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Willowbrook Community Profile & Itinerary

Willowbrook became one of the State's smallest villages on January 18, 1960 when it was incorporated with 167 residents. After that time, State law required at least 400 residents before an area could be incorporated. Today there are over 8500 residents in this Chicago suburb known for its community parks and excellent public school system.

If you’re looking for famous fried chicken during your Illinois Route 66 travels, definitely consider Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket as your stop outside of Chicago. They’ve been famous for their fried chicken since 1939.






Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket, formerly the Chicken Basket has welcomed Route 66 travelers since the 1940’s, when the restaurant served as a Blue Bird bus stop. Today, they serve some of the best fried chicken you’ll eat! Make sure to save some room to browse through all the great 66 memorabilia and their incredible collection of chickens. Featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” with Guy Fieri. Recipient of the “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” award by the Illinois Office of Tourism.

645 Joliet Road (I-55 and Route 83)

(630) 325-0780

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket Official Website

Get Your

Willowbrook, Illinois Route 66 Wayside Exhibit

Del Rhea's Chicken Basket, 645 Joliet Rd

The Chicken Basket
Most businesses on Route 66 began as combinations of gas stations, garages, and lunch counters. At the Chicken Basket, tasty food won out over gasoline sales. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, hungry travelers flocked to the popular restaurant. But in 1962, the new Interstate Highway cut off flourishing businesses from the lifeblood of traffic. Some like the Chicken Basket, survived.
An Idea is Hatched
In 1939, two local farm women approached gas station and diner owner, Irv Kolarik. They proposed to share their secret fried chicken recipe if he promised to buy all his chickens from them. Irv agreed, sales soared, and the gas station became history. Having outgrown his lunch counter, Irv Kolarik built a new Chicken Basket restaurant next door to his original gas station and diner in 1946.
Dell Rhea’s
With the opening of I-55, the chicken Basket fell on hard times. A Chicago businessman, Delbert (Dell) Rhea, bought the Chicken Basket in 1963. He reinvigorated business with an advertising campaign aimed at suburbanites and travelers searching for old Route 66.


Village Hall
835 Midway Drive

(630) 323-8215

Village of Willowbrook Official Website

DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau
915 Harger Road, Suite 120
(630) 575-8070

Dupage Convention and Visitors Bureau Official Website






Alignment 1930||1940
Northern Region

Willowbrook, IL

(630) 323-8215
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