The Mother Road in Berwyn

Since the 1920s, Historic Route 66 has not only served as a lifeline through the American West from Chicago to Los Angeles, but also became one of America’s most famous and treasured pastimes over the course of its rich history. For just as long, Berwyn’s stretch of Route 66 has been home to some of the best Berwyn has to offer. From Harlem to Lombard, Berwyn’s Ogden Avenue is home to truly unique businesses and one of a kind dining experiences.

When it comes to the elusive toy store in today’s world, children and adults alike in Berwyn and surrounding communities never have to worry; Berwyn’s Toys and Trains has been right around the corner keeping our imaginations alive since 1992. In a building that was once a Chevrolet dealership, Berwyn’s favorite toy store is keeping with the theme of Route 66. Here you’ll find many items that will bring you back to the glory days of yesteryear’s Route 66, from vintage car models to classic train sets. The inside is just how you’d imagine a toy store to be, complete with an elaborate train set that includes a replica of the store itself.

If you are looking for another kind of unique experience, Cigars & Stripes BBQ Lounge is it. Owner Ronnie Lottz puts it perfectly when he says, “If you love Halloween and hot rods, this place is for you.” Whether it be Open Mic Comedy Nights or horror movie showings, there is always some form of entertainment to accompany the amazing beer and even better food. Did we mention they have a cigar shop, too?

Head a little further west and you’ll find Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, another favorite stop along the Mother Road. Grab a seat and enjoy their award-winning pizza, burgers, salads and wings in a family-friendly atmosphere as you marvel at the amazing decor that gives off major Route 66 vibes. You’ll even see custom motorcycles and a dragster on display!

The Ogden Avenue that we know and love today was formerly known as Old Plank Road before being renamed in 1872 in honor of Chicago’s first mayor, William Butler Ogden. At the time, you could only travel so far by horse and buggy; after being designed for the automobile in the ‘20s, it’s amazing to see how Ogden Avenue has transformed over the years to include an eclectic mix of businesses that pay homage to Route 66.

Along this stretch you’ll find plenty of car-centric businesses from car dealerships to automotive repair including: Berwyn Kia, Buddy Bear Car Wash, Crash Champions, Ibarra Motors, Midas Auto Service Experts, Mike & Sons Auto Service, Ogden Top & Trim, Ron’s R & B Auto Body & Kustoms, Weimer Machine LLC & Automotive Repair Specialists, and Zeigler Pre-Owned of Chicago, to name a few. As a part of the automotive industry, these businesses keep the Route 66 spirit alive.

One of Berwyn’s most popular events also stands to commemorate what Route 66 was all about—the cars. Berwyn has always been a great Route 66 town with a thriving, dynamic and fast-growing community at its heart. In the summer, join the community for a taste of nostalgic American car culture at the annual Berwyn Route 66 Car Show with over 600 classic and custom vehicles on display, local bites, and fun for the whole family. 2019 will mark the 29th Annual WeatherTech® Berwyn Route 66 Car Show Sponsored by Paisans Pizzeria & Bar being held on August 24 this year.

Another great addition meant to preserve the history of Route 66 are the Historic Route 66 Scenic Byway Wayside Exhibits & Information Kiosks. With 4 locations along Berwyn’s stretch of Ogden Ave, Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway has made it a point to keep history and tradition alive by installing kiosks along the Mother Road in 17 Illinois towns. To learn more about all they have to offer, join us at the 29th Annual WeatherTech® Berwyn Route 66 Car Show Sponsored by Paisans Pizzeria & Bar and stop by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway booth (Aug 24). They will also be a part of the International Mother Road Festival in Springfield in September (Sept 28).