When Terry shut down the business in 2009, the future of the building looked cloudy.
However, in recent weeks, the old Wrink’s Market has found new life with D.C. Decker’s Cowboy Emporium, which operates as a part restaurant, part art museum, and part western museum.
The restaurant part is tucked into a corner of the Wrink’s building, where “healthy” sandwiches are served with about a dozen varieties Arbuckle Mountain fried pies.
Decker’s also serves and is a supplier of Arbuckle’s Ariosa Coffee, “the coffee that won the West.”
The museum part includes a lot of Old West memorabilia, including a genuine 1896 Hickory chuckwagon.
Decker once was a custom boot maker. Some of his handiwork sits on the shelves.
And the store contains plenty of western-themed art for sale.
The proprietor is Don Decker, an expert on the culture and history the Old West and American Indians.
He once hosted a radio show in Arizona, and said he assisted “Route 66: The Mother Road” author Michael Wallis when Wallis was researching a book about Cherokee Nation chief Wilma Mankiller.
Decker is happy to show you around and tell stories. Don’t be surprised if you stick around longer than you thought — a common but happy problem with the many characters who inhabit Route 66.
(D.C. Decker’s Cowboy Emporium is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. It is in the old Wrink’s Market off Exit 130 of Interstate 44. The phone number is 951-219-0813. Don Decker also is on Facebook here.)