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Michael Wallis hints at a “Cars 3″ movie January 27, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.
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Author Michael Wallis, the baritone voice of the Sheriff of Radiator Springs in Disney-Pixar’s animated “Cars” movies, hinted Sunday afternoon there may be a “Cars 3″ film.

In an email and a Facebook post, Wallis said:

CARS 3? The rumors are flying as fast as Lightning McQueen. The Sheriff of Radiator Springs is primed and ready to rumble. Stay tuned.

Wallis also shared this video, created in 2011, that speculated about a “Cars 3″:


Cars 3 Movie Trailer – Details by gingishanibal

The clip, which was purely speculative, said “Cars 3″ would “possibly” be released in 2016 — the 10th anniversary of the first “Cars” film. John Lasseter, director of the first film, is rumored to be back at the helm. And Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bonnie Hunt are supposed to reprise their roles of Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, and Sally Carrera, respectively.

Nothing official has been released about another “Cars” sequel, if there’s one at all. However, Wallis coyly mentioning the possibility — plus his extensive involvement in the films — gives the speculation a lot more credence.

The first “Cars,” released in 2006, grossed more than $460 million worldwide. That’s impressive enough, but the film spawned more than $5 billion (with a “b”) in merchandising sales — by far the most at Pixar. “Cars 2,” released in 2011, wasn’t as well-received but grossed more than $550 million.

“Cars” depicted the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs, based on many real-life people, towns, and landmarks on Route 66. In addition to portraying the sheriff in both films, Wallis acted as a technical adviser about Route 66 and guided the Pixar crew down the Mother Road for field research.

New “Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide” is available January 27, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Books, Motels, Restaurants, Route 66 Associations.
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The updated 16th edition of “The Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide,” published by the National Historic Route 66 Federation, is now available to order.

The federation didn’t have the book listed on its 0nline store as of Saturday. However, it can be ordered from Amazon for $15.95 — although it’s “temporarily” out of stock. In early January, federation director David Knudson said in an email that copies of the book would be available in a few weeks. So, its arrival seems imminent.

For years, this has been one of the best guides to motels and restaurants along the Mother Road. Several dozen Adopt-A-Hundred volunteers check these establishments in over 100-mile increments of Route 66. (Disclosure: I was one of the volunteers on portions of Oklahoma and Kansas.)

Even so, deadlines and changes on the road keep this edition from being perfect. Shortly after the guide was printed, Cafe on the Route in Baxter Springs, Kan., closed around New Year’s, along with its Little Brick Inn B&B. And had Green Chile Kitchen on Route 66 in Yukon, Okla., opened a few months earlier, it likely would have been included in the book. Keep those things in mind when planning your travels.

The guide contains 188 pages in a spiral-bound form, with more than 500 restaurants or motels listed. Information includes hours of operation, physical addresses, phone numbers, websites, specialties, price ranges, amenities, thumbnail ratings, and other notes of distinction.

“The Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide” includes old favorites, such as Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood, Calif., and Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago. But it also includes a few new favorites, such as Burn Co Barbecue and The Campbell Hotel, both in Tulsa.

We always keep a copy of this guide in our car. You’d better get one, too.

Springfield chamber honors owner of Route 66 Rail Haven hotel January 26, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, History, Motels, People, Preservation.
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The Springfield, Mo., Area Chamber of Commerce honored Gordon Elliott as its 2013 Springfieldian during its annual meeting Friday, according to a news release.

For those who don’t know who Elliott is, his Route 66 connection will become quickly apparent.

To the news release:

As CEO of Elliott Lodging and Oak Ridge Properties, Elliott owns and operates 17 hotels and 15 apartment communities. Elliott is known for his efforts to revive distressed locations within the local hotel community, particularly his work restoring the historic landmark Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven.

He is also known for his service to others.  On numerous occasions, Elliott has opened the doors of his hotels to the homeless as well as victims of natural disasters.

“There was a time when he even bought a house off the courthouse steps for an employee who was going to lose it,” said Elliott’s son, Todd Elliott.

For the past 50 years, the chamber annually has honored one individual as its Springfieldian for leadership and commitment the community. So the honor has been a big deal for a long time.

The Springfield News-Leader newspaper had coverage of the award ceremony.

The late Skip Curtis’ “The Missouri U.S. 66 Tour Book” contained this summary and a very early postcard of the motel, which was built in 1938 as the Rail Haven Motor Court:

A motor court “for motorists who demand the best. Popular haven for women and children.” At one time “16 stone cottages with showers, automatic safety controlled gas heat, laundry facilities, children’s playground” and “very good beds.” By 1946, it had grown to 28 rooms and was considered “excellent” by AAA.

 

A word from our sponsor January 26, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Television, Vehicles.
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This television ad for the China-based Foton Motor Co. was uploaded a few days ago by Michael Wong, who was the spot’s visual and artistic director.

You’ll see an Arizona Historic Route 66 road sign make a brief appearance.

Yes, I do believe the Chinese hold a certain fascination for the Mother Road.

An introduction to the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program January 25, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Preservation.
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I was pleasantly surprised to see this new video pop up in my feed. It’s a 5 1/2-minute primer on the history of Route 66 and the purpose of the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

More about the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program can be found here. It may be a federal government program, but it’s respected and beloved by roadies of all political stripes.

UPDATE: The video was removed. Program director Kaisa Barthuli, who starred in the clip, explained why in an email:

My apologies, however, but that is a draft version of the video, temporarily posted so a few people within my office could see it (I believe it’s already been taken down). Please know that the final version will be launched in conjunction with our new website, due out within a few months. I am very sorry for the “false start”… the power of the Internet is powerful indeed!! Stay tuned… we will make an announcement when the final version is out!

In my opinion, the “draft” version was pretty darned good.

Crown Candy Kitchen marks 100th year January 24, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Restaurants.
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The Crown Candy Kitchen restaurant in St. Louis is marking its 100th year north of downtown St. Louis. More incredibly, it’s been owned by the same family the entire time.

Crown Candy Kitchen isn’t on Route 66. But it’s such a historic landmark, many Route 66 travelers seek it out anyway.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch produced a terrific video about the restaurant (I didn’t embed it, because it auto-plays every time you surf to this site).

Here’s another video from KETC-TV in St. Louis:

The newspaper reports that no one is sure what date Crown Candy Kitchen opened in 1913. So it’s treating the entire year as a celebration, with a street fair later in the year when the weather turns warmer.

Crown Candy Kitchen sits at 1401 St. Louis Ave. (map here), just a few blocks east of the Florissant Avenue alignment of Route 66.

UPDATE: Post-Dispatch video link has been fixed.

New operator sought for Palms Grill Cafe, but it will remain open January 24, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Restaurants.
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The nonprofit board that owns the historically restored Palms Grill Cafe building, which sits along old Route 66 in downtown Atlanta, Ill., is seeking a new operator for the restaurant by May 1, but it will likely stay open in the interim.

The Atlanta Public Library Board owns the Downey Building where the restaurant operates. The Palms Grill opened in that space in 1934 and closed in the late 1960s. The restaurant was restored to its circa-1935 glory in 2009, and quickly became a must-stop destination for Route 66 travelers.

William Thomas, treasurer of the board, emailed a press release Thursday seeking candidates to run the restaurant. The current lease expires April 30.

In an email, Thomas explained why the board wanted to go another direction with the restaurant:

The PGC currently operates on what the Library/Museum Board considers to be too-limited a schedule. It’s days/hours of operation are: Tuesday-Sunday, 8am-2pm. The Board would like to see if a different manager can expand the days/hours of operation. The current manager/lessee also owns and operates Atlanta’s only other full-service restaurant, The Country Aire. Over the years, the current manager has demonstrated that he has primarily kept the lease for the PGC in order to reduce competition with The Country Aire restaurant. The Library/Museum Board would like to see if a new manager can more fully leverage the potential of the Palms Grill Cafe.

Thomas said the restaurant will stay open for now. “It would not, however, surprise me if – once a new manager/lessee is found — the new manager/lessee chooses to close for several days in order to reopen under his/her management,” he said.

Part of the news release said:

The Palms Grill Café is a turnkey operation. It is fully equipped and will only require a new manager to supply an initial inventory of food and hire his/her staff to operate it. The Grill seats 47 in its main dining area, which includes a counter with 11 stools. Its backroom seats 60. The building is approximately 1800 sq ft.

Leasing/Managing the Palms Grill Café is an excellent opportunity for the right person.

The Atlanta Museum, which is operated by the board, also occupies the Downey Building.

Prospective restaurateurs should email Thomas at wthomas(at)teleologic(dot)net. Candidates will be required to fill out an application and submit a business plan.

UPDATE: Thomas’ email address had a typo. It’s fixed now.

UPDATE 1/29/2013: In a question from the Lincoln Daily News, Thomas answered a burning question about the restaurant’s pie:

[T]he pie we all know and love that is currently served at The Grill, will continue to be baked & served regardless of who holds the lease/manages The Grill. The recipe is mine and, just as I did with the current leaseholder, I will train whomever assumes management of the place, how to bake our great pie.

(Photos courtesy of William Thomas)

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