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.
October to December 2008
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December 23, 2008
Bakersfield Padre Hotel Faces Renovation
The Padre Hotel, a local Bakersfield landmark since 1928, is now undergoing renovation to transform itself back into a hotel after recent work failed to create condos. According to the Bakersfield Californian, the plans are to create grand entrances as well as upscale eateries and guest rooms. The exterior of the hotel will remain the same.
December 15, 2008
Walgreens to Replace Kingman Businesses Along 66
Walgreens is planning to build a pharmacy store along Andy Devine Avenue (Route 66) in Kingman, AZ. To build the store, four vacant properties will be demolished, including the Imperial Motel and the Hot Rod Cafe. The Imperial Motel looked to be a holdover from the old Imperial 400 Motel chain, and will be another roadside loss for the Mother Road. More information can be found in the December 12, 2008 edition of the Kingman Daily Miner.
December 11, 2008
Ghost Ranch Lodge Fire
November 29, 2008 saw the landmark Ghost Ranch Lodge catch fire, burning two buildings and partially burning the restaurant and lounge. Word is the fire may have been intentionally set and is being investigated by Tucson fire investigators and police. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the Ghost Ranch Lodge had been closed since 2005 after having been in business for over 60 years. After being sold to a new owner 2007, plans to convert the old motel to low-cost elder housing fell through earlier this year.
Tucson's Oracle Road May Return to Miracle Mile Name
According to the December 7, 2008 edition of the Tucson Citizen, a part of Tucson's Oracle Road north of Drachman Street is being considered being renamed back to Miracle Mile. This stretch of Oracle had been named Miracle Mile until 1987 but changed due to negative connotations that the name "Miracle Mile" had with rampant prostitution and crime.
In addition, a new historic sign code is being considered to help the area retain many of the large historic signs. Today, the law prevents business owners from removing their old neon signs for a full renovation.
Vancouver's Sav-on Meats to Close Soon
According to straight.com, the landmark Sav-on Meats in Vancouver B.C. will be closing in 2009. The owner who has owned the business since 1957 is planning to retire and doesn't believe there is a market for a fresh grocery business these days. A closure of Sav-on Meats would mean yet another loss of a great neon sign in Vancouver.
December 10, 2008
Pulaski Train Station Destroyed
A fire destroyed the Pulaski Train Station late Sunday November 16, 2008. According to fire officials, the cause of the fire was accidental and likely electrical related as the flames had sparked in the attic. The stone walls are all that's now left of the train station. According to Roanoke.com, the building that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places originally opened in 1888 and subsequently renovated in the 1980's. Some of the historic artifacts stored inside may have been damaged.
December 9, 2008
Echo Lanes in Cuba NY Gone
Echo Lanes, an old ten pin alley in Cuba, NY was gutted by a fire on Friday night 11/28/08. Echo Lanes was re-opened recently in the past 6 months by a new owner trying to get the place going again. Unfortunately, all is now lost after the huge fire.
Many thanks to Dave Wagner for update
December 8, 2008
International Cafe in Yermo Destroyed by Fire
Just discovered that the International Cafe in Yermo, CA was destroyed by a fire in August 2008. The International served as the backdrop for the Incredible Hulk movie. The road off the I-15 just got a little less interesting.
December 6, 2008
Magnitude 5.1 Quake Hits Near Route 66 Ludlow
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit near the Route 66 town of Ludlow on Friday December 5 at 8:18pm. According to the Los Angeles Times, Barstow police officials had not heard any reports of injuries or damage.
Meadow Gold Sign Returning to Route 66
The Meadow Gold sign that was removed from Route 66 in Tulsa, OK a few years ago will be returning to Route 66 near its original site in January. According to today's Tulsa's World article, the sign is almost fully restored and will be located at the intersection of Quaker Avenue and 11th Street.
Mearle's Drive-in Looking For New Tenant
Since August 2006, the historic Mearle's Drive-in eatery off the main thoroughfare in Visalia, CA has sat vacant. Mearle's was placed on the local register of historic structures in late 2006 after being threatened for demolition by the landlord. According to the Visalia Times-Delta, the site is now being advertised for lease.
Crest Theatre Westwood For Sale
The Los Angeles Times reported in its November 22 article that the Crest Theatre on Westwood Boulevard near the UCLA campus is for sale. The owner had planned to built the stage out and transition the theatre to showing live theater vs. being a second-run movie house.
Flying Bridge Restaurant in Oceanside Shuts Down
The Flying Bridge Restaurant in Oceanside, CA shut its doors on November 2 after serving hungry patrons for over 40 years. The owner stated that the downturn in the economy forced the closure as business is down 25 to 30 percent. According to the North County Times article, the Flying Bridge opened in 1963 and has been a family run business ever since. (photos coming soon)
December 4, 2008
North Shore Motel Disappearing
Word has just come in that the North Shore Motel by the Salton Sea in California is in the process of being demolished. The old roadside relics of the Salton Sea area are being ground into the desert as this motel landmark is now following the Sundowner Motel to the big bulldozer in the sky.
Latest Huntridge Theatre Plans Revealed
The Huntridge Theatre, which is listed as a state as well as national historic site has been an old dignified soldier, standing guard over a busy Las Vegas road vacant and somewhat worse for wear. According to the owner Eli Mizrachi, the Huntridge will not reopen as a theatre but as a commercial development of retailers and offices. Plans are to keep the Huntridge sign while the building exterior will be renovated. The Huntridge is now 64 years old and has been closed since 2004.
November 29, 2008
Wagon Wheel Demolition Imminent
The days are numbered for the Wagon Wheel complex in Oxnard, CA. An appeal by the local Buenaventura Conservancy requesting that the Wagon Wheel be spared from a proposal to construct 1,500 homes and commercial space was rejected by a city officials in a 4-1 vote.
According to the Ventura County Reporter article, the Oxnard Village environmental impact report has now been approved, which includes media related ways of remembering the Wagon Wheel to be installed at the site. Thoughts include a oral history display as well as TV specials showcasing the late owner Martin "Bud" Smith's and the Wagon Wheel's legacy in Oxnard.
Rockola Motel to be Razed in Asheville
The Rockola Motel in Asheville was scheduled to be demolished. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the motel originally opened in 1946 back when rooms could be had for $5. The Rockola appears to have been closed for a number of years.
Albuquerque Motel to be Demolished
The Interstate Inn near 4th Street and I-4 is scheduled to be demolished by the city. The Interstate Inn is another of the local properties deemed by the Albuquerque Safe City Strike Force as being neglected.
Varsity Drive-in in Hays to be Bulldozed
The landmark former building for the Varsity Bowl Drive-in eatery in Hays will be torn down and replaced with an apartment complex. According to the Hays Daily News, the Varsity originally opened on February 25, 1950 and was known for the "hushburger", a fried hamburger.
Pulaski Theatre to Reopen
The Pulaski Theatre in Pulaski, VA will be reopening soon after being closed for 16 years. Originally showing movies in 1937, the theatre closed down in 1992 and was at risk of being demolished. Fortunately, the Friends of the Pulaski Theatre stepped in and saved the theatre. On Friday, the theatre reopens to host a live music fundraiser "Holidays at the Pulaski Theatre" with more shows coming in the next couple of months. More information can be found in the November 27, 2008 article from The Roanoke Times.
Sands Casino, Atlantic City Demolished
The Sands Casino in Atlantic City was demolished in early May 2008. The Sands originally opened in August 1980 as the Brighton Hotel & Casino.
Phil's Diner to be Restored
According to the August 28, 2008 issue of the Los Angeles Times, the Phil's Diner will be moved and restored to North Hollywood across from the El Portal Theater. Phil's Diner had closed down in the 90's and was subject to rumblings when its sign was stolen.
Norm's Restaurant San Gabriel Shuts Doors
The "always open" Norm's Restaurant in San Gabriel, CA is no longer that, after nearly three decades of serving hungry patrons in the San Gabriel Valley. Norm's San Gabriel shut its doors in mid-September 2008, with possible plans for a mixed-use development taking its place.
Holiday Bowl Still Sits Vacant
The Holiday Bowl in Hayward, CA was well known to locals after having been open for almost 50 years. Even with its eye-catching neon sign, the Hayward Bowl closed down in 2005 with the City planning some sort of commercial development in its place. Well, according to the Oakland Tribune, the place is still just a vacant building today.
Stephens Meat San Jose Gone
Roadside trips to San Jose, CA always included a check on the Stephens Meat and its distinctive animated neon pig sign. Dating back to 1948, the Stephens building was razed a couple of years ago and is now a parking lot. Roadside trips to San Jose will no longer be the same.
Howard Johnson's in Darien Demolished
The 1960's era Howard Johnson's Inn and Restaurant in Darien, CT has been demolished to make way for a Whole Foods Market. The Darien location has been closed for a number of years and has been referenced by many locals as having been an eyesore. According to the Stamford Advocate, the HoJo's that was demolished on November 20, 2008 was a key part of Darien for many years.