Bagdad Cafe Portfolio

Bagdad Cafe is a small roadside restaurant along the remains of Route 66 near Newberry Springs, California.

No one comes to Bagdad Cafe by accident. People come looking for it. We did, for a number of years, until one day, travelling from Barstow to Needles along I-40, we saw the sign from the interstate, took the Newberry Springs exit, made a 180 turn on National Trails Highway, and found it.

You may be familiar with Bagdad Cafe, and you may be pleased to know how to go there yourself now that you read my directions. Or, you may be wondering what the big deal is. After all, there are countless run down cafes along the decaying stretches of Route 66. Having found one of them is neither news nor reason to celebrate.

Fact is, Bagdad Cafe was made famous by the movie of the same name. The movie was more popular in Europe than it was in the US, as demonstrated by the fact that over 85% of Bagdad Cafe customers come from France or Germany.

What follows is a short photographic reportage that I did during two visits to Bagdad Cafe. Coming back from Death Valley by way of Barstow, Bagdad Cafe is just along the interstate if you decide to go to Needles instead of Las Vegas.

And just so you know, Bagdad, California (no H) has no relation with Baghdad, Irac. Bagdad, California is a defunct mining town. The cafe and a few other stores along Route 66 lived on until the Interstate was built, bypassing Route 66 and delivering the coup de grace to the local businesses and inhabitants. The movie, for a while, brought a sort of renaissance and foreign interest. Today Bagdad may be on its last stretch, or so it seems.

Bagdad Cafe California - 1

Bagdad Cafe California - 2 - The Guest Book

Bagdad Cafe California - 3

Bagdad Cafe California - 4

Bagdad Cafe California - 5

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Bagdad Cafe California - 12

Bagdad Cafe California - 13 - Triple Seven

Bagdad Cafe California - 14

All images and text are copyright © Alain Briot 2007
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