The Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph recounts the history of The Filling Station, just off Route 66 in Lexington, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
The restaurant has been a strong Route 66 supporter for years and has its legions of fans. The Filling Station also is listed in the Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide, published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation.
But I didn’t know how The Filling Station rose from relatively humble beginnings to become an economic force in the community.
The restaurant had five workers when it opened. Now, it’s home to 19 full- and part-time employees, Riisberg said.
The Filling Station added a delivery service about 15 years ago after some elderly customers couldn’t make it into the restaurant on a snowy day.
About six years ago, the restaurant added Outback Pizza. The name is a reference to Riisberg’s husband’s background. Ove Riisberg, co-owner of the restaurant, was born in Denmark, but he lived in Australia for a number of years.
And three years ago, the restaurant expanded its eating area and kitchen to meet growing demand. The Filling Station originally seated 46 people; after the addition of a new smoking room, it seats 75, said Ove Riisberg.