Posts Tagged ‘Shady Bend’

Shady Bend station restored and back in business

July 18, 2011

The Grand Island Independent reports that Shady Bend, an old roadside business along the Lincoln Highway in central Nebraska, has been restored and is again serving customers on the east end of Grand Island. I reported on the plans two years ago on this blog. The images below are from the site’s Facebook page.

From the news report:

Shady Bend, once the site of an old-time tourist court, restaurant and store at Highway 30 and Shady Bend Road, has been reopened as a restaurant…. H.O. “Doc” Woodward built the original Shady Bend in the late 1920s after returning from a family trip to Arizona. Doc also donated the land for the first airport in Grand Island. Shady Bend has been passed down in the family to Craig Woodward, the third generation at Shady Bend….

He said Shady Bend was once a meeting place for farmers and everyone passing through. Since there were hardly any phones, people knew who was going to be there and could leave messages for when they arrived. It was a general store that had a lot of different people coming in and out.

“Not only is it historical, it was a fun place to go,” said Craig’s wife, Karen Woodward. “We want to be able to share the history with the people around here.”… The Woodwards started their restoration in 2008 but were delayed by family illness. Things picked back up in January 2010.

“Obviously, the plumbing, heating and electrical is all new and up to code,” Craig said. “We have a new full kitchen, but other than that, there haven’t been any changes. It’s true to what the State Historical Society has for requirements.”

Shady Bend opened its doors to the public on Tuesday serving pop, candy bars, beer, burgers and Italian food….

“I remember when I was 5 years old, my mom used to clean the cabins [now gone] and Fritz, Craig’s father, would pick me up from school and bring me back here,” [one patron said]. “I played on the merry-go-round and fished in the sand pit across the highway.”

Hours are 11 am to 10 pm Tues through Sat, and noon to 10 pm Sundays.

Shady Bend to reopen with food & drinks

July 25, 2008

The Grand Island Independent reports that Shady Bend, a popular Lincoln Highway attraction on the east end of Grand Island, Nebraska, is being partially revived.

The mostly-cleared site has been bought by Craig Woodward, a grandson of founder H.O. Woodward. All that remains from the once-thriving site at US 30 and Shady Bend Road is the former Spanish-Revival gas station, which has been a tavern in recent decades. Still, the Shady Bend Gas Station, Grocery and Diner is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and so Woodward, his wife Karen, and their daughter Jennifer Drapel are working to reopen the bar and restaurant. The business was started in 1929 and grew to include gas, food, and lodging in more than 30 tourist cabins, but the most famous of its attractions was a buffalo herd:

“I grew up thinking that everyone had buffalo in their yard,” Craig said.

He soon realized his grandfather and father’s diner was more than the average family business.

“Everyone I run into is excited to bring this place back,” he said. “They remember the buffalo, they remember eating there and hanging out there.”

For the past few years, the Shady Bend has been rented or vacant. Craig took sole ownership at the beginning of the year.

“We truly would like to have a gathering place again,” he said.

The state LHA newsletter “Linc” Across Nebraska has an in-depth story on it in its July 2008 issue by Lenore Stubblefield, who also provided the top image. She recalls a playground, sandy beach lake, tile tennis courts, and the restaurant’s most expensive meal, a T-bone stteak for 65¢. The cabins (later apartments) closed in 1981, The station was luckily spared in 1994 and 2004 road widenings, and will again be serving travelers.