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Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe, Shamrock

4.8
#87 of 378 in Sightseeing in Texas
Observation Deck Landmark
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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194 reviews
Google
4.7
  • We pulled off for the night to rest in sleepy little Shamrock TX. Right on the main drag is the iconic Conoco station that served as the model for Ramone's in the Cars movie. It was immaculately resto...  more »
  • We had been traveling on Route 66 and this was a really nice little rest area. They offer free coffee, tea, and water. They have a really nice gift shop as well as a really cool setup diner. The shopk...  more »
  • Stopped in and toured the gas station and cafe. The lady working was really friendly and helpful on giving us a free tour, telling us a ton of history, even taking pictures of us together (and taking ...  more »
Google
  • So far, wins the Best Roadside Attraction contest in our Route 66 trip. Theresa and Hazel were wonderful hostesses. This is s visually stunning, beautifully restored art deco station, perfectly redone, makes you feel exactly like you're in the original place. Do NOT miss this if you're doing 66!!!
  • A surprisingly large collection of Route 66 Americana greets U at the U-Drop-Inn but also in Shamrock as a whole. A knowledgeable and friendly staff sells t-shirts and signs and offers complimentary coffee. Outside, nestled amid the larger attractions rest a late 30's Chevrolet wrecker and a Studebaker M8 flatbed pickup. Both trucks eagerly await to be in front of your camera.
  • Very nice visit with beautiful, friendly ladies with cool stories. Thank you so much for the hospitality. Awesome place for all.
  • Cool little building to visit. Stopped by because it was an inspiration for Cars, and I'm glad we did. The woman on staff was so friendly and knowledgeable. Even got to sit at a diner table that Elvis himself ate at. I would recommend this place!
  • Quaint place! Unfortunately, it's nowadays just a gift shop, although they did serve free coffee, too! Worth a visit for anyone interested in the history of Route 66.