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A roadhouse is a commercial establishment typically built on a major road or highway, to service passing travellers. Its meaning varies slightly by country.


A roadhouse is a service station in a rural area specifically aimed to service passing traffic on a major intercity route. A roadhouse sells fuel and provides maintenance and repairs for cars, but also has an attached "restaurant" (more like a café) serving hot food to travellers. Roadhouses usually serve as truck stops—with space to park semi-trailer trucks and buses—as well as cars. In remote areas such as the Nullarbor Plain, a roadhouse also offers motel-style accommodation and camping facilities.

USA and Canada

A local inn or restaurant, the "roadhouse" or "road house" commonly serves meals, especially in the evenings, has a bar serving beer or hard liquor, and features music and dancing for entertainment, and often gambling. Most roadhouses are located along highways or roads in rural areas or on the outskirts of towns. Early roadhouses provided lodging for travelers, but, with the advent of motels in the early 20th century, few now have rooms available. Roadhouses have a slightly disreputable image similar to honkytonks.

Roadhouses were portrayed in movies including The Wild One, Easy Rider and Road House.

Alaska and the Yukon

From the 1890s, roadhouses were checkpoints where dog drivers (musher, or dog sledders); horse-driven sleds; and people on snowshoes, ski, or walking; would stop overnight for shelter and a hot meal. Remains of a roadhouse can be seen today south of Carmacks, Yukonmarker along the Klondike Highway.

See also


  2. Black Rapids Roadhouse

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