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Route 66 News

Wrinks Market in Lebanon reopens after long hiatus

Thanks to the founder’s granddaughter, the historic Wrinks Market in Lebanon, Missouri, reopened Saturday after a years-long hiatus.

Katie Hapner and her stepsister, Sarah Carney, reopened the Route 66 landmark, reported the Lebanon Daily Record. The two have tried to put the market back the way it was — or the way Hapner remembers it.

“I think Wrink’s Market should be here. My grandfather loved Route 66 and all the people that came through here. That’s why he did it, and I think that’s why I want to do it. It’s for them, his customers, the people he loved so much.” […]

People that knew Wrink have either given or sold items that used to be part of the store to Hapner to help make Wrinks look like Wrinks again.

She pointed to several displays, some brought in by folks and others found in the basement and elsewhere.

At least one Facebook poster reported the store was selling freshly made sandwiches for $3, with meat and cheese also sold by the pound. Both things are nod to how Wrinks Market operated for decades. Longtime radio host Paul Harvey was such a fan of those sandwiches, he talked about them on his show.

The store’s founder, Glenn “Wrink” Wrinkle, opened Wrinks Market in 1950 and kept it going right until he died at age 82 in 2005.

Wrinke also was known for his relentlessly friendly demeanor, which endeared him to locals and Route 66 travelers alike.

One reputed celebrity sighting at Wrinks Market was movie star Clint Eastwood, who stopped to buy a bag of diapers during a cross-country trip.

Wrinkle’s son, Terry Wrinkle, reopened it in 2007 but closed it again two years later after the economy tanked amid the Great Recession. D.C. Decker reopened it in 2011 as a cowboy emporium, but it quickly shuttered, as well.

(Hat tip to Jenny McGinnis; image of Wrinks Market in 2007)

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5 thoughts on “Wrinks Market in Lebanon reopens after long hiatus

  1. Audrey Burtrum-Stanley

    I have one serious suggestion after study’n the photo of the grocery.

    The locals will know the owners carry all kinds of provisions for at-home cook’n, cleaning, etc… But to pull those traveling-through the area (the Route 66 crowd), I would hope you might consider adding a sign. At the center of the front of the store…and arch-like sign (on the roof’s edge) accenting the big, beloved roadway’s shield…why not have the wording: “PICNIC SUPPLIES!”

    That would assure folks traveling, they could get cold drinks, chips, snacks, makings-for sandwiches (and as your article states / the already-made sandwiches themselves!) and fruit all to go!

    It might not be an historically accurate addition, but in order to sell the products and services, you need to advertise what you’ve got! All this is what keeps the doors open, business boom’n and smiles on everyone’s faces!

  2. Pingback: Wrinks Market 再開へ! – Route 66 Association of Japan

  3. Dennis Toeppen

    This is great news. I’ll make a point of stopping by to buy some stuff next time I’m headed west.

    The restaurant that occupied the space after the market closed was awful. I’m glad it’s gone.

    There is one thing missing, though. They had a neat little marquis arrow with clear light bulbs in it. But it went away when the market closed. The arrow can now be found at a used car lot on the main drag. I hope they can wrestle that arrow away from the car dealer and put it back up where it belongs.

    1. graypony74

      We tried. The car dealer owner is a nephew of Wrink and he won’t part with it. We are looking at having one made like it. Thank you!

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