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Santa Rosa scoops July 29, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Gas stations, Museums, Preservation, Publications, Restaurants, Towns.
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I always enjoy the print edition of the Guadalupe County Communicator, based out of Santa Rosa, N.M., when it arrives in my mailbox each week. It’s a lively newspaper owned by a former Rocky Mountain News reporter, and the fact it’s on Route 66 is  bonus.

This week, the Communicator contained these items of interest to Mother Road fans:

  • Longtime New Mexico Route 66 advocate Johnnie Meier is considering a Route 66-themed museum in the 1906 Charles Ilfeld Warehouse in Santa Rosa. I’d known that Meier, who owns a Classical Gas petroliana museum in Embudo, N.M., was looking at Santa Rosa for another museum. But this was the first I’d heard about a specific location. Meier also may put the museum in Tucumcari.
  • The nearby Route 66 ghost town of Cuervo may put its long-closed schoolhouse on the market. The school was built with stone, and sits on a rise just south of Interstate 40 and Route 66. But the roof is decaying, but townsfolk want to sell the building before it deteriorates to where it’s no longer salvageable. Cuervo, which once boasted a population of 240, now counts only 11 residents. The Santa Rosa School District, which owns the property, will likely put it up for bid.
  • Meier, investigating whether the long-defunct Club Cafe still stands in Santa Rosa, found a building on the property that contains an old sign of the Club Cafe’s famous “fat man” mascot, plus  “a lot of dust.” It had been reported that the Club Cafe has been torn down, but Meier disputes that. It’s not certain whether what Meier found is proof that the building was the Club Cafe, but the sign was quite a find regardless. I reckon this fellow would settle the matter once and for all.

Comments»

1. Davy Delgado - July 30, 2010

Ron,
You’ve gotta be kidding! The new roof that Club Cafe owner Joseph Campos installed about 10 years ago blew off during a storm two years ago. The building hasn’t been torn down. Some of the interior partition walls have been removed but the rest of the Club is still there. You can see the damage to two walls during a circa 1938 fire. As far as I remember (I worked there in the late 1970s), the fire damage wasn’t visible until those partitions were removed. I did a story about that fire (with great ’38 pictures) in the Santa Rosa News in the ’80s.
Joseph tried to rehabilitate the Club building. It’s very strong but apparently just too old and it would be too costly to finish it.
In the same light, Joseph was able to recruit many of Ron Chavez’s former employees and they made Joseph’s food offerings pretty good there for awhile. The interior of Joseph’s perfectly compliments what the Club might have looked like today. The exterior too. So,,,
The old Club (in the ’70s and ’80s) was still servicing the Greyhound and Continental bus lines several times a day and evenings. But it was Ron’s local specials (very nearly replicating the late, great Spanish Inn downtown on Original 1926-1934 Route 66) that made the historic eatery so enjoyable. The Spanish Inn building is also still standing (in great condition) and available for sale or lease.
If this recessionary economy killed anything, it was America’s entrepreneurial spirit. I would’ve never thought (or bet) that was possible.
Keep up the great work Ron.
Davi Antonio (Davy) Delgado


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