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Photography Roadside America

Royal Liquor Mart

Beautiful neon sign for the Royal Liquor Mart, 3714 E. State Street (U.S. Route 20), in Rockford, Illinois.

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Photography Roadside America

Don Carter Lanes

Pink and orange neon sign (when lit) for Don Carter Lanes, at 4007 E. State Street (U.S. Route 20) in Rockford, Illinois. Don Carter Lanes opened in 1959 and has greatly expanded over the years, lately incorporating an off-track betting room.

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Mysterious America Photography

Der Rathskeller Neon Sign

Der Rathskeller Neon Sign
Neon sign for Der Rathskeller, 1132 Auburn Street in Rockford, Illinois. Fred Goetz opened Der Rathskeller, Rockford’s only German-American restaurant, in 1931. It offers an outdoor beer garden and romantic, candle-lit basement dining. Yes, it’s also supposed to be haunted. According to Haunted Rockford, Illinois by Kathi Kresol, many employees believe Fred still hangs around, making adjustments to place settings after hours and playing little pranks to make sure they know he’s still around.
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Photography Roadside America

Spot Cafe Vintage Sprite Sign

Spot Cafe Vintage Sprite Sign
Rockford, Illinois’ Midtown District is a treasure-trove of old signs and advertising, and this beautiful old sign at 628 7th Street is no exception. This unique Sprite sign hangs over The Spot Cafe, a sandwich shop that replaced Ekstrom’s Convenience Store in 2017.
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Photography

Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois

Anderson Japanese Gardens, at 318 Spring Creek Road in Rockford, Illinois, is a unique destination in Northern Illinois. Rockford businessman John R. Anderson built the garden in 1978 with the help of landscape architect Hoichi Kurisu, Landscape Director for the Garden Society of Japan. It is now run by a nonprofit organization and staffed by many volunteers. The garden features winding paths, a tea house, ponds, Japanese sculptures, and several plants native to Japan. It’s a beautiful place for an afternoon stroll!

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Photography Roadside America

Rockford Furniture Ghost Sign

Rockford Furniture Ghost Sign
Faded brick ad for Rockford Standard Furniture Company at the corner of 9th Street and Railroad Avenue in Rockford, Illinois. At the turn of the last century, Rockford was a manufacturing powerhouse, especially for machine tools and furniture established by its large population of Swedish immigrants. Rockford Standard Furniture opened in 1887 and manufactured dining room furniture, desks, and bookcases.

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Photography

Capri Italian Restaurant

Capri Italian Restaurant
Sign for Capri Italian Restaurant, 313 E. State Street, in downtown Rockford, Illinois. This white stucco building has a long family tradition imported from southern Italy. Vito Michele Grisanzio and his brother, Domenic, bought The Capri Restaurant in 1963 and Vito has worked there ever since. He’s now joined by his wife and their three grown sons. Don’t let this beat up old sign fool you – the food is great and the dining room is lovingly maintained.