When I saw this glamorous night photo of Nelson’s Cafe in the Flickr file of RoadsidePictures (aka Allen Sandquist) I knew I had to share it here on Retro Roadmap.
Isn’t it just gorgeous?
- Low slung single story building? Check.
- Randomly lit diamonds and starbursts? Check.
- Fabulous script with possible chasing bulbs? Check.
- Illuminated and patterened glass block? Check.
- Fabulous MCM shape of the Pilot’s Lounge sign? Swoon!
And for some reason I LOVE it when signs are made With.One.Letter.In.Each.Box – like in Club, Cafe and Restaurant.
Nelson’s Cafe & Pilot Lounge is located in Burley, Idaho and while there isn’t much info on it online, Yelp reviews note it’s “Your typical dive bar with a sweetheart for a bartender.”
When I asked Allen to ask how he discovered this gem of neon, starbursts, glass block, diamonds, and more fabulous MCM shapes than you can shake a stick at, he replied:
It’s a great place, isn’t it? I was on my way home from a trip to the Grand Tetons for a family reunion. I had passed Burley and decided to turn around and see if they had any old neon. I had seen a couple of pictures of the place, but didn’t know it was in Burley. I know the place dates back to the 1940′s. It looked quite different back then, though. The next time I go through town, I’ll stop in for a cup of coffee and some interior photos.”
I’m putting Nelson’s on the Retro Roadmap as a “Photo Op” for now, since we don’t know what it’s like inside – but if anyone wants to be a sleuth reporter and venture in, please please please let us know if it’s as cool inside as it is out.
Thanks Allen for sharing your photo and info – I love it when people double as Retro Roadmap Reporters!
UPDATE! Just as a heads up to anyone considering photographing Nelson’s – Jeff K of Vintage Roadside posted on our FB page “One of the very few places we were chased off by the “regulars” for taking photos of the exterior! For whatever reason several of the patrons came out to block us from photographing the place. No idea what was going on that day…”So just be forwarned that they may not take kindly to strangers.
I would never want any of you to get in any dangerous situations, so if things seem sketchin – anywhere (now I sound like a mom) – listen to your spidey sense and abandon ship. The photo isn’t worth taking chances with folks who don’t get it!
Nelson’s Cafe & Pilot Lounge
125 W Main St
Burley, ID 83318
View ID – Idaho RetroRoadMAP in a larger map