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Roy's Cafe, Motel & Gas Station

Historic Route 66, Amboy, CA

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The motel at Roy's has been closed for years, but the limited menu cafe and the gas station were open when we visited in the spring of 2013. Roy's has appeared in a number of commercials and other advertising and it is a very popular stop for Route 66 enthusiasts. By 1938 Roy Crowl was operating a garage & service station here. By 1970 Crowl's partner, his son-in-law Buster Burris, owned the whole town. Buster built the famous Roy's sign to honor Crowl and celebrate Crowl's retirement in 1959. There is still a U.S. Post Office across the road from Roy's.


A long and welcoming counter greets customers in the cafe which was added to the complex in 1945. The menu was limited to beverages and packaged deli style sandwiches when we were there.

xIt's not an illusion, or just the perspective of the photo, the roof of the motel office actually swoops up to a high point at the front corner. Look at the windows to see how much. This building looks like it was probably built in the 1950's. According to postcard images it predates the now famous sign.


Here's a view of the motel lobby and lounge looking past the reception desk.


The long closed motel included the original six cottages that were built around 1948, five are shown here but all six are standing. The cottage closest to the motel office was apparent a two unit building, the others each contained just one unit.


There was some pretty cool mobile art work hanging around in one of the cabins when we stopped by in the spring of 2015. This is one of the cooler things we've seen on the Mother Road.


The newer building was set back behind the original six cottages. The two story sections on the ends of the building each contained several rooms in wings that extended towards the foreground of this photo. At some point those portions of the wings were torn down, but you can still see a boarded up doorway on the second level. The number of advertised rooms in the motel varied over the years, reaching a high of 40 and then declining to 30 before it closed. Some reports mention an 18 unit building, which I suspect was the one story center section seen in this photo with the two story sections added later.

The postcard hoghlights below show how the business changed over time, in this case, it seems to have less rooms in the 60's than it did in the 50's..

Vintage Postcard Highlights

Roy's Cafe & Motel
40 Air Cooled Units
Ceramic Tiled Showers
Vented Panel Ray Heat
Cross Ventilation
Excellant Airport Adjoining
Roy Crowl & Buster Burris Owners & Operators.

Roy's of Amboy
30 heated air cooled modern units
Cafe serving excellant food
Shell service station
Private airport
Amboy Crater: Less than two miles away

Photo(s): 2013 and 2015

x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.