Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express are once again launching the “Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program” to help restaurants address critical needs amid ongoing economic challenges. The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership is encouraging the many small, historic restaurants along Route 66 to apply for this grant program to help offset the financial challenges leading up to the 2026 Route 66 Centennial.

Grant applications are due March 12, 2023. Visit for
information on how to apply or nominate a historic small Route 66 restaurant.

The Backing Historic Small Restaurant Grant Program wants to learn about a small or independently owned restaurant located in a historic or older building or neighborhood that:
· Contributes to the history and/or identity of its surrounding community or neighborhood.
· Tells an inclusive story about cuisine and community in America (such as historic or ethnic food ways or culinary heritage).
· Has a compelling and inspiring historical narrative or cultural significance.
· Has been disproportionately impacted by economic challenges, disasters, or other hardships.

“This is a great opportunity to nominate Route 66 restaurants that might benefit from an additional $40,000.” Says Road Ahead Chair Bill Thomas. “And, if your restaurant is close to Route 66, be sure to mention your connection to Route 66 and the timeliness of investing in improvements.”

Established in 2016, with the support of the National Park Service and the World Monuments’ Fund, The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s mission is to revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national and international icon through partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research and education, and economic development.

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Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway