Monday, June 9, 2008

Route 66's Rock Cafe hopes to rebuild

Part of the fascination of old routes is the life along the old route. Many businesses disappear when the old route is bypassed. Some adjust to the lesser traffic. Some towns may reformulate their entire business district to attract a new clientele, like antique shoppers. Some businesses have held on over the years. They do it for many reasons… to put food on the table… their family has always done it… and some to keep the history alive.
One such place on Route 66 is the Rock Café in Stroud Oklahoma. The restaurant was built in 1938. The current owner, Dawn Welch, bought the restaurant in 1993. In the beginning, she had planned to turn the restaurant around, sell it and move to Costa Rica. However, she had so much fun, she stayed. The restaurant is now listed on National Register of Historic Places. Welch is even one of the inspirations for Sally the Porsche in the animated movie "Cars."
Unfortunately, the Rock Café’s classic neon sign today looks over a burned out building. The restaurant namesake walls remain, but the inside filled with only charred remains of classic memorabilia, chrome barstools, and thank you notes from the makers of the movie, ”Cars.”
The good news is that Welch has apparently forgotten about Costa Rica, she says she hopes to reopen the historic site in about a year.
No more burgers, chicken-fried steak or oatmeal pie, for a little while. Thankfully though, the good memories cannot be burned up.
No one was in the building when it caught fire, and no one was hurt.
The Rock Café is located at on Route 66 at 114 West Main Street in Stroud, Oklahoma.

Photos courtesy Shellee Graham & Jim Ross /
Our Old Routes Souvenir Shop is open and have Route 66 t-shirts, mugs, hats and more ready to ship.

More Info
Tulsa World story about fire
KOCO-TV story about fire
About Rock Cafe
Rock Cafe's connection to the movie "Cars"