Road Trips

The Green Lantern on the National Road/US 40 in Illinois

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!

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12 thoughts on “The Green Lantern on the National Road/US 40 in Illinois

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    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!

    • 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.

        • Andy Umbo says:

          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!

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