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Niland’s Cafe

Food service at Reed/Niland Corner began in the mid-1920s with a lunch stand selling sandwiches and cold drinks to motorists during the summer months. Built next to a small gas station located about one hundred yards east of this point, the lunch stand was soon replaced by a small cafe on the south side of the highway. In 1930 the cafe was moved back to the north side, where it underwent one more move before reaching its present location. Several later additions brought the cafe to its present size. By the late 1930s, its name had been changed from the L & J [Lincoln & Jefferson] Cafe to Niland’s Cafe.

Niland’s Cafe was a classic roadside eatery, bedecked with “EAT” signs and open for long hours every day. Known for offering “home cooked” meals at reasonable prices, it was also well patronized by residents of Colo and vicinity until it closed in 1991. The front part of the cafe has been restored to its appearance in the 1940s and early 1950s, before the north wing was added in 1955 and the cafe reached its maximum capacity of 65 seats. The concrete marker bearing the Lincoln medallion is one of about 3,000 installed by the Boy Scouts along the route of the Lincoln Highway in 1928 and was not originally at this location.
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