Missouri September 26, 2015
16 Retro Places In Missouri That Will Take You Back In Time
The Historic Route 66 runs straight through Missouri, so it’s no surprise you will find pieces of retro history along the way. Malt shops, drive-ins, arcades, and rollerskating rinks all pay homage to the past, and these are some of the great places in Missouri where you can revisit the “old days”.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Big Boy Burgers, Independence
The Bob’s Big Boy Franchise has been around for 75 years and they haven’t changed much. The Independence Big Boy, located at 12401 E US Hwy 40, is particularly retro. I have childhood memories of Big Boy stops on family road trips. We would look for them along the way! Visit
Big Boy Burgers
for merchandise, locations, and more!
2. Retro Inferno, Kansas City
Located at 1500 Grand Boulevard in Kansas City, Retro Inferno is the go-to spot for classic, vintage, mid-century modern furnishings! Stepping into their store is like going back in time. They are open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit
3. Town Topic Hamburgers, Kansas City
Town Topic first opened in 1937 and pride themselves in staying true to yheir roots. According to their website, “At Town Topic Hamburgers, you can step back in time, if only for a little while.” They are an authentic old-time American diner, complete with counter, hand-dipped malts, burgers, hot dogs, and much more. Their original store is located at 2021 Broadway Street in Kansas City, but there are also locations at 1900 Baltimore in Kansas City and 6018 Johnson Drive in Mission. Visit their website at
Town Topic Hamburgers
for more information.
4. Retro Bowl, Liberty
Since 1958, Retro Bowl has been the place to go for family fun. They are not just a bowling alley, they also have a bar & grill, arcade, batting cages, and a DJ four nights a week! They are located at 906 W. Liberty Drive in Liberty. For more information, hours, and nightly specials, visit
5. Golden Door Motel, Osage Beach
The Golden Door is a moderately priced resort motel in Osage Beach near Lake of the Ozarks. They are family-owned and have a unique set up and atmosphere. There are 37 rentable units in 5 separate buildings, all overlooking their beautiful courtyard and pool. The grounds look like a park, and are a great place for a family picnic. In addition they have a game room and a playground. For reservations, rates, and more visit their website at
The Golden Door Motel
6. GCW Retro-Cade Arcade, Platte City
Just $5.00 will buy you an hour of unlimited game play at GCW Retro-Cade, where you can revisit the 80’s with retro arcade games or play the more modern games…they have it all! Located at 2409 NW Prairie View Road in Platte City, and open Tuesday-Friday from 5-8 p.m., Saturdays from 12-8 p.m., and Sundays from 12-5 p.m., they also serve drinks and snacks. Visit their Facebook page at
for more information.
7. Aurora Sunset Drive-In Theater, Aurora
There’s nothing like a movie at a drive-in theater and Aurora Sunset has been providing quality entertainment since 1951. Open from Friday to Sunday, 7:00 p.m. to midnight, and featuring concessions (retro) and wireless internet (not so retro), they are located at 1601 Church Street in Aurora. Visit
8. Becky Thatcher's Diner, Hannibal
Formerly known as Third Street Diner, Becky Thatcher’s Diner opened its doors this past spring with an updated 50’s diner theme. Formica tables, and Chevy 57 inspired seat upholstery, with 1950’s rock-n-roll music playing in the background, they serve authentic American diner food. They are open Mondays through Saturdays from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and are located at 213 N 3rd Street. Follow them on Facebook at
Becky Thatcher’s Diner
9. 1984 Retro Arcade, Springfield
Located at 400 S Jefferson, 1984 is a 1980’s themed arcade and hangout with 80 video games and 20 pinball games. Admission of $7.50 gives you unlimited all night play time. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m., and also host parties and have special events like an 80’s themed costume contests and pinball tournaments. Visit
1984 Retro Arcade
for more information.
10. Steak N Shake Rt 66, Springfield
Sure, there are Steak N Shake Restaurants all over the Midwest, but the location on Route 66 in Springfield is one of only two restaurants who still have the standard design from the 1950’s and 60’s. This location opened in 1962 and still has many of its original features including the rooftop and street-side neon signs.
11. The Circle Inn Malt Shoppe, Bourbon
Also located on Route 66 in Bourbon, The Circle Inn Malt Shoppe is a family owned traditional American diner and ice cream parlor that’s been around since 1958. Besides diner food, they also serve hand mixed shakes and malts, sundaes, homemade pies, breakfast all day, and all-you-can-eat catfish on Fridays for $9.99. Follow them on Facebook at
The Circle Inn Malt Shoppe
12. Munger Moss Motel, Lebanon
Route 66 is also home to the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, your “home away from home”. Built in 1946, and owned and managed by Bob and Ramona Lehman since 1971, Munger Moss features Route 66 themed rooms, and sports a recently restored neon sign. For more about their history, rates, and availability, visit
Munger Moss Motel
13. Courtesy Diner, St. Louis
With a name originating with a chain of sandwich shops that started in 1935, Courtesy Diner has 3 Locations in St. Louis: 1121 Hampton Avenue, 3153 S Kingshighway Boulevard, and 8000 S Laclede Station Road. Locally owned and operated since 1997, they are known throughout St. Louis for their "St. Louis Slinger" which consists of a hamburger patty and two eggs your way topped with chili, hash browns, and optional onion, jalapeno and cheddar. Classic nostalgic atmosphere including a jukebox, old fashioned shakes and cream pies, as well as traditional diner fare. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find out more at
14. Starlite Drive-In, Cadet
Located at 15605 North State Hwy 21 in Cadet, Starlite has been in business since 1952. Open weekends only, they charge just $15 per car load for double features starting at dusk. For information about upcoming features, concessions and events, visit
15. The Silver Ballroom, St. Louis
It may look like a typical “dive bar”, but looks can be deceiving. Inside you will find 18 pinball machines and a punk-rock jukebox. They are located at 4701 Morganford Road in St. Louis’ Bevo neighborhood, and have been in business since 2010. If you like pinball and punk rock, and like to have a few beverages, this is the place for you. They also serve homemade Australian meat pies! Visit their website at
The Silver Ballroom
for hours and more information.
16. Skate City Fun-Plex, Poplar Bluff
Located at 1403 Vine Street in Poplar Bluff, Skate City is a family owned and operated business. Not only to they have a traditional skating floor, they also feature a Discovery Zone/Fun-Plex for kids and an arcade. They are open on weekends only. For hours, and upcoming events, follow them on Facebook at
Skate City Fun-Plex
What are your favorite “retro” activities? Have you been to any of these places? Do you know of some other “retro” spots? Share in the comments below.