Visit the historic Eisler Brothers Store on Kansas Route 66! (eislerbros.com)
You’ll find this historic gem on the shortest section of Route 66 in the United States. This segment in Kansas is only 13 miles long but is jam packed with historic treasures!
When we reached Kansas Route 66, our first stop was the Eisler Brothers Store in Riverton, Kansas. See our post on this section of Route 66 here.
The store was originally built by Leo Williams in 1925, the year before Route 66 was designated. It has continuously been serving as a deli, grocery store and souvenir shop ever since.
The “American Pickers” visited and had lunch at the store the week before we arrived! We wish we’d gotten to meet them!
Leo Williams and his wife Lora sold chili and barbecued beef to travelers on Route 66. Lora served lunches and sold groceries while Leo worked at the Empire District Electric Company. The store at that time also had a gas station and even a croquet court, which hosted local tournaments! The court was eventually removed to add parking.
Leo Williams leased the store to Lloyd Paxon in 1945 but Leo died before the lease took effect, so Lora ran the store until 1970. The store at Riverton was called the Lora Williams AG Food Market for many years.
Joe and Isabell Eisler of Allen, Texas, purchased the business in 1973. Their nephew, Scott Nelson, began working in the store as a teen in 1974. Eventually, the store was managed by Scott, who bought the store from their estate in 2010. Mr. Nelson has vowed to keep the store as close as possible to what it was originally.
There were originally two outhouses in back of the store. One of them remains and is painted white with a thin moon silhouette cut-out in the door.
The store was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 29, 2003.
Nelson’s Riverton Store on Route 66 is considered one of the best examples of the original businesses still in existence on Route 66 and turned 93 years old in 2018! The interior has hardly changed since 1925!
The current building replaced one destroyed by a tornado in 1923. The existing building originally had an open front porch, but the present closed-in porch replaced that one from 1933. The store is one-story, built of hollow, dark red bricks on a concrete slab foundation.
When you stop at the store, you’ll find groceries produce, flowers, Deli meats and cheeses, gifts, Route 66 memorabilia and local crafts for sale. It is a kick!
Now called the Nelson Store on Route 66, the store serves at the headquarters of the Route 66 Association of Kansas. It was the inspiration for some of the Route 66 songs in the Pixar/Disney movie, Cars.
Nelson’s Riverton Store
7109 SE Highway 66
Riverton, Kansas 66770
Open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday
Please call to confirm times.