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Route 66 News

Palms Grill Cafe lands new managers

The historic Palms Grill Cafe along Route 66 in downtown Atlanta, Ill., has hired Jordan Weaver and Ronda McBride of J-R Culinary Partners of nearby Lincoln, Ill., as the restaurant’s new management, effective in early May.

Weaver works at a Culver’s restaurant in Lincoln, and McBride runs the Owl’s Roost bookstore and coffee bar in Lincoln with her husband Ed.

According a news release today from the Atlanta Public Library Board, which owns the building:

Jordan and Ronda are busy working to update the Grill’s menu and get everything in place to offer a new selection of blue plate specials, traditional, circa-1935 menu items, and – of course – the famous Palms Grill Cafe homemade pie. The Grill’s new days and hours of operation will be expanded, so you’ll now be able to enjoy its historic atmosphere and great food seven days a week, from 7am until 9pm daily.

In addition to maintaining The Grill’s traditional diner menu, including grilled Spam and fried baloney, J-R Culinary Partners will introduce a new set of daily blue plate specials, plus an array of new baked goods, including Ronda’s delicious homemade cinnamon rolls.  The front of The Grill will keep its period 1935 look, while the backroom will feature a circa 1940s supper-club atmosphere, with tablecloths, candles, and an upscale menu of such items as Steaks, Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Grilled Halibut, Welsh Rarebit, and weekend dinner specials including Catfish, Prime Rib, and Oven-Fried Chicken.

J-R Culinary will begin running the Palms Grill Cafe on May 6.

The Library Board announced in January it would be seeking new managers for the restaurant. The current lessee, which owns another restaurant in town, kept the hours of the Palms Grill Cafe “too limited,” said treasurer William Thomas.

The Palms Grill opened in 1934 and closed in the late 1960s. The restaurant was restored to its vintage glory in 2009, and quickly became a must-stop for Route 66 travelers.

(Photos courtesy of William Thomas)

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One thought on “Palms Grill Cafe lands new managers

  1. DynoDave

    Sounds like a good plan. With a sizable back dining room (which, with pictures like the one above, I never knew existed), and longer hours, they could do a nice evening business.

    I totally agree with the need for longer hours. I’ve driven past many times, and it is often closed. My last trip through, just a week or so back, was the first time I was able to catch them open and stop in for lunch. And that’s when I discovered the large back dining room.

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