Curtis Perry has uploaded another trove of pictures from his travels in the West a few years back. This one caught my eye, for obvious reasons. Deno’s is in Denver, Colorado, and the 6 & 85 undoubtedly referred to the old two-lane highways this truck stop once served after it was built in 1947, which makes it the oldest truck stop in the state. I was intrigued enough to Google a bit, and found out that the timing of this post is a bit auspicious, as Deno’s finally closed in almost exactly a month ago.
Their website is still active, and here’s a picture of the inside. very vintage indeed. Actually, it appears Deno’s closed once before in about 2000, and the re-opened. But this time it appears to be permanent.
These two veterans from the seventies fit right in. I’ve never seen anyone put on reflective stripes like these on the side of their car. Maybe they got T-boned once?
Anyone ever been there?
I always hate it when a longtime local restaurant closes. This is far from my neck of the woods so I have never been there.
Perhaps the reflective tape is a cheap fix to cover the little rust bubbles that tend to form in the lower doors of those old Chryslers. They need more of it to cover the rest of that horrid 70s Mopar butterscotch color. Blech!
+1 to everything you’ve said, about both the restaurant and the car.
But I’d still take that Chrysler in a hearbeat, reflective tape, boring color and all. A little bodywork and some paint and I could revisit my 20’s, when i had a number of similar cars. Love any and all ’65 to ’78 C Bodies. I wouldn’t mind having the Buick next to it either.
I wish my travels would have taken me to that restaurant, places like that are a rare treat these days.
Another margarine Chrysler survives in daily use in my town. I’d take it, rust bubbles and all. It’s so majestic as what appears to be the original owner glides serenely about rural Ohio at ten miles under the limit; a true land yacht with a torsion bar list.
I also feel heartbroken as a long lasting restaurant succumbs to changing markets. Just today I passed the restaurant my wife and I at lunch at when we got married. Closed now, for sale- and it’s hard to sell a Chinese restaurant in the downtown rust belt.
Yea it’s always sad to see an old place quit. Worse when some chain opens up in it’s place.
Especially when a Chain opens up. Its getting to the point that everywhere you go it all looks the same in town; restaurants, stores, theaters. Even car dealers are limited to the “corporate” look.
That’s really annoying. What’s the point of travel and tourism when every town looks the same?
That is a very retro-cool interior, and I’m loving that brown 1977-79 Buick leSabre as well.
I believe Pete, Troy and I had a steak dinner there when we were roaming Colorado in the early 70’s in my Electra convertible.
It looks to me like the butterscotch Chrysler may actually be a 74-75 Imperial, looks like the entire front clip has been replaced, the wide brushed metal band on the lower sides is only on the front fender and the front clip is slightly different color, it has 74-75 Imperial caps, and looks to be the smaller Imperial rear window, and it looks like it has the lower body stripe some Imperials used. I had a dozen 74-75 Imperials and 76-78 New Yorker Broughams and on one added the lower brushed cladding from a ’74 New Yorker to my 77 New Yorker Brougham. He probably added the reflective tape to draw attention from the mismatch.
As I recall it was night when we stopped there after getting back to Denver from Creede in the south part of the state, it looked a lot better than in the day, also seemed the dinners were good. One error I made on the Chrysler, the rear markers are 76-78, but I’m still sure the front clip was replaced, probably a NYB.
some of the others
LRF, I think that there may have been a right front fender and wheelcover transplant from an Imperial, but that was it. The rear quarter panel lacks the distinctive Imperial shield-shaped marker light and does not use the Imperial bumper/taillight treatment. I say this is a Newport whose owner has been through the Pick A Part.
On closer look, that front end is off. Note the chrome “Chrysler” letters on the header panel (1974) *and* in the chrome band atop the grille (1975-76). This looks like a 75-76 Newport grille was put onto a 74 header panel, but cut off along the bottom because the 75-75 grille was taller than that for 74. A real hack job, this one.
Wow, until today I had never noticed that differences in the grille and header panel in the 74 and 75 Newport. 74 is top, 75 bottom. Both cars that have been featured here on CC.
And just think – if a car guy and Mopar fan like you didn’t notice the change, what hope did the average customer have?
Change for the sake of change…
Final answer: The Chrysler is a 74 New Yorker. It has a pinstripe and those had the stainless cladding the seems to be missing everywhere but the front fender here. The front clip is from a 74 Newport with the grille from a 75 Newport trimmed across the bottom to fit the shorter opening. The front bumper is definitely 74 as it lacked the wider spaced guards and the nostrils on either side of the license plate.
Jeez, no wonder Chrysler was hemorrhaging money in 1974-75, paying for all of these low volume parts and changing them in expensive ways that nobody would ever notice.
Chrysler’s financial problem was that they weren’t intended to be low volume parts.
If the cars has sold as planned, Chrysler would have been perfectly happy with their tooling budget.
I would love to see a night-time picture of that huge neon sign in its glory days! Looks like there is more material in the sign structure than in the actual building and I suspect it was a great return on investment.
I took this photo in February 2016: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10208179503876002&id=1553745279&set=a.4559717161669.171517.1553745279
Here’s an evening photo I took on Feb. 10, 2016. I’m sad to see the original Dino’s 6 & 85 go!
Cocktails at a truck-stop seems sort of counter intuitive???
Traditionally, truck stops were for stopping for the night.
But this isn’t really a genuine truck stop, as there’s no refueling station to go with it. It was really a roadside restaurant/lounge, near the cross-roads of two highways.
Looks like we’re not the only ones who think the Deno’s sign goes well with old cars:
Produced by Brian Eno.
If not for the newer pickups and semis in the background, this would look straight out of 1970something.
I can picture The Blues Brothers filling in for the Hang Rounders in a place like Deno’s.
Playing both kinds of music, of course 😉
With complimentary beer for the band.
At least until The Good Ol’ Boys show up. LoL
So the sign background behind the D in Deno’s fell off sometime between when the photos here were taken and when the Hang Rounders cover shot was?
Another sad day in America .
There’s one like this in North Hollywood, Ca. that for decades had Bloody Marys on the _breakfast_ menu……..
Right off i5 and *very* popular with the long haulers back in the day .
I grew up in rural, northeastern Pennsylvania so truck stops like this were a feature of several intersections of route 6 and other major north-south routes.
I wonder if this was once a fuel stop but “lost” it’s pumps when environmental laws got stricter for gas stations in the 80s?
With all the “clamor” we’ve had for things retro, it’s unfortunate that these highway fixtures weren’t / aren’t able to cash in. I guess with the strong desire for fast, and often tasteless food…cheap, it’s a wonder this restaurant lasted this long.
In northern Pennsylvania there is a large restaurant like this along route 6 outside Tunkhannock. It started as a roadside dairy bar/hamburger stand, an outgrowth of a dairy farm. By careful expansion and it’s linking with a golf course and hotel/motel it has managed to survive some 60+ years…albeit changing from a once family-owned operation.
Still a terrific destination in it’s own right.
My parents are from Northeastern PA, my Dad’s first job after college was in Towanda (Sylvania) back in the 50’s. He regularly drove through Tunkhannock (kind of hard to avoid it, since he was from Wilkes-Barre, and had to get around the Susquahana) on the weekends as he stayed in a rooming house during the week (before my Parents were married). I’ve not been through there in years, but we used to go camping there years ago (mid-70’s)…still a fond memory.
We now live in central Texas, there was a long time truckstop (Dorsett 221) on I35 which closed down a few years ago…funny thing is when we first moved here 35 years ago it was a landmark south of town…the way things have grown since then I hardly notice it driving by..and as the land becomes more valuable than the old business that sustained it for years, it gets swallowed up and developed into something else, which you could find pretty much anywhere else.
Gee, I had a fond memory of going there with a group of deaf friends in the late 1990s. It started to snow hard that night on our way to Boulder after a dinner party in Aurora. We made a long pit stop there as to sit out the blizzard. The clientele and deco made the place a very fascinating study. So sorry to see it closed.
There’s a couple of places that we would go for the breakfast after pub crawling or clubbing. One is Pete’s Kitchen on East Colfax: a long but fast-moving queue during the weekend mornings shows how much people love that grease spoon. Another is Denver Diner on West Colfax that still reeks of the 1960s deco and has old school cash tiller.
That’s Davie’s Chuck Wagon Diner, pardner!
Fantastic pictures (as usual) from Curt, and like others have stated, I’m sorry to see this place close, as it looks like just the kind of place I seek out while traveling.
When I’m traveling ’round America I always look for work trucks clustered around some hole in the wall for breakfast ~
If there’s a welding rig or flatbed with headache rack, you can be assured of good food and usually nice atmosphere too if not fancy .
I neglected to mention Water & power, Detectives cars and so on too are usually good indicators of great food .
Howard’s Chicken on So. Alvarado @ 10th St. in L.A. is one .
Don’t be scared by the neighborhood .
Spot on Nate, the locals know what places are good.
In 2014 some friends and I drove from Toronto to Thunder Bay for a week of canoeing north of the city. A great road trip along Lake Superior, but also a little sad to see all the abandoned restaurants, truck stops and motels, especially west of Sault Ste. Marie. The family-owned places are few and far between – now, as others have said, it seems to be identical chain-operated places. Kind of sad. The individual places have more character and (often) better food.
I hate to see places like this close. Hopefully someone will buy it to preserve it or restore it & not destroy it.
Yes! We stopped there in early March of ’82, during the move from Vegas back to Toledo. The food was the best of any truck stop I’ve ever eaten at. Not bad at all, especially compared to the one I ate at in Indiana a year or so later. I don’t remember where it was, but it wasn’t too far from Ft Wayne and it was unbelievably bad.
Now, many travelers go to chains, unfortunately . “Where can I get a Starbuck’s around here?”.
I worked across the street from Deno’s. It was Gate City Steel back then, that was 1975. I met Deno Pappas through my Uncle Matt, Deno got me a job at Gate City Steel, he was friends with the superintendent Vic Langer. Deno was a great guy, never let me pay for lunch when I’d show up. When the old swamp cooler on the roof would break I’d fix it for him before working 2nd shift at Gate City. It was a great way for me to start after I left the military in April of 1975.