Inland Empire News

Cabazon dinosaurs' future uncertain after Wheel Inn diner closes

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Wheel Inn truck stop and diner along the 10 Freeway in Cabazon has suddenly closed. Along with giant dinosaur statues, the diner was famous for home-cooking and pies.

The late Claude Bell created the dinos to keep watch of his Wheel Inn restaurant, which opened in 1958.

We will soon know if Dinny the dinosaur has his own following or if he was fed tourists of the Wheel Inn restaurant.

According to the Press-Enterprise, the manager of the restaurant says the building needed improvements and busy weekends weren't enough to pay the bills.

For a lot of us, the dinosaurs bring back feelings of nostalgia.

"We got to come out and see the dinosaurs and take pictures and play on them. It was always a highlight as a child to come to this area," said Stacy Wulkan of San Jose.

It's possible Dinny, along with the Tyrannosaurus rex, will still attract their own fans even without the home-cooking, but only time will tell.

"All the old landmarks, unfortunately, seem to be going by the wayside, which is really sad. I stopped here today because this was a remembrance of my childhood," said Wulkan.

No one knows what will become of the Wheel Inn restaurant, but maybe the dinosaurs are not quite yet in danger of extinction.

The Wheel Inn restaurant may be closed, but you can still go visit the dinosaurs. They're still standing in Cabazon and they're pretty hard to miss.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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