“A landmark Muffler Man on Route 66”
The Gemini Giant is a landmark statue on U.S. Route 66 at the Eastern entrance to Wilmington, Will County, Illinois. Standing outside the Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant, the 30 foot tall statue is one of many giant "Muffler Man" advertising props found throughout the USA in the Sixties. The Gemini Giant is named after the Gemini space program and holds a silver "rocket ship" in his hands, while sporting an astronaut's space helmet that looks more like a welding mask.
Been here twice in the last year, as I road-tripped I-80 from chicago to west-coast in July and then did 66 back in Oct... got to see improvements between the two visits... They are most definitely back open... by 2nd visit they had opened a museum space at the back of the restaurant to clear counter space in the front from all their collectables which had been in the front the first time. The Owners have come up with a whole line of unique Gemini giant/route 66 merchandise -- not the generic route 66 stuff found everywhere else. Talked to the owners both times, they said they should have the cafe up and running by the spring of 2019 -- they had to completely redo the pipes and have been paying for the renovations out of pocket from proceeds raised by sale of the t-shirts and stuff. Come and support their efforts to keep this 66 classic from dying
The Launching Pad is reopened with what you have been waiting for Giant Astronaut merch
I'm the guy restoring The Gemini Giant and he has a restored look now . So the Launching Pad Restaurant is now open , with a restored Giant .
The Gemini giant is named after the Gemini space program. The giant is advertising props found throughout the USA in the Sixties. Tully Garrett the owner of the restaurant that bought the Gemini giant announced plans to restore it "to what it was in its glory days," with the Gemini Giant remaining as a recognized Route 66 landmark.
This was so absolutely cool and worth the 10-miles-off-my-path to see this gem. I love stuff like this and I was so totally excited when I turned the corner and saw him. The restaurant, Launching Pad, is closed, though which is a shame. It still has Route 66 memorabilia you can see through the windows. I'm so happy I made the trip. Very worthwhile for me!
Might be closed (at least temporarily) due to COVID/staffing shortages? We were there on a Thursday at 5pm and it was locked up tight. The Gemini Giant statue is worth a stop for
a few pics, regardless. Quintessential road trip kitsch!
Arrived too early for the inside but it’s a must for a photo-op
This place has been part of my home area for years! I was able to go back and try it after the reopening, and I was satisfied with all the Chicago foods I can’t get in my new home area!
Plus you gotta love the photo opt with Gemini :)
OPENED!!!! New Owner, restoring it to what it was
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The Gemini Giant
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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