Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe, Shamrock

4.9
#303 of 3,346 in Things to do in Texas
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.
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Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
234 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Any one that knows me, knows that I love taking the side roads, the unexplored paths or memory lanes of America. For my birthday, I returned to the highways of Route 66 in the direction of New Mexico....  more »
  • Glad we made the trip to see this place. Hazel was our host, and she was great. She was able to tell us all the history of the building and the town. Nice gift shop full of items relating to the U-Dro...  more »
  • This is a great place to see what an old gas station looks like. You can drop off the freeway and look around. Even if they are closed, you can look through the window. There is also 6 Tesla Charging ...  more »
Google
  • Advertised as a historical souvenir shop, it was my first stop of my adventurous St. Patrick's Day night in SHAMROCK, Texas. The staff and fellow visitors welcomed me at one of the highest levels I had ever experienced. Although the souvenir selection was not that big, the staff was excited to see me, despite my arrival shortly before closing time. I really enjoyed talking to those laughterly happy Texas accent conversations. That was a Texas welcome.
  • Great stop on Route 66. To stop and see the history, of the gas station, post office and U Drop Inn Cafe. The ladies were very friendly and knowledgeable of it's history. Nice Visitor Center and gift shop.
  • A wonderful bit of restored Historic Route 66 Architecture. The diner has been meticulously and lovingly staged and maintained. I felt like I was transported back in time. For you Elvis fans...he dined here and his booth is preserved and a photo and bit of information mark the spot.
  • Unfortunately, it was closed when we got there. But enjoyed the visit anyway. We will go back. Also, pleasantly surprised that there was a restroom available as a separate door outside, that was unlocked. Great for travelers.
  • A great little piece of Route 66 history. Discovered this place by accident, but I very much recommend taking a little time out of your travels to see this lovely place.
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