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Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Cafe, Shamrock

(4.9/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We only got to see this from the outside but it was a neat stop for Route 66 enthusiasts. I wish we could have seen it lit up though.  more »
  • Another iconic image along Route 66 that was also an inspiration for scenery in the movie 'Cars'. It's right off of I-40, making it a great spot to stretch the legs for a few minutes. Staff is very fr...  more »
  • I really like what they have done in restoring this attraction, an excellent place to visit the past. See it when the sun goes down and you will enjoy the lights. But remember to get out and look arou...  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • Many people do not know that the U drop inn and most of Shamrock was actually the inspiration for Radiator Springs in the movie Cars. They got everything especially when it comes to the hospitality of the people of Shamrock. True southern hospitality is right here.
  • Very cool, historic and renovated. Very nice staff!
  • What a wonderful treasure on Rt. 66! We were warmly greeted and told a few stories by a local lady who used to come to dances here back in the day. Definitely worth the stop!
  • I don't think they actually serve food here. But they do have a Tesla supercharger and a 24-hour bathroom. The cafe seems to be an historic renovation of a mid-1900s route 66 stopover. There are a couple eating places in walking distance if you are charging.