|Past and Present Guide to Route 66 The Main Street
|Places to Eat on Route 66 - Club Cafe - Santa
|The Club Cafe
When Phillip Craig and Floyd Shaw opened their Club Cafe on US Route
66 in Santa Rosa, New Mexico in 1935, the road ran right through the heart
Santa Rosa heading on toward Santa Fe before continuing to Albuquerque.
Route 66 had been completed through Santa Rose five years earlier and the
town was growing rapidly.
||The two friends saw opportunity in the thousands of travelers
driving through every year.
The Club Cafe, known for it home cooking, sourdough biscuits, and Mexican
blue corn tortillas, was even better known for its Smiling Fat Man sign,
the round painted image of a portly gentleman in a polka dot tie,
smiling with satisfaction after a Club Cafe home cooked meal. The sign
appeared not only on the Club Cafe, but also on a progression of highway
billboards, familiarizing generations of Route 66 travelers with the Santa
Rosa institution even if they did not stop to sample the fare. But many
did stop. For the next 55 years, the Club Cafe served biscuits, burgers
and pinto beans to locals and cross country travelers alike.
|When Intestate 40 opened through Santa Rosa in 1972, the city fared
better than many old Route 66 towns. They had an off ramp. Still an oasis
on a long stretch of desert road, Santa Rosa continued to draw interstate
travelers seeking food, fuel and lodging, but without the guaranteed traffic
flow of years past, many classic Route 66 establishments where closed and
shuttered. The Club Cafe however, survived when Ron Chavez took over the
Club Cafe, adding a souvenir and curio shop carrying Route 66 and Club
||With the renewed interest in Historic Route 66
in the late 1980's and early 1990's it looked as if the Club Cafe might
turn back the clock and ride the resurgence. It was not to be. The Club
Cafe closed its doors in August 1992, another victim of society's ever
decreasing attention span and cookie cutter fast food restaurants at every
|Route 66 and Club Cafe Souvenirs