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Iconic central California restaurant, Pea Soup Andersen's, closes. 1 location remains

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

An iconic California roadside attraction has closed

CHARLES PHOENIX: Pea Soup Andersen's was a legendary landmark on the road between Southern California and Northern California, and it's kind of the place you always stopped.

MARTÍNEZ: And even if you just kept on driving, you really couldn't miss the billboards for Pea Soup Andersen's along Highway 101.

PHOENIX: The place had a lot of lore. It had a lot of everything. I mean, it was a total themed, environmental, experiential extravaganza. And, I mean, these places are not really being built anymore.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

That's Charles Phoenix, a 20th century pop culture historian known as the ambassador of Americana.

PHOENIX: I love places that when you walk in the door, you have to ask yourself, what decade are we in? And it was like that. Going to Pea Soup Andersen's, you were in a time capsule.

MARTIN: But the restaurant was starting to show its age.

KRISTA GUGGIA: It opened up in 1924, and it's a hundred-year-old building. And along with that comes, you know, a lot of issues.

MARTÍNEZ: Krista Guggia is with Milt Guggia Enterprises. They bought the restaurant in the central California city of Buellton in 1999.

GUGGIA: We're selling the property. The new buyers, as far as what we know, will be redeveloping the property.

MARTÍNEZ: Now, fans of the soup can still get their fix if they're willing to drive about four hours north to the other Pea Soup Andersen's location in Santa Nella, Calif.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAUL WHITEMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA'S "LINGER AWHILE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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