Fabulous 40 Motel in Adrian reopens

Fabulous 40 Motel sign

The Fabulous 40 Motel in Adrian, Texas, reopened last week after a hiatus of more than a decade.

And the new proprietors also own The Bent Door cafe along Route 66 in Adrian, which they also hope to reopen sometime next year.

Roy and Ramona Kiewert reopened the Fabulous 40 Motel on Oct. 7 after buying the property in mid-June. Ten rooms of the 20-unit motel are available to overnight travelers for $54 to $73; the Kiewerts hope to have the other 10 rooms on the upper floor ready by spring. Overnight guests get a free continental breakfast in the property’s recreation room.

The Fabulous 40 Motel's rec room.
The Fabulous 40 Motel’s rec room.

The motel’s phone number is (806) 538-6215 or (936) 615-7730. It’s at 301 W. Historic Route 66 (map here) next to the landmark Midpoint Cafe, which recently was put up for sale because of owner Dennis Purschwitz’s health problems.

Kenny and Marjorie Callstrom built and opened the motel in 1967 and was so named because of then-new Interstate 40. The motel closed in 2004 after the couple died, although relatives kept the property nominally maintained in the interim.

Ramona Kiewert said they were interested in buying land near the motel for an RV park and decided to make a bid for the long-shuttered motel as well.

An overnight guest room at the Fabulous 40 Motel.
An overnight guest room at the Fabulous 40 Motel.

It turns out the RV park near the motel probably won’t be ready until spring or summer. Initial repairs to the Fabulous 40 Motel consisted mostly of cleaning and plumbing work. The Kiewerts kept some of the motel’s original furniture.

Ramona Kiewert said they recently repainted motel’s neon sign but are reluctant to reinstall the neon lighting because “we had four big hailstorms last spring  … Some of them were the size of baseballs.”

Instead, the Kiewerts are investigating possibly installing more durable and energy-efficient LED neon in the sign.

As for The Bent Door, the Kiewerts have owned it since 2006. Ramona said repairs to the Route 66 restaurant — famous for its cockeyed front entrance — proved complicated, and they wanted to acquire as many of its original furnishings as possible.

Ramona said they now are confident it will reopen as a restaurant sometime in 2017. At least three other family members will help run both businesses.

The Kiewerts also acquired a 1920s Phillips 66 cottage-style gas station from nearby Vega, Texas, and moved it to the Bent Door property. They plan to use it as a souvenir shop.

Here is video of the gas station being moved into place:

(Images courtesy of the Facebook page of the Fabulous 40 Motel)

4 thoughts on “Fabulous 40 Motel in Adrian reopens

  1. Ron Warnick thanks so much for the wonderful story about all of our plans for Adrian, Texas and Rt66. We are excited and very tired every night. But, it’s a good kind of tired.

  2. Now, this is upbeat news! I stayed at the Fabulous 40 on my first Route 66 roadtrip adventure in 1999. I’m sorry I don’t remember the name of the sweet old lady who checked me in but it was a nice place. I was heartbroken to learn that it had closed about a year later. It’s good to know that classic period accommodations are reopening in this part of Texas. I wish the new owners all the best of luck and prosperity.

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