Fine Dining on Rte 66
The Ariston Café
The Shifting Highway
In 1924, Pete Adam opened the first Ariston in Carlinville next to the original alignment of Route 66. When the highway was rerouted in 1929, Pete moved his cafe next to the new 66 in Litchfield (across the street from here). This building was opened in 1935.
Photo caption: Waitresses wear special weekend-style uniforms in the 1940s.
Aristo = "best or finest" (Greek)
Opened in 1924 by Pete Adam, the Ariston is one of the oldest operating restaurants on Route 66. But it wasn't always located here. The restaurant moved with the highway as it was rerouted through Illinois. Three generations later, the Adam's family continues to offer fine dining for highway travelers.
Photo caption: Famous diners include Vice Presidents Henry Wallace (shown above in the middle) and Hubert Humphrey, and the legendary Big Band leader, Tommy Dorsey.
"First Booth on the Left"
In 1938, delivery man Jesse Johnson always timed his lunch break to stop at the Ariston and sit at the same booth. He was smitten with his waitress.
"There in the first booth on the left, a very nervous
Litchfield's Wind Mill Factory (about 300 feet away); Litchfield, Illinois (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Litchfield.
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 🛣️ series list.
Location. 39° 10.663′ N, 89° 40.007′ W. Marker is in Litchfield, Illinois, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Old Route 66 N, on the right when traveling south. Marker is on the grounds of Ariston Café. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 413 Old Rte 66 N, Litchfield IL 62056, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Ariston Café, Litchfield, Illinois (a few steps from this marker); The Vic Suhling Sign (within shouting distance of this marker); Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center (within shouting distance of this marker); Route 66 (within shouting distance of this marker); The American Radiator Plant Cornerstone (within shouting distance of this marker); The Litchfield Community High School 1924-1997 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line);
More about this marker. This is one of two wayside exhibits from this organization located in Litchfield. The other is in front of the Sky View Drive-In. Some time from late-2019 to 2020, a newly retouched marker was placed, replacing the one with some wear.
Also see . . .
1. Ariston Cafe (NRHP nomination form). (Submitted on August 26, 2019.)
2. Ariston Café on Wikipedia. The Ariston Café is believed to be the oldest operating restaurant on the entire Route 66. (Submitted on November 10, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 26, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on April 1, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. Photos: 1. submitted on November 10, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. 2. submitted on August 26, 2019, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.