The Summit Inn, in the Cajon Pass a couple hours from L.A., was a Route 66 landmark, and Tuesday it became a victim of the in the Blue Cut fire. Off-Ramp host John Rabe revisited its history with L.A. bar owner Bobby Green.
Green is part of the 1933 Group, which has restored a number of historic bars in LA like the Highland Park Bowl and The Idle Hour in North Hollywood. He's a old time hot rod enthusiast, and the Summit Inn, opened in 1952, was a haven for hotrodders.
"In 1952," he says, "You're gonna drive your hot rod or your race car from Los Angeles 12, 14 hours to the Bonneville Salt Flats. You're gonna stop at several points, and the Summit Inn was the perfect place to stop. You make it up this hill from Los Angeles, and hopefully you haven't overheated. Most people did, and they'd stop at the Summit Inn and let their car cool down.
Green says it was also a happy reminder that you were almost home after the long drive from the Salt Flats. Now, it's gone, and Green says there's nothing else like it.
"The whole valley beyond it is modern and corporate. It's familiar, and when you're traveling, you're lonely, you miss home. So you have these little icons along the way. And we have so few of them now. The Subways and Starbucks don't really cut for me. I need a place like the Summit Inn to feel a little slice of home."
Listen to the audio in the player for much more of the conversation.