Amboy was first settled as a mining town in 1858 and was formally established in 1883 as the first in a series of alphabetical railroad sidings in the Mojave Desert. The famous landmark Roy’s Cafe and Motel opened in 1938 and it and several other businesses – including a post office – remained busy with Route 66 and railroad travel until the opening of I-40 in 1973. Roy’s was first opened by Roy Crowl and then by Herman “Buster” Burris, whom maintained ownership of not only Roy’s but also all of Amboy until 1995. In 2005, Albert Okura – founder of the Juan Pollo Chicken chain – purchased the city from Bessie Burris, Herman’s widow. Roy’s is currently open for souvenirs and prepackaged food and beverages.

By Scott Piotrowski