Tropics Dining Room sign.

Old Neon: Tropics Dining Room

Field review by the editors.

Lincoln, Illinois

The neon Tropics Dining Room sign along Route 66, with its Tiki-stlye lettering and palm tree, was always geographically out of place, but it suited a roadside diner that had a name and decor (though not a menu) inspired by its owner's time spent stationed in Hawaii during World War II. The neon was first flipped on in 1956 and shone until December 2004, when the restaurant closed for good and was bulldozed for a McDonald's. In a gesture of goodwill, the McDonald's allowed the darkened sign to stand in its parking lot for ten years. It was finally taken down, donated to the local tourism bureau, and underwent a slow restoration.

On June 24, 2018, the sign was returned to its original spot, and at dusk its neon glowed again. Now travelers can enjoy the after-dark display, and read an accompanying historical placard about the sign, sans tropic-themed diner.

Old Neon: Tropics Dining Room

Address:
1007 Hickox Drive, Lincoln, IL
Directions:
On the west side of Route 66 just north of its intersection with IL-121/Woodlawn Rd.
Hours:
Lit until midnight. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Largest Covered Wagon and Big LincolnWorld's Largest Covered Wagon and Big Lincoln, Lincoln, IL - < 1 mi.
The Mill: Route 66 MuseumThe Mill: Route 66 Museum, Lincoln, IL - 1 mi.
Tiny ChurchTiny Church, Lincoln, IL - 1 mi.
In the region:
Phone Booth on a Roof, Lincoln, IL - 2 mi.

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