Ariston Cafe, World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, Wildey Theatre named Local Legends by tourism bureau

The Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau of southwest Illinois recently named the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, the World's Largest Catsup Bottle in Collinsville and Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville as Local Legends during the bureau's tourism summit. The summit was held at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and attended by about 250 people, the Alton Telegraph reported. … Continue reading Ariston Cafe, World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, Wildey Theatre named Local Legends by tourism bureau

Switch is flipped on Ariston Cafe’s neon restoration

At 8:10 p.m. Saturday, the switch was flipped to show the restored neon signs and window accents for the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois, during a relighting ceremony. The aim of the restoration was to show what the Route 66 restaurant looked like shortly after it opened in Litchfield in July 1935. The Ariston originally … Continue reading Switch is flipped on Ariston Cafe’s neon restoration

Restored Ariston Cafe sign reinstalled; relighting ceremony is Saturday

Historic neon signs that hung above the entrance of the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois, for decades were reinstalled Monday after their restoration, days before a relighting ceremony this Saturday. Jim Thole passed along some details about the reinstallation by a St. Louis sign company: The "Ariston Cafe" sign had been repainted sometime during its … Continue reading Restored Ariston Cafe sign reinstalled; relighting ceremony is Saturday

Lawmaker hails Ariston Cafe’s 95th anniversary on House floor

A congressman recently spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize the Ariston Cafe's 95th anniversary. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) spoke Tuesday about the Route 66 restaurant in Litchfield, Illinois. Below are his remarks: Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize one of the most well-known landmarks along Route 66 in … Continue reading Lawmaker hails Ariston Cafe’s 95th anniversary on House floor

Relighting of Ariston Cafe’s neon signs, windows set for May 4

A relighting ceremony for the neon signs and window accents for the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois, will be scheduled for the evening of May 4. The restoration of the signs and accents is a joint project between the Route 66 Association of Missouri and the Illinois Route 66 Association. The Missouri association has been … Continue reading Relighting of Ariston Cafe’s neon signs, windows set for May 4

2018 cost-share grants for Route 66 sites announced

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program on Wednesday announced it awarded seven cost-share grants totaling about $87,000 for preservation or historical research. Since 2001, the program has awarded 146 cost-share grants totaling $2.17 million. The program tentatively has planned to award more grants in 2019 before it expires that year. Here are the 2018 awardees, … Continue reading 2018 cost-share grants for Route 66 sites announced

Ariston Cafe likely will have new owners by mid-July

The historic Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois, is under contract to have new owners by mid-July after the Route 66 establishment belonged to the same family for more than 90 years. Marty and Kara Steffens, co-owners of the Maverick Steaks & Spirits restaurant in Litchfield, are scheduled to take over the reins of the Ariston by … Continue reading Ariston Cafe likely will have new owners by mid-July

More 1990s video from Route 66 in a 1959 Cadillac

Anthony Reichardt recently uploaded more videos to YouTube from his travels on Route 66 during the early to mid-1990s in a 1959 Cadillac. At the least, the videos are valuable for historic reasons. Some of the places Reichardt visited have disappeared or changed radically. The first video is a chat with Glaida Funk of Funks … Continue reading More 1990s video from Route 66 in a 1959 Cadillac

Ariston Cafe still on market, still for sale

In October 2014, the news got out that longtime owners Nick and Demi Adam had put the historic Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois, up for sale with a $1.2 million price tag. In a follow-up story this week, Adam told the Springfield State Journal-Register the Route 66 restaurant remains for sale, although he said he … Continue reading Ariston Cafe still on market, still for sale

What’s happening with Shea’s Route 66 Museum and Art’s Motel?

A story in the Springfield State Journal-Register gave status reports about three prominent Illinois Route 66 properties that closed and/or were for sale. One was about the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, which went up for sale in October for $1.2 million by the Adam family, remains on the market and is still operating. Another was … Continue reading What’s happening with Shea’s Route 66 Museum and Art’s Motel?