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Willowbrook in DuPage County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Get Your "Chicks" on Rte 66

The Chicken Basket

 
 
Get Your "Chicks" on Rte 66 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, October 1, 2020
1. Get Your "Chicks" on Rte 66 Marker
Inscription.  Most businesses on Route 66 began as combinations of gas stations, garages, and lunch counters. At the Chicken Basket, tasty food won out over gasoline sales. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, hungry travelers flocked to the popular restaurant. But in 1962, the new Interstate Highway cut off flourishing businesses from the lifeblood of traffic. Some, like the Chicken Basket, survived.

An Idea is Hatched

In 1939, two local farm women approached gas station and diner owner, Irv Kolarik. They proposed to share their secret fried chicken recipe if he promised to buy all his chickens from them. Irv agreed, sales soared, and the gas station became history.

Having outgrown his lunch counter, Irv Kolarik built a new Chicken Basket restaurant next door to his original gas station and diner in 1946.

Dell Rhea’s

With the opening of I-55, the Chicken Basket fell on hard times. A Chicago businessman, Delbert (Dell) Rhea, bought the Chicken Basket in 1963. He reinvigorated business with an advertising campaign aimed at suburbanites and travelers searching for old Route 66.
 
Erected by
Get Your "Chicks" on Rte 66 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, October 1, 2020
2. Get Your "Chicks" on Rte 66 Marker
Marker is in front of the restaurant.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byways.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 series list.
 
Location. 41° 44.739′ N, 87° 56.362′ W. Marker is in Willowbrook, Illinois, in DuPage County. Marker is on North Frontage Road south of South Quincy Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 655 N Frontage Rd, Willowbrook IL 60527, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket (a few steps from this marker); Bruno F. Shustek (approx. 1½ miles away); This was "Countryside" (approx. 4.1 miles away); The Indian Boundary Line (approx. 4.7 miles away); Masonic Temple (approx. 4.9 miles away); Main Street Cemetery (approx. 4.9 miles away); a different marker also named Main Street Cemetery (approx. 4.9 miles away); Farmer's and Merchant's Bank Building (approx. 4.9 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket. Official website. (Submitted on October 1, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 

2. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket on Wikipedia. Wiki page, which talks about the history of this legendary
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Route 66 restaurant. (Submitted on October 1, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 

3. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket. From the National Parks Services' page, this was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. (Submitted on October 1, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 1, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 1, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Oct. 20, 2020