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Route 66 News

A look back at the Rock Cafe, Pop Hicks restaurants

Anthony Reichardt recently uploaded a couple of more videos from his videotaped road trips on Route 66 in a 1959 Cadillac during the 1990s.

The first is from the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma, in 1994 and 1995.

The first segment of the video shows a couple of neon signs along Route 66 that no longer exist, including at the Holiday Motel.

The rest contains conversations with longtime Rock Cafe owner Dawn Welch and her first husband.

Welch at the time had owned the Route 66 restaurant for maybe two years and was in her early 20s. Since then, she guided the Rock Cafe to international fame, was linked to the Sally Carrera character in the “Cars” movie, a fire destroying the restaurant and its complete reconstruction about a year later.

The second video from 1995, which is considerably briefer, shows Pop Hicks restaurant in Clinton, Oklahoma.

Pop Hicks burned down in 1999 and never was rebuilt. The Glancy Motel, which was next door, still stands.

A longer video Reichardt took at Pop Hicks that includes chats with its owners is here.

Reichardt began digitizing and uploading videos from his 1990s Route 66 trips nearly two years ago. They contain historical value, because they provide a glimpse of Route 66 landmarks and their owners — some of them gone — from two decades ago. The YouTube video channel is here.

(Image capture from video of Rock Cafe owner Dawn Welch in 1995)

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