Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe, Shamrock

4.8
#304 of 4,400 in Things to do in Texas
Must see · Observation Deck · Landmark
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The U-Drop Inn, also known as Tower Station and U-Drop Inn and Tower Café, was built in 1936 in Shamrock, Texas along the historic Route 66 highway. Inspired by the image of a nail stuck in soil, the building was designed by J. C. Berry. An unusual example of art deco architecture applied to a gas station and restaurant, the building features two flared towers with geometric detailing, curvilinear massing, glazed ceramic tile walls, and neon light accents. It has traditionally held two separate business: "Tower Station", a gas station on the western side, and the "U-Drop Inn", a café on the eastern side. Though it has passed hands several times in its history, the building has consistently housed the same types of businesses it was originally constructed for.Once considered a beautiful and impressive example of Route 66 architecture in Texas, the U-Drop Inn fell into disrepair with the decommissioning of Route 66. It closed for business in the late 1990s. After it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in September 1997, the building was purchased by the First National Bank of Shamrock, which then gave it to the city. Primarily funded by a US$1.7 million federal grant, the city hired a firm specializing in historical renovation to restore the building to its original glory and adapt it into a museum, visitors' center, gift shop, and the city's chamber of commerce. In 2006 animated film Cars, the cartoon village of Radiator Springs was based on multiple real U.S. Route 66 landmarks from Peach Springs to Baxter Springs; the U-Drop Inn's distinctive architecture appears as Ramone's automotive body and paint shop.
A visit to Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Shamrock trip itinerary maker website to plot your vacation.
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Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
346 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Elvis fans can sit in the same booth he sat in in 1963, and the folks who work here can snap your pic and give you a little history as well. There is also a life size Elvis cutout you can pose with... 
    Elvis fans can sit in the same booth he sat in in 1963, and the folks who work here can snap your pic and give you a little history as well. There is also a life size Elvis cutout you can pose with...  more »
  • An historic stop for photo opportunities, souvenirs and good coffee. Interesting art deco style building and gas station. Very engaging girls in the café. Good visitor centre too but not a whole lot.....  more
    An historic stop for photo opportunities, souvenirs and good coffee. Interesting art deco style building and gas station. Very engaging girls in the café. Good visitor centre too but not a whole lot.....  more »
  • Only rated this high because I think it is a must stop if you are travelling along historic Rt 66. Website, and sigh on door says they open at 9 am. They do not open until 11am. We wasted some time... 
    Only rated this high because I think it is a must stop if you are travelling along historic Rt 66. Website, and sigh on door says they open at 9 am. They do not open until 11am. We wasted some time...  more »
Google
  • The cafe is open but has limited lunch only hours. The food was very good and the service was wonderful. Remember that your visiting a small rural town, a little patience and kindness will get you everywhere. The Museum and gift shop is a nice walk threw with lots of local information. The site itself is worth stopping for. Thank goodness the town of Shamrock had the vision to preserve this piece of Route 66. The public bathrooms are clean and well stocked even in the middle of the night. The overall look and feel of this piece of history is amazing day or especially at night. If your looking for big city polish and fake shine this may not be your favorite stop but if you are looking for authenticity and small town heart then this will be your favorite stop too!
  • What a cute little place to stop! We got lots of pictures. They have a gift shop with souvenirs in it. They also have a bathroom. The ladies there were so sweet and kind to my littlest daughter and they were great to talk to...we could've spent the whole afternoon visiting with them!!! Highly recommend visiting!
  • Great restoration of this iconic gas station. The visitors center is stocked with Route 66 apparel and souvenirs as well as some vintage items, old photographs, painting of the station and other interesting items. Staff is friendly and there is one small bathroom inside and a 24 hour bathroom in the front of the building. Bathrooms are vintage also. Great place to take photos of the vintage gas station and the Cafe.
  • An essential Route 66 stop. Beautifully restored, rare Art Deco service station and cafe from the 1930s. Check the visitors center inside, with some Route 66 artifacts and maps showing where Route 66 visitors come from all over the world. Peep through the windows to see the restored cafe--hope they are able to open it eventually.
  • Was so excited to see this landmark that ended up in the movie Cars. Hazel came out to greet us when we pulled in! She's such a nice lady! She took our picture and then told us another SSR had come through several years ago... She still had the picture of it! Browse the gift shop .. You're sure to find that special little sovenier!!!

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