KFDA-TV in Amarillo filed a follow-up story. If the video doesn’t embed properly just hit the link.
City officials had hinted something was going to happen with the cafe part. And now it’s confirmed — soft drinks, coffee and ice-cream sodas soon will be served. It wouldn’t be all the way back to a fully functioning restaurant, but closer than it has been in many years.
Other improvements included an expanded gift shop, a touchscreen tourism kiosk, and constant showings of the 2006 Disney-Pixar film “Cars.” The U-Drop Inn served as a direct inspiration to Ramone’s body shop in the film.
Officials said it would take six to eight weeks to finish the work, which would put it at early to late June.
The U-Drop Inn, aka Tower Station, was built on Route 66 in 1936 by J.M. Tindall and R.C. Lewis for $23,000. About a decade ago, the city used a Federal Transportation Enhancements grant and local fundraising to restore the long-neglected building. The grant prevented the city for a 10-year period from using the restaurant portion of the building. Now that those 10 years are up, it is exploring avenues for it.
Another observation: Because the city is expanding the use of the U-Drop Inn, it will very likely see more than its current 200 visitors a day.
(Image of the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas, by Drriss & Marrionn via Flickr)