Route 66 News

Restaurant inspired by Roy’s of Amboy opens in Barstow

Roy’s Cafe, which features a neon sign inspired by another sign at the historic Roy’s of Amboy, California, recently opened on Route 66 in Barstow, California.

Here’s the sign for the original Roy’s, for comparison’s sake:

Carlos Aceves, Amboy town manager, wrote to the Route 66 yahoogroup Saturday:

Roy’s Cafe is now open in Barstow on Main Street Route 66.
The menu is similar to the original innBoy but with a modern twist.  Come enjoy burgers, fries, shakes, wings and more.
Specialty is the Classic Hamburgers from single to the extreme burger called ” The Heart Attack”‘; if eaten within 5 mins it will be free! Must be timed and must finish the fries and drink.
New owner Bernardo Cobain has 25 years restaurant experience from owning 3 successful restaurants in the Los Angeles area called casa Del sol (Los Alimitos) He has taken on the Classic American Diner from Amboy and brought it to Barstow.

Based on a photo of the Heart Attack, it’s four beef patties, several slices of cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickles all on one bun. It’s so tall, you can’t bite into it all at once; you have to eat it piecemeal.

The newer Roy’s is at 413 E. Main St. (aka Route 66) in Barstow.

The operators of Roy’s Cafe in Barstow said in a text the building’s owner is Albert Okura, who also owns the original Roy’s and the rest of the Route 66 hamlet of Amboy. Okura also owns the Juan Pollo restaurant chain in southern California.

Aceves said in an email that Okura “has agreed to open the business as Roys Cafe so we can cater to the travelers coming into Amboy but can not eat food there.”

Roy Crowl opened the original Roy’s in Amboy along Route 66 in 1938. It eventually included a motel, full-service garage and restaurant. Buster Burris married one of Crowl’s daughters and became a full partner in the enterprise by the 1940s.

Amboy declined after Interstate 40 bypassed Route 66 in 1972. Okura bought Roy’s and the town in 2005, and he’s been slowly upgrading the facilities — including reopening the gas station — ever since.

(Exceprted of Roy’s Cafe in Barstow, California, from Google reviews; image of Roy’s in Amboy, California, by Helen Gordon via Flickr)


One thought on “Restaurant inspired by Roy’s of Amboy opens in Barstow

  1. Phil Gordon

    This building is the old Juan Pollo drive in restaurant in Barstow. It has had a miniature Roy’s sign in front of it for many years. But the Juan Pollo business closed several years ago and the building has been empty ever since.

    Using Google Street View you can see how the building appeared back in July 2012 (the date Google claims was when the street view image was taken) and you can verify that the building says “Juan Pollo” (the restaurant may have been open back then) and it had the miniature Roy’s sign in front of it. Just type in the address “413 East Main Street, Barstow” into Google Maps and go to Street View. The building is on the north side of Main Street.

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