The Barrel (2019).
The Barrel (2019).

Barrel Building of Boron

Field review by the editors.

Boron, California

Food can't help but taste better when served from a giant barrel.

The Barrel (2010).
The Barrel (2010).

The 20th century furnished a multitude of barrel-shaped buildings on America's hungry highways; some still survive. In Boron, The Barrel began as an A&W Root Beer stand. Roy W. Allen and Frank Wright opened their first location in Lodi, California in 1919, and founded the chain in 1922. Root beer barrel programmatic architecture proliferated for many (but not all) A&W stands, an easily spotted landmark along a busy highway.

The Twenty Mule Team town museum couldn't nail down a year for the barrel's construction; it might have been built in the late 1930s-1950s, when the road through Boron was still on the main route from Bakersfield to Barstow.

The A&W business closed and became a fast food stand named "Dinky's" at some point. The barrel was painted white.

By 1994, when we first stopped by, Dinky's was gone and it had become "The Barrel," painted in A&W orange.

The Barrel has endured at the location for at least 25 years. The palette we saw on a 2019 visit is more desert brown. Exterior awnings and a tent top crowd The Barrel, but the food pictures in the windows -- a combination of grilled, deep fried, and Mexican lunch fare -- are mouth-watering.

The Barrel is open.
The Barrel is open.

Time your visit to experience Taco Tuesday at an outdoor picnic table, gazing across the road at the Twenty Mule Team mural and a trio of giant stone tortoises.

Also see: Bigger Barrel in Texas

Barrel Building of Boron

The Barrel

Address:
27115 20 Muleteam Rd, Boron, CA
Directions:
Hwy 58, exit onto Boron Ave., left on the main drag 20 Mule Team Rd/Bus. 58. On the left.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Three Concrete Tortoise SculpturesThree Concrete Tortoise Sculptures, Boron, CA - < 1 mi.
Twenty Mule Team MuseumTwenty Mule Team Museum, Boron, CA - < 1 mi.
Saxon Aerospace Museum - The Right StuffSaxon Aerospace Museum - The Right Stuff, Boron, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Grave of O.K. Corral's Morgan Earp, Colton, CA - 66 mi.

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November 13, 2019

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