The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 6, 2013

Route 66 tourist attraction close to wrapping up overhaul

GALENA, Kan. — After six months of renovations, the owner of a popular Route 66 landmark is looking forward to reopening later this month.

Cars on the Route — formerly called Four Women on the Route — has been closed since October so that crews could do what owner Renee Charles described as “pretty heavy-duty, full-scale renovations.”

“We ripped out everything,” she said.

The eatery and souvenir shop, located at the corner of Old Route 66 and Main Street in Galena, is a former Kan-O-Tex service station. Four women — Charles, Betty Courtney, Melba Rigg and Judy Courtney — purchased and overhauled it in 2006.

They were hoping it would help with the rebirth of the town, and it did. About 4,000 visitors, foreign and domestic, stopped there last year, said Charles, who is active in Route 66 preservation and also serves as the Galena city clerk.

In recent years, she took over ownership of the business with a silent partner, and she decided last fall that the building “needed a bit of face-lifting.”

Rigg will continue to help operate the business.

When it is finished, Cars on the Route will feature new restrooms, new concrete, a new asphalt parking lot, an improved kitchen, a revised menu, neon signs, and an expanded section of memorabilia and Route 66 items for sale.

Out front, Charles is planning additional cars that play off the Pixar movies “Cars” and “Cars 2.” One of the business’s biggest draws has been Tow Tater, a rusty, antique tow truck from which “Cars” director John Lasseter drew inspiration for the character Tow Mater. Schoolchildren and other visitors often pose for photos by the truck.

“He’s getting company,” Charles said. “We are going to get a car like Sheriff’s, Red the Fire Truck will get a face-lift, and we are working on a Doc Hudson.”

While tourist season began picking up about the first or second week of April, Charles said the business’s closure didn’t deter any groups from stopping.

“We still had them stop to take pictures and look,” she said. “We had 68 Australians on motorcycles and several bus tours, including one from England.”

Bordello project

WORK ALSO HAS BEEN UNDER WAY across the street on the northeast corner of the intersection, where developer Brian Jordan has been restoring a historic bordello. Renee Charles said she hopes the two newly renovated sites will be mutually beneficial when it comes to attracting tourists.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Former Webb City teacher charged with sexual contact with student

    A former Webb City High School choir teacher was charged Tuesday in Jasper County Circuit Court with having sexual contact with a student. According to a probable-cause statement, Carrie Njoroge, 30, of Oronogo, had consensual sexual intercourse with an 18-year-old male student in her office at Webb City High School during the evening hours of April 15.

    April 23, 2014

  • Carthage Council reorganizes

    The Carthage City Council has one new member after Paul McCoy was sworn in Tuesday as 2nd Ward councilman. Oaths of office also were repeated by Mayor Mike Harris, and Councilmen Lee Carlson, Jason Shelfer, Kirby Newport and Brady Beckham, all re-elected in city balloting on April 8. Councilman Dan Rife was re-elected as mayor pro tem.

    April 23, 2014

  • New Powell bridge to open today

    Great River Associates engineer Spencer Jones, of Springfield, is planning a final inspection of the new Powell bridge on Cowan Road off Route E, to be followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. today. The initial cost for the bridge was put at $800,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Spring a great time to visit Carver monument

    It occurred to me when the woman passed me — for the second time — as I ambled along the walking trail at George Washington Carver National Monument that perhaps I should step up the pace of my amble. The only problem is, the walking trail at the monument isn’t a place that necessarily inspires a stepped-up amble. To me, the Carver monument is a place to linger.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Season opens Friday for Carthage Art Walk

    Art, music and other activities are scheduled Friday when a new season of the Carthage Art Walk opens on the courthouse square. Displays and programs set for 6 to 9 p.m. will showcase galleries, artists, restaurants and shops. Special events will feature a timed painting and a demonstration of an 1896 printing press.

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri lawmakers file three resolutions calling for impeaching governor

    While Gov. Jay Nixon was in Nevada, Mo., on Wednesday, a Missouri House panel led by Republicans began hearing arguments on three measures calling for impeaching him. Nixon has downplayed the proceedings as a legislative “publicity stunt.” One resolution, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, is critical of Nixon for waiting several months to call special elections to fill three vacated House seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • r042314psumove2.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Moving day for biology and chemistry building at Pittsburg State

    They didn’t all go two-by-two, and the person in charge wasn’t named Noah, but nonetheless, critters of all shapes and sizes were on the move Wednesday. Students, volunteers and staff members helped Delia Lister, director of Nature Reach, relocate everything from a pair of prairie dogs to a vocal macaw named Charlie so that Heckert-Wells Hall — the biology and chemistry building where they are housed on the campus of Pittsburg State University — can undergo a $4.4 million transformation in the coming months.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3M plant expansion to create 22 jobs

    An $18.7 million expansion at the 3M Co. manufacturing plant in Nevada will create 22 new jobs, a company official said Wednesday. “We started 43 years ago as a small manufacturer,” said Todd Cantrell, plant manager, in a meeting with employees. “We are now the largest 3M plant in the state of Missouri and one of the largest of all 3M plants.”

    April 23, 2014

  • Nixon: Tax-cut bill holds fatal flaw; area lawmakers say stance totally false

    Another year has brought yet another tax-cut fight between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the Republican-led Missouri General Assembly, and on Tuesday, Nixon announced that he had found what he sees as a fatal flaw.

    April 22, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has adopted a state budget provision that would prevent public colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition rates to students living in the country illegally. Do you agree with this?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter