Gardner, Illinois: Al Capone Hangout - GoneWell-known to Route 66 buffs, and reportedly popular with Chicago's gangland glitterati as well.
- On Historic Route 66 (Hwy 53) midway between Gardner and Braceville, southeast side of the road.
- June 2010 - Reported destroyed in fire.
Visitor Tips and News About Al Capone Hangout - Gone
The Riviera burnt down last night, 6/08/2010. Reports say it is a 100% loss.[HAVA, 06/09/2010]
Tipster Charlie Mund also let us know about this loss. The historic roadhouse, once frequented by gangster Al Capone, was a popular stop along Route 66.
The Riviera is open again! Same recipes -- it was great to go there again!
My husband is 67 and was going to the Riviera before he was born! My in-laws were sitting at the bar in the 30's and gangsters came in with machine guns. They told the customers not to worry, just sit tight! They hauled out slot machines the owner had placed in the restaurant -- not owned by the gangsters. They were found down the road, smashed to pieces![Joyce Nelson, 01/17/2010]
The good news: The Riviera Roadhouse reopened a few weeks ago after long-time owners Bob and Peggy Kraft retired earlier this year, with the new owner using the Riviera's old recipes.
The bad news: The Riviera received a "shut-down letter" from the City of Gardner on that puts the fate of the business and seven employees in limbo.[Tony Dale, 09/26/2009]
Great place! Stalactites hanging from the ceiling in the bar in the basement. We caught a glimpse of the owner last summer. We were saddened to hear through the Yahoo Route 66 group that they are retiring because they couldn't sell the place. The Riviera did tend to flood every spring, all their furniture in the basement was of the plastic lawn variety. Another one bites the dust...[Doug Babin, 03/19/2009]
The Riviera has closed. No one wanted to buy it and the owners retired (They worked long enough and are great people.).[Hava, 02/18/2009]