Route 66 Association of Missouri raising money to restore Red Cedar Inn sign

The Route 66 Association of Missouri has launched a fundraiser to help restore the neon sign for the former Red Cedar Inn restaurant.

The city of Pacific, Missouri, eventually will convert the Route 66 landmark into a history and visitors center.

Association President Rich Dinkela launched a Facebook Pay campaign for the neon sign restoration. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raised over $800. Donations also can be made through the association.

Here are images of the sign being removed so it can be restored, then reinstalled:

The sign has been removed from the building so work on it can begin. Dinkela said in comments the restoration will cost about $2,000.

“The city is biting off a lot to redevelop the site and we think this will be a great contribution,” he wrote.

The Smith brothers built the restaurant along Route 66 in 1932, then constructed the tavern addition a few years later. Both were made from logs cut from the family farm.

The restaurant and bar were favorites for many travelers on Route 66, including politicians and baseball legends Dizzy Dean and Ted Williams.

The Red Cedar Inn closed abruptly in 2005 — its owners citing rising insurance costs — not long after its 70th anniversary. It remains on the National Register of Historic Places.

The city officially greenlighted converting the restaurant into a history and visitors center in late 2018 after talks between the owners and city had percolated for years. The conversion was estimated last year to take two years, putting it at midyear 2021. However, that likely will be delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

(Image of the Red Cedar Inn sign via city of Pacific, Missouri)

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