The Rock Café Rocks Back
If you’re getting your kicks on Route 66, stop in at the Rock Café in Stroud, Oklahoma. The popular diner reopened in late May, almost exactly a year after a fire gutted the place.
The stone walls, made from rocks that workers excavated to build Route 66, was all that was left of the 1936 structure. But owner Dawn Welch—the model for the blue Porsche Sally in the animated flick Cars—wasn’t about to throw in the towel.
Using funds from insurance, grants and even Cars cast and crew, Welch got to work rebuilding the place. She hired a historic preservation architect to oversee the project. They relied on historic photos to help them rebuild it accurately.
So the café, which is on the National Register, is back in business—the only time a fire-destroyed building along the Route 66 corridor has ever been brought back.