Route 66 News

Tropics sign will be taken down and restored

Some good news and bad news about a Route 66 landmark.

The bad news is the long-closed Tropics Dining Room building along old Route 66 in Lincoln, Ill., was sold and its sign will be taken down, according to Lincoln Daily News.

The good news is the sign will be preserved and restored after a new home is found for it.

Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder and Tom O’Donohue of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County made the announcement. The building’s sale went through last week, and its new owner is donating the sign.

According to the Daily News:

The sign at its best was covered with neon lighting. O’Donohue said neon is expensive, and it may take a while to get the money together for the restoration. In the meantime, the sign will be carefully stored so as to prevent any further damage.

The article didn’t elaborate on the sign’s new home.

According to the Legends of America, The Tropics opened in 1950. “Original owner, Vince Schwenoha, served in Hawaii during a tour of duty, so he named his restaurant The Tropics,” the site says.

We’d actually encountered the restaurant open for a short period — as an Italian eatery — about 15 years ago, but it’s been mostly vacant during that time.

(Image of The Tropics sign by calamity_hane via Flickr)

3 thoughts on “Tropics sign will be taken down and restored

  1. Nancy Saul

    Actually, Vince Schwenoha was never stationed in Hawaii, although this is a popular myth. He was stationed in California and that’s where he got his inspiration for the restaurant.

  2. Tom Langley

    I beleive Vic Thudium operated the Tropics for a period of time.
    From the mid 1970s thru the early 80s I used to fly from Denver and hold my family get togethers at the Tropics…. Tom Langley’
    U.S. Air Force retired

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