“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gardner in Grundy County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

In Appreciation

In Appreciation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
1. In Appreciation Marker
Inscription.  Thank you to Bob and Peggy Kraft for donating this Route 66 Hall of Fame streetcar to Gardner.

The Krafts provided years of food, fun and nostalgia at their Riviera Roadhouse located on Route 66. The Riviera unfortunately burned down on June 8, 2010.

It is the town's desire that this piece of Gardner history will provide fond memories to all who visit.
Erected by Mike Potter.
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° 11.3′ N, 88° 18.293′ W. Marker is in Gardner, Illinois, in Grundy County. Marker is at the intersection of East Mazon Street and North Center Street on East Mazon Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 E Mazon St, Gardner IL 60424, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Mining Black Diamonds (approx. 4.6 miles
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away); The Diamond Mine Disaster (approx. 7˝ miles away); Pioneer Gothic Church (approx. 9 miles away); 1879-1979 (approx. 9.2 miles away); a different marker also named War Memorial (approx. 9.2 miles away); A Well Connected Village (approx. 9.3 miles away); The Windmill (approx. 9.4 miles away).
Regarding In Appreciation. The Riviera Restaurant was a popular Route 66 site throughout its existence from 1926 to 2010. It was located outside Gardner on Highway 53/Old Route 66. The Riviera was originally opened by coal miner Jim Girot, and it changed hands several times. It was rumored to be one of Al Capone's famous hideouts. The longtime owners, Bob and Peggy Kraft retired, closing the restaurant in early 2009. It briefly reopened later that year, but as the marker says, it burned down in 2010.

A Route 66 Roadside Attraction sign (erected by Hampton Hotels Save-a-Landmark program) was erected there sometime during the mid-2000s. Pictures of it exist on the Internet. It read: "A historic streetcar diner is located at the rear property of the Hall of Fame, Riviera. It is being restored by the preservation committee of the Route 66 Association of Illinois
In Appreciation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
2. In Appreciation Marker
Marker is underneath the restored Riviera Restaurant sign. The streetcar in the background once sat behind the Riviera Restaurant outside town.
(public is invited to visit both) 2002". That marker is now missing.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 253 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 4, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Oct. 1, 2023