Classic cafe being razed in Grand Island, Nebr.

The Grand Island Independent reports that the Nebraska city is widening it’s main street – aka Lincoln Highway/US 30 – and in the process demolishing a vintage cafe. The Conoco motel and cafe at 2109 W. Second Street trace their roots to about 1940 when the tile-roofed Conoco Service Station opened. The cafe had a Polynesian redo in the 1960s but only the motel will survive (featuring a swimming pool and cable) as will a new convenience store. The cafe is seen in the upper right photo of the postcard below, which on back is titled, “Conoco Motel, Cafe & Service Station.”


According to the news report:

A total of 18,400 vehicles travel daily on Second Street between Broadwell and Greenwich Street. To better accommodate that volume, the state will install a fifth lane a turning lane from Grant Street to Greenwich….

The right-of-way needed for the fifth lane simply brought the roadway too close to the Conoco Cafe, which the state acquired more than a year ago through condemnation. The last restaurant to operate there, Pam’s Cafe, closed Jan. 31, 2007, and relocated to South Locust Street.

Last week, an environmental firm removed asbestos from the cafe. This week, a construction company is starting demolition. Road work will commence March 17 and wrap up in October, then next Spring, sidewalks, lighting, and landscaping will be completed.

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4 Responses to “Classic cafe being razed in Grand Island, Nebr.”

  1. RoadDog Says:

    Is that great sign still there?

  2. brianbutko Says:

    Nope, long gone. : (

  3. Jill Jackson Says:

    I stayed at the Conoco Motel a few days ago (July 2009). Too bad the cafe is no longer there. The motel is rundown and noisy (there’s a bar across the street), and is more of a place for migrant workers and transients. However, my 19 year old daughter was thrilled to be staying at an old-fashioned motel (with wooden doors, an actual closet, and a key for the lock instead of a card). And she loved the fact that in our corner room she had a separate room all to herself. The pool right outside our door was empty and dilapidated, lending irony to the ‘swim at your own risk’ sign.

    Many of the old motels along the highway are now apartments, so I’m glad we were at least able to stay at one during our trip through Nebraska.

    • brianbutko Says:

      Thanks for your on-the-road report Jill! And credit to you for trying out a vintage motel. So many people avoid them — as you say, not fancy but a throwback to travel decades ago.

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