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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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October to December 2009

December 31, 2009

Ryde Hotel in Walnut Grove

The marquee for the Ryde Hotel in Walnut Grove, CA has been added to the Northern California section courtesy of Jon Shackelford.

December 15, 2009

San Jose Landmark Andy's Pet Shop Set to Close

The neon hum of the marquee at Andy's Pet Shop is fizzing out after 59 years at its present location along The Alameda in San Jose, CA. Andy's, and its often photographed neon sign, opened in 1950 as a pet store and converted to an animal adoption center in 2007. According to the San Jose Mercury News, owner Lissa Shoun is hoping for community donations that will allow her to operate the business at a different location.

December 2, 2009

So Cal Eats Exhibit and Book Signing Saturday

Join john Eng and Adriene Biondo with their So Cal Eats photo exhibition and book signing this Saturday at the Los Angeles Museum of Neon Art (MONA). Adriene and John were very instrumental in the recent reconstruction of Downey's Johnie's Broiler to the new Bob's Big Boy Broiler and have been contributors to Roadside Peek for several years. The opening reception is Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 8-10:30pm and the exhibit runs through March 7, 2010.

November 30, 2009

Latest Updates from the Midwest

Added new photos from Michigan including an old A&W drive-in and recent photos from Detroit's Lafayette Building demolition courtesy of Richard Weiss. See What's New.


Remembering the Lucky Strike Bowl

The neon for the Lucky Strike Bowl used to glow brightly in Hazelwood, MO until the building was subdivided to mixed use commercial in 2003 and the huge neon sign was lost. See What's New.

Many thanks to Ed Mueller for photo and information


Neon Rx Sign

Recently discovered by Don Heffern II is this classic neon drug store sign in Newport Beach, CA. See What's New.


Mack's Golden Pheasant Neon Marquee Restored

Added a photo of the recently restored neon sign at Mack's Golden Pheasant restaurant in Elmhurst, IL courtesy of Luke Mack. See What's New.

November 26, 2009

Roadside Landmarks from The City

See the latest photos from San Francisco courtesy of Scott Strickland, including the landmark Joe's Cable Car Restaurant of Guy Fieri's Food Channel show "Diners, Drive-in and Dives" fame. Also check out the marquee for Excelsior Liquors and a couple of drug store signs. See What's New.


Norris Dam Motel in Tennessee

This marquee discovered by Kevin Powers is from an old 3-level mountainside motel that appears to now be used as a private residence in Lake City, TN. See What's New.

November 25, 2009

Flashback to Former Tucson Neon Sign

The Miracle Mile in Tucson is a main drag on the North end of Tucson and once home to bustling motels with names like the Tropicana and the Ghost Ranch Lodge. In recent years, many of Tucson's old motel signs have been removed, or like this one for the Wayward Winds Motel, redone to a relatively non-descript sign. See What's New.

November 24, 2009

Johnsen's Blue Top Drive-in

Highland, IN is home to one of the last remaining drive-in eateries from the 1950's and 60's. In these recent photos from Richard Weiss, Johnsen's Blue Top still greets travelers with its neon signage and mid-century structure.

November 23, 2009

New Update from the Midwest

Check out the latest Midwest signage delights courtesy of Tammy Terwelp, including the Levinson's Bakery, Ruby Dry Cleaner, and a couple of drug store signs from Chicago. Also added is the sign for the Willow-Brook banquet hall in Willow Springs.

November 22, 2009

Signs From Illinois

More roadside signs from the Midwest captured by Richard Weiss have been added including the neon blade marquee for the Oriental Theatre. Other signs discovered include Chicago's Cal's Liquors and Plymouth Restaurant and the town of Dolton's Pizza by Genoa and a 1940's era Lionel Train dealer. From Calumet, a couple of water towers have been added including one with a bright smiley face.

November 21, 2009

The Choo Choo Restaurant Dodges Redevelopment

For at least the past year, The Choo Choo Restaurant in Des Plaines, IL has been at risk of being demolished and relocated due to the City's desire for a new police station. In this latest story posted by the Journal Online on November 20, 2009, The City of Des Plaines has given up on its plan to purchase the former Masonic Temple building downtown as well as the land of the adjacent Choo Choo due to the economy. The Choo Choo Restaurant appears to be safe for the time being.

November 16, 2009

Action Alert on Columbia Savings Building

An action alert was received from the Los Angeles Conservancy regarding the post-war era Columbia Savings Building on Los Angeles' Miracle Mile. The Conservancy is requesting support and attendance at a L.A. City Council planning committee hearing on November 17 at 2pm. The Committee is scheduled to vote on whether to recommend certification of the environmental impact report of the Wilshire and La Brea Project, which calls for the demolition of the 1965 Columbia Savings Building. See the Conservancy's website for hearing details.

November 12, 2009

Denver Motel Delights

Denver is home to many roadside motels from the mid-century. The Town & Country and Broadway Plaza Motels found by Tammy Terwelp both exhibit great script lettering. See What's New.


Big Jack Liquors Sign in Boston, KY

Added a big jug of a liquor store sign to the Southeast section courtesy of Kevin Newman. See What's New.

November 11, 2009

Santa Monica Pier Named Western End Point of Route 66

On November 11, 1926, the nation began to travel a road from Chicago to Los Angeles called Route 66. To mark the 83rd anniversary of the legendary road, local officials and the Route 66 Alliance unveiled a replica of the "End of the Trail' sign at the newly designated western end of the legendary road, the Santa Monica Pier. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press and the Los Angeles Times, the historic ending of Route 66 is generally thought to be in Downtown Los Angeles, but this new ending will allow tourists a more scenic end to their journey.


Fun Blog With Travel Topic Lists

A blog called Jurnii has made its way to the web with interesting topics like "10 U.S. Roller Coasters That Will Make Hurl", "5 Exceptionally Bizarre California Attractions", and the most recent "Ten Stand Out Travel Tweeters". These fun travel "lists" make Jurnii a welcome getaway.

November 10, 2009

Preservation Movement to Spare Historic Forum Diner

A press release was received from Michael Perlman and the Committee To Save The Forum Diner on October 12. The press release covers a preservation movement underway to spare the historic Forum Diner at 211 East State Route 4 in Paramus, NJ from demolition.

According to the release, shortly after the diner’s former owners retired in 2007, Kevin Ormes’ Jeep 17 dealership was slated to rise on premise, but has since fallen through. As a result, there are more preservation options than before, but time is of the essence for a diner attributed with a “series of firsts.” Reopening and restoring the Forum Diner to its former glory would become a dream come true to devoted fans, on the basis of memories made within its walls and its unique architectural style for a diner. It merits a new lease on life, so future generations can have a chance too.

Committee To Save The Forum Diner
For Immediate Release Contact:

Michael Perlman, Chair & Preservationist
(917) 446-7775


Nicky's Donuts in West Palm Beach Gone

The old sign for Nicky's Donuts was a familiar sight in West Palm Beach off the South Dixie Highway. The shop appears out of business and the sign letters are now gone based on update courtesy of Lorna Galloway.


Remembering the Skyway Drive-in Las Vegas

The Skyway Drive-in was an old single-screener off Boulder Highway in Las Vegas. The drive-in closed in early 1981 at the earliest based on update from Vegasrails.


Hannon's Root Beer Gone

Updated the status of Hannon's Root Beer of Valparaiso which had been replaced by a Mercantile Book some time ago. Info courtesy Lee Nevills.

November 9, 2009

Chicago Area Roadside Signs

Added photos by Tammy Terwelp from the Chicago area including the neon signs, neighborhood eateries, and the saved Des Plaines Theatre. Also added a link to Tammy's Old Signs Are Neat blog. See What's New.


Old Desert Signs Found Along the Highway

Photos by Brad Bristow added to Roadside Peek include roadside motel signs from Arizona, the Mojave, and Central California. Also included are a couple of photos of the Road Runner's Retreat Restaurant off Route 66 near Amboy, CA. See What's New.

November 7, 2009

Faded Detroit Landmark Updates to Roadside Peek

New photos of Downtown Detroit's The Lafayette Building now undergoing demolition and the former Tubby's sandwich guy courtesy of Richard Weiss. See What's New.


Las Vegas Neon Museum Wins Refurbishment Funds

The Las Vegas Neon Museum is a recent recipient of restoration funds from the Hampton Hotel Save-A-Landmark program. According to this Digital City article, the neon museum was a terrific fit for the 2009 theme of "All American" landmarks. The project includes restoring the welcome center to the museum, which is a piece of the La Concha Motel lobby that dates back to 1961.

November 2, 2009

Northern California Signage Updates to Roadside Peek

More Northern California signage photos have been added courtesy of Scott Strickland. See What's New.

October 29, 2009

Route 66 Artist and Legend Saying Goodbye

As reported on Route 66 News, Route 66 artist, and legend Bob Waldmire has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Bob, who has been described as the "last of the hippies", is the son of Ed Waldmire, owner and founder of the Cozy Dog in Springfield, IL. Bob is currently surrounded by family, friend, and well wishers in Central Illinois. More information can also be found in this article from The State Journal-Register.


Vegas Moulin Rouge May Be Razed

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mayor Oscar Goldman would like to see the historic Moulin Rouge demolished, calling it a "blight". The Moulin Rouge on Bonanza Road dates back to 1955 and is known as Las Vegas' first racially integrated casino. Fires in recent years have destroyed much of the casino and property and the well known script marquee is currently being stored at the Las Vegas Neon Museum.


Missouri's Wagon Wheel Motel to be Renovated

The historic Wagon Wheel Motel located on Route 66 in Cuba, MO has been under new ownership as of September 15. The new owner plans to modernize the 1934 motel while keeping it as historically accurate as possible. The Wagon Wheel Motel has been on the National Register of HIstoric Places since 2003. More information can be found here.


East and Midwest Signage Updates to Roadside Peek

Added roadside gems from the East with photos from John Verity and Rick Ibsen. Also added a Jeep historic building to the Midwest section courtesy of Richard Weiss. See What's New.


More Northern California Roadside Peek Updates

Added roadside gems from the East with photos from John Verity and Rick Ibsen. Also added a Jeep historic building to the Midwest section courtesy of Richard Weiss. See What's New.

October 25, 2009

Mel's Drive-in in Rossmoor Closes

Mel's Drive-in in Rossmoor, CA near Seal Beach closed its doors this past Tuesday. According to the restaurant owner, this Mel's location saw a large decline in customers since the beginning of the year as well as a problem getting rent reduced. This is the former site of the 1960's era Parasol Restaurant which had occupied the building for almost 40 years before it closed in 2006. Mel's had maintained much of the Parasol's mid-century look when it renovated the building. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, the shopping center is now working with a national tenant to occupy the site.


Wednesday Cruise Nights Back at the Broiler

Stop by the new Bob's Big Boy Broiler on Wednesday nights between 5 to 10pm in the old Harvey's and Johnie's Broiler tradition.

October 19, 2009

Bob's Big Boy Broiler Opens at Historic Spot

Two years and 9 months after the illegal demolition of Johnie's Broiler, fans of the former Harvey's and Johnie's Broiler in Downey gathered at the Firestone Boulevard location Monday for the opening of the new Bob's Big Boy Broiler. Featuring a familiar huge car rooftop marquee, the Broiler has remained as true to its original roots as possible with authentic terrazzo flooring in the interior of the restaurant and carhop service during weekdays. More information can be found at and the Long Beach Press Telegram.

October 13, 2009

New Route 66 Itinerary from the NPS

The National Park Service (NPS) recently added a Route 66 tour to its series of travel itineraries. The NPS Route 66 itinerary features essays, maps, and in depth information on many of the Mother Road's highlights and is well worth a visit.

October 5, 2009

Last Tucson Drive-in Fades Away

The De Anza Drive-in Theatre held its last open-air picture show on Saturday October 3 after being purchased by a land developer. The former Cactus Drive-in first showed movies in 1951 and was Tucson's last open drive-in theatre. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the Evergreen Development Co. has no immediate plans to develop the property.

October 3, 2009

Judge Rejects Halt to Wagon Wheel Demolition

Despite the efforts of the San Buenaventura Conservancy, a Ventura County Superior Court judge ruled against the bid to stop demolition of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Motel. More information can be found in this Ventura County Star article.


More Florida Roadside Updates

Check out more Florida updates courtesy of Scott Strickland. See What's New for more info.


Midwest Cafe and Signage Updates

Added more photos to the Midwest section with photos from Dennis Dixson and Jim Zahniser. See What's New for more info.

October 1, 2009

Power On at the New Broiler

The Broiler is lit up once again! Check out the photos here courtesy of Adriene Biondo.


Detroit Roadside Updates

Added new photos from Detroit, MI including the Obama Gas Station from Richard Weiss. See What's New for more info.





News from: Current | Q3 '09 | Q2 '09 | Q1 '09
Q4 '08 | Q3 '08 | Q2 '08 | Q1 '08 | Q4 '07 | Q3 '07 | Q2 '07 | Q1 '07 | Q4 '06 | Q3 '06 | Q2 '06 | Q1 ' 06
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