An automotive being
On May 27th, 1919, the partnership of Arthur Salisbury and Oscar Ray Robinson announced that they were opening the first-ever service station of its kind. It would be the first, and only, drive-in station in North Platte.
The location was across the street, a little to the east, from our present day Building.
They soon outgrew the location and decided to move across the street. The lot was owned by Julius Pizer and a ten-year lease was drawn up. The dwelling house on the lot was pushed back and a building was constructed.
In 1928 the partners finally bought the lot and constructed the building you see today. The building measures 68 by 132 feet.
Hydraulic lifts were installed along with a drum truing lathe, a wash rack with front end lift., air grease guns, a power gear flusher, and tire repair equipment. The wide driveway, doorways, and arches were big enough for cars and trucks to drive through.
Two regular gasoline pumps, electrically driven with continuous flow, plus a 15-gallon high compression gas pump in the center, were installed.
It became one of the top four Firestone dealers in Nebraska.
The building was built in the Old Mission architectural style, with red tile roof and wide eaves.
The station operated until 1960, when the building was partitioned into three sections.
Switchyard grill & pub
There is quite a story behind why and what we have done to this piece of North Platte history. If you ever want to hear it just ask.
The Rail Bar opened in the southwest corner of the building in 1952. It remains part of the building today. For a few years (1974-1979) the bar was known as the Coachlite Lounge.
For a couple years in the early 1960's, the middle part of the builing housed the Army recruiting office. The corner of the building was home to Atlas Auto Transmission in 1963 and five years later Mel's Bumper and Body moved in and remained there until 1977.
In the summer of 1980 the building was purchased by Matt Mooney and a major remodeling project began, completely enclosing the entire front of the building. It was renovated into a restaurant and lounge called PB Maxwell's. Included in the restoration were two walls, beautifully decorated with murals, created entirely using inlaid wood.
With a new owner the building became the Depot Grill & Pub in 1995. In 2005 new owners had purchased the business and had kept the name. After two years the partnership split and the new was changed to The Depot Restaurant, later closing the doors in 2015.