I’ve written about the National Road in Illinois many times before. But as I work to deprecate my old Roads site, I need to bring a few articles about the road in Illinois from there to here. This is one of them. This is based on recent research and a visit in 2007.

As we came near to Effingham we could see a tall neon sign in the distance. As we got closer, we could see that it was grand.

Green Lantern

Sadly, the building behind this sign had burned about a month earlier, on the night of June 5. It had stood since 1938, first as a bar, then as a fine dining establishment, and most recently as a roadhouse of sorts. For many years, it was the only place on US 40 for several states that was open Sunday nights, when it drew crowds from a hundred miles away.

Green Lantern

The owner pledged to rebuild, but it never happened. In 2014, the site was sold to someone who maintains it as an investment. I looked the site up on Google Maps (it’s here). The last time a Google Street View car drove by, which was in 2019, someone was selling yard sheds on this lot.

I hope this great sign was saved!

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


12 responses to “The Green Lantern on the National Road/US 40 in Illinois”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    Be still, my heart. That’s a magnificent sign. Surely someone has saved it.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        At least it went to someone who will care for it rather than fall prey to vandals. Thanks for the update!

  2. Mike P Avatar
    Mike P

    We can only hope.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    I hope someone snagged that signage! Fantastic! Reminds of the old Hob Nob Supper Club, still operating last time I checked, on Highway 32, right along the Lake Michigan lakefront, between Kenosha and Racine Wisconsin. Every time you see a sign like that, you can bet the prime rib is going to be great!


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Prime rib! It certainly was the signature dish of restaurants like these. There’s a place in Terre Haute that still does a nice prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights. Maybe that’s the first place I need to go when COVID is over.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        I’m seconding that idea, plus a huge “Greek diner” breakfast!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I have enjoyed those when I’ve visited my friends in New Jersey. Nothing like that here!

        2. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          Yep, we have 4 or 5 in Milwaukee, but my brother lived in New Jersey for years, and there, every one says “let’s go to the Greek.” Those omelets falling off the side of the plate!

  4. Ward Fogelsanger Avatar

    Went there many times as a kid with my parents in late 50’s early 60’s.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Too bad it burned down, sadder that they never rebuilt.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: