Friday, June 1, 2012

Barney Oldfield's Restaurant and Gasoline Alley

This theme restaurant/coffeeshop/lounge opened October 1973 as an adjunct to the Sheraton Inn-Mockingbird West at 1893 West Mockingbird just west of Harry Hines. Its proponents declared it was "unique in the hotel business" because it was a freestanding building which allowed the public entry without having to go through a hotel lobby, yet allowed paying guests easy entry from a hotel-side covered walkway.

You could be sure you were at the right place when you saw the giant gas pump at the door and the flashing signal lights in the lobby. The restaurant's decor was somewhat dedicated to the memory of race car driver Barney Oldfield. The floors were made of the same material as tires, and the interior's bright red walls were of highway reflector material. The waitstaff dressed in pit stop crew costumes. Barney Oldfield's served "all-American food", including Texas-style chicken-fried steak, and live music, mostly little known and long-forgotten pop acts from Reno or Las Vegas.

Barney's was still in operation as late as 1986, but is no more. Ditto the Sheraton Inn Mockingbird.

 The real Barney Oldfield

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