Route 66 news notes: Steak N Egger, Hofmann Tower, doc film, Lagunitas Chicago and more

It’s 2014 and we’re baa-ack!  Yes, we know:  we’re a bit late in returning after the Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-solstice-Christmas-Kwanzaa-New Year-MLK-Super Bowl hiatus, but sue us, we were having a good time with family and friends during the seemingly neverending holiday extravaganza.  Got a bit snoozy after all those meat comas and hibernated, sort of.  Then we got popsicled by the Polar Vortex and had to break out the serious down – brrrrr!  What a rude awakening.  But hey, at least we woke up before Groundhog Day, right?  Blame it on the chilly season:  we’re finally having a Real Winter again in Chicagoland after, what, maybe four decades?  Sounds right.  I knew that 50-below Eddie Bauer Polar Parka fit for the Himalayas would come in handy some day.

‘Tis the season to stay indoors and warm yourself with Route 66 dreams, if not road trip plans for later in the year.  That makes this the perfect time for some Route 66 metro Chicago news updates.  We have some tidbits to tease you before we get back to the big stuff in our next post.

Video poker on Route 66; where will it end??  Photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska

Video poker on Route 66; where will it end??  Photo copyright 2014 by M.R. Traska

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Route 66 news: McCook gets a ‘fabulous’ (if shockingly familiar) new Route 66 welcome sign

Well, the folks in McCook, IL have finally drunk the Kool-Aid:  they are now suddenly big boosters of Route 66.  Perhaps village officials were bitten by the bug last year when Terry Carr Sr. opened up a vastly remodeled Steak N Egger on Route 66 in the historic former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill building.

I say this because they chose to put their new ‘Welcome to Fabulous McCook’ sign right next to the sidewalk on Joliet Road on the corner of the Steak N Egger parking lot.  Carr’s place has all kinds of Route 66 items worked into its 1950s classic diner décor.  The old Snuffy’s, of course, had none of that, merely a prime location on what was a major thoroughfare before the interstates came around.

New McCook route 66 welcome sign - we've seen this before, right?  Photo copyright 2013 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

New McCook route 66 welcome sign – we’ve seen this before, right? Photo copyright 2013 by J.D. Kubal; all rights reserved.

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Steak N Egger on Route 66:  it’s tough being the former Snuffy’s

Terry Carr Sr. and his son and manager Terry Jr. of the Steak N Egger on Route 66 in McCook, IL were so proud of their newly renovated eatery this spring. The former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill, which had been closed for many months before the Carrs bought it a year ago, got a complete gut-and-remodeling that was showcased in an open house this past April.

So: you can imagine the heartbreak for the Carrs when a truck and a car in their parking lot had a little altercation a few weeks ago, and the truck went through the wall of the restaurant.  Ouch.  The Carrs have bravely posted several enlarged color photographs of the accident itself on the inside wall of the barrier covering the damaged wall.  They’re not pretty.  You can clearly see the wall buckled inside the restaurant in one of the shots. Continue reading

Fun things to do at the Route 66 Car Show

You already know that the best reason to come to the annual Route 66 Car Show in Berwyn this weekend is to see all the cool customized and classic cars, motorbikes and trucks.  But what else is there to do? Plenty!

1. Have breakfast on the way there at the Steak N Egger on 66 on Joliet Road in McCook. It’s in the bright, shiny, newly renovated former Snuffy’s 24-hour Grill building, a historic eatery on Route 66 since the road’s very beginnings. Continue reading