Chat ‘n Chew near Route 66 in Normal catered to black customers in Jim Crow era

The Route 66 Bloomington-Normal, Illinois page on Facebook recently posted an interesting, if obscure, historical item for Black History Month -- the Chat 'n Chew restaurant and grocery in Normal. Here's the post, with Terri Ryburn of Ryburn Place (formerly Sprague Super Service station) in Normal supplying the photo: https://www.facebook.com/Route66BN/posts/153881979883693 A 2017 article, titled "Jim … Continue reading Chat ‘n Chew near Route 66 in Normal catered to black customers in Jim Crow era

“Negro Motorist Green Book” expert to speak at Miles of Possibility conference

Candacy Taylor, author of a forthcoming book about the Negro Motorist Green Book published from the 1930s to the '60s, will be the keynote speaker during the fifth annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference in Normal, Illinois, on Oct. 17-20. Taylor soon will publish "Overground Railroad: The Green Book and theRoots of Black Travel … Continue reading “Negro Motorist Green Book” expert to speak at Miles of Possibility conference

Outlook appears grim for Steak ‘n Shake restaurant chain

If you enjoy Steak 'n Shake or never have been to the restaurant chain founded 85 years ago along Route 66, you may ought to visit one soon. It may not be around in the next few years. Indiana-based Steak 'n Shake, founded in 1934 by Gus Belt along U.S. 66 in Normal, Illinois, contains … Continue reading Outlook appears grim for Steak ‘n Shake restaurant chain

Should Airbnb sites on Route 66 undergo more regulation?

While Airbnb has been controversial in larger cities for years, the use of people's homes for overnight lodging is being cussed and discussed in smaller cities -- including those on Route 66. WGLT, a public radio station at Illinois State University, recently dived into the issue and the case of Kevin Lewis' 103-year-old house in … Continue reading Should Airbnb sites on Route 66 undergo more regulation?

Ryburn Place in Normal opens to the public

Ryburn Place, aka Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, held its grand opening Saturday after a multi-year restoration of the historic Route 66 site. Ryburn Place is named after Route 66 enthusiast Terri Ryburn, who owned the site for years and shepherded its renovations. Here is video of the site's sign reveal: And here … Continue reading Ryburn Place in Normal opens to the public

Sprague Super Service station reopens Saturday as Ryburn Place

The long-in-coming restoration of the historic Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, will culminate with a grand opening Saturday, where it will be rechristened as Ryburn Place. The station will be renamed after Route 66 enthusiast Terri Ryburn, who purchased the property more than a decade ago and slowly and steadily began to restore … Continue reading Sprague Super Service station reopens Saturday as Ryburn Place

Grand opening for Sprague Super Service station set for Aug. 12

The grand opening -- or reopening, if you will -- of the gift shop and information center at the historic Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12. Gift-shop operator Terri Ryburn, who labored for a decade to restore the unique gas station before the city finished the … Continue reading Grand opening for Sprague Super Service station set for Aug. 12

Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal will open in August

The Sprague's Super Service station is scheduled to open to the public next month as a Route 66 visitors center after the city of Normal, Illinois, finishes its rehabilitation. The Bloomington Pantagraph reported: "We’re definitely going to be ready to open the doors this summer, possibly a soft opening early next month with a ribbon … Continue reading Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal will open in August

Sprague Super Service station likely will open in May

The Sprague Super Service station along Route 66 in Normal. Illinois, probably will open to travelers in May, a few weeks later than originally anticipated. The reason for the delay is because work still is being done. The Bloomington Pantagraph reports: Normal's Historic Preservation Commission approved three steps Tuesday to improve the exterior: tuck-pointed bricks on … Continue reading Sprague Super Service station likely will open in May

Sprague’s Super Service station to reopen in April

The historic Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, likely will reopen as a Route 66 visitors center by April after the city spent many thousands of dollars to improve the property. According to the Bloomington Pantagraph, the city will have spent about $600,000 on the project -- including purchasing the property itself -- by … Continue reading Sprague’s Super Service station to reopen in April