Another Mom and Pop Truck Stop Signs Off

Wheel Inn
Image Credit: Google Maps

The days of the mom and pop truck stop may soon be as extinct as the dinosaur that once stood guard at a now closed mom and pop truck stop in California.

According to the Press Enterprise, the legendary Wheel Inn in Cabazon, California will no longer be dishing out plates of its famous peanut butter creme pie to customers.  On Monday, September 23, the truck stop and diner closed its doors for a final time.

The Wheel Inn opened its doors in 1960 and for more than 50 years the truck stop has provided a safe haven for truckers and travelers.  The truck stop was famous for its cream pies and large dinosaur statue.  The location was even used in a scene from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

A year ago, Jessee Lanter was brought in to revive the struggling business, but the cost of improvements necessary to keep the business running proved too high.  Lanter said the building had extensive plumbing  and roof problems and that while business was booming on the weekends, the weekdays were too slow and the company wasn’t making a profit.

With no warning to customers or employees, the business was shut down.

“I’ve worked there 20 years this November and was shocked when the bosses, without any notice, came and told us he was locking the doors. We were out of business,” former manager Tina Lopez wrote to the Press Enterprise. “I’m very sad for all the faithful customers. Not even a goodbye could we give them. A world tourist attraction gone, puff, just like that.”

Did you frequent the Wheel Inn? What will you miss the most?

View Larger Map