The Ariston Cafe was founded by Pete Adam, a Greek immigrant, in Carlinville, Illinois in 1924. The original cafe was located on Route 4, the predecessor of Historic Route 66. In 1929, the Cafe was relocated to Litchfield, Illinois and moved into its present location on Route 66 in 1935.
"The Ariston Cafe is more than an excellent place for lunch or dinner, it’s an institution."
-Author Tom Snyder, Founder and Director of the U.S. Route 66 Association
We believe the Ariston Cafe to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest restaurant on Route 66. In 1992, The Ariston Cafe and the Adam family were inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame. Since 1966, Pete’s son Nick and Nick’s wife, Demi, have continued to offer the traditional service expected of a family-owned and operated restaurant. Paul, eldest son of Demi and Nick, and his wife, Joy, joined the family business in 2004. All involved in bringing great food and service to your table welcome you to Litchfield and invite you to share our history with us.
Litchfield lies tucked away in fields of corn, soybeans and wheat-principal crops in our agricultural economy. More than 150 years old, it owes its life to the luck of the draw. When the railroad came through this area from St. Louis and Alton, the village of Hardinsburg, two miles southwest hoped for the railroad to pass through. Hardinsburg lost but its residents hedged their bet and had its buildings built on skids and wheels, and when it became certain that they had lost, residents hooked up their buildings to teams of oxen and dragged them to Litchfield. The village of Litchfield prospered and continues to do so today. The city is home to a variety of manufacturers which provide employment to area laborers. Most of the factories are housed in the first of two industrial parks. A second park is ready for occupancy, located on Old Route 66. For the sportsperson, many recreational facilities are with easy access. Litchfield boasts a 1,500 acre lake, named for Mayor Lewis Yaeger, with 45 miles of shoreline and a 500 acre park with many recreational and camping facilities. Litchfield is proud of its educational system, with four new schools and the campus of Lincoln Land Community College Southern Region. St. Francis, a 135 bed hospital staffed with doctors and specialists from the surrounding area, has an emergency room staffed around the clock. Litchfield continues to grow with new retail stores and restaurants along its westside corridor. More information is available from the Chamber of Commerce or the Community and Economic Development representative in Litchfield City Hall.