October to December 2006
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.
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Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant Closes Pending Demolition
12.31.2006 Oxnard, CA - When traveling down highways and interstates, tired from the hundreds of miles already traveled with eyes squinting as they burn, the old establishments with their neon signs along the road can be a welcome sight. Much like seeing an old friend. Travelers on Highway 101 in Oxnard will no longer see the neon stagecoach driver on the huge Wagon Wheel Restaurant on the west end of the freeway as this historic property has closed is doors on December 10, 2006 and the last tenant has left the premises.
According to the December 21, 2006 issue of the Ventura County Reporter, the Oxnard Village Investments LLC has purchased the Wagon Wheel parcel of land with proposed plans to develop 1,500 residential units and a commercial complex. Possible milestones coming up soon include a draft environmental impact report in February or March of 2007 with demolition starting up in September 2007.
Many thanks to Jeff Babb for contact regarding motel and restaurant closure.
Alert! The entire Wagon Wheel complex threatened with major development, including:
- original layout and property configuration
- all the neon signage, including the amazing animated stagecoach and bowl sign
- Western themed bowling center and intact coffee shop inside
- Western themed motel, motel office, restaurant
- landscaping which still retains its rustic Western motif
Please contact Adriene at firstname.lastname@example.org for info on how to help preserve this historic landmark.
Many thanks to Adriene Biondo for the Wagon Wheel alert.
Pollardville Amusement Center to Close
12.31.2006 Lodi, CA - A sign of the times, the Pollardville Amusement Center is in the process of closing down. The Pollardville Palace Saloon will closed its doors on March 31, following with the Chicken Restaurant honored with a closing ceremony on April 1. Originally opened in 1944 as the Chicken Kitchen Restaurant, the restaurant moved in 1957 to its current location along Highway 99 between Stockton and Lodi and started the Pollardville complex.
Efforts continue to save the 1870's era Jamestown Jail, which is part of the Pollardville site. According to the December 28, 2006 edition of the Union Democrat, The Irving J. Symons Foundation, in connection with the Sonora Area Foundation, has pledged money to pay for about half the cost of returning the Jamestown Jail to the county. The move must be made before Pollardville is bulldozed this spring.
Pollardville photos to be posted soon.
Astro Motel and Lounge to be Sold
12.31.2006 Fresno, CA - The Astro Motel and Lounge located off of Motel Drive in Fresno has been sold, though not sure if the deal has been completely finalized. The Astro is a familiar sight off of Highway 99 and used to be well known for its neon that would flicker a bright red shot up to the stars. According the the November 27, 2006 Fresno Bee, word from the customers is the new owner may fix the place up.
North Star Boots Being Renovated
10.23.2006 San Antonio, TX - For 26 years, the large Boots at the North Star Mall in San Antonio, TX have caught the eye of residents and travelers alike. The word is that mall management would like the boots to stay around for at least 26 more. Today, the 40 foot tall pair of boots built by sculptor Bob Wade are being restored and painted. For more information, see the October 16, 2006 article by the San Antonio Express-News.
St-Elmo-Tel Motel in Austin Demolished
10.23.2006 Austin, TX - The St-Elmo-Tel Motel, known for being one of the first roadside motels still around as you drive up S Congress Avenue in Austin is in the process of being demolished. Bulldozers were actively chipping away at this old motel in September. Word is the sign has been sold to a collector.
Cactus Jacks's Senator Club Sold
10.16.2006 Carson City, NV - The Cactus Jack's Senator Club has been purchased by Scott Tate and a partner, the sale of which is still pending upon approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. According to the Carson Times article, Tate intends to keep the casino intact. Carson City will be completely bypassed by the freeway in 2010.
Pontiac Sign Removed
10.16.2006 El Monte, CA - The giant Pontiac sign with the classic Native American logo was removed from the Scott Pontiac dealership. This marquee was one of the best of the remaining Pontiac logos left now that the Majestic Pontiac sign in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles was redone.
Earl Abel's Razed Over
10.16.2006 San Antonio, TX - The famous Earl Abel's restaurant in San Antonio closed down in 2005 and was demolished in 2006. The site will be home to condos. The restaurant had been open since 1933.
Many thanks to Bradley Schwartze for contact and link to news article.
During a trip to San Antonio in September 2006, Earl Abel's was sorely missed. There appeared to be another Earl Abel's looking nondescript in a strip mall just a few miles away from its old location on Broadway.