One of Illinois’ classic Route 66 restaurants just announced its closing. Travelers will miss the fresh pie and coffee—and will have to hope that new managers might take over in post-pandemic times.
The Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, Illinois—a favorite stop for travelers along Illinois’ stretch of Route 66—served its last meal under the current ownership on Aug. 2, joining hundreds of restaurants across the Midwest that have shuttered due to the pandemic.
“The negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have left us no choice but to close,” the restaurant announced in a Facebook post. “It is our hope that the landlord, the Atlanta Public Library—which owns the grill and all its equipment/contents—will find a new management team to reopen after the pandemic is behind all of us.
“Being part of the Route 66 community is a unique opportunity and we believe that the grill should continue to be a part of the quintessential road trip.”
Travelers were quick to react. “I am in shock over this news,” Douglas Mark Thompson wrote on Facebook. “The Palms Grill Café is an iconic place on Route 66…This café brought years of happiness to many, many people. This is truly a sad day in Atlanta. 😢”
Midwest Living visited the café last fall as part of a four-day Road Rally along Route 66 with the Illinois Office of Tourism. “Like a scene from Twin Peaks,” we wrote, “fresh daily pie and coffee call the shots in this vintage diner.”