo of the Railroad Avenue side of the building that was destroyed, and what it looked like last summer. The facade is most likely all black now and all the windows are gone. It's the only part that's left.

Many thanks to Jodey Elsner for this latest update.




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Page Last Updated September 20, 2005