Photo by Theo Tate
Gina Korte opened a gaming establishment and restaurant, the Route 66 Kickstand, in December. She also owns the Route 66 Flea Market. Both businesses are on West Chain Of Rocks Road.
GRANITE CITY — Gina Korte was all smiles when she visited her new business, the Route 66 Kickstand, on March 31.
The owner was happy to see customers playing games and ordering food and drinks at the restaurant and gaming establishment at 3121 W. Chain of Rocks Road.
“It’s a nice quiet place,” Korte said. “It’s got a little bit of class. I’d like to get a good class of people that come in here. I want people to know we’re here. I think it’s a great place; it’s quiet with a good atmosphere and that’s what I like to build on.”
The business opened Dec. 20 as an extension to the Route 66 Flea Market, which Korte also owns.
“It’s a fun addition to the whole place,” she said. “It gives it a whole new level.”
The business has a restaurant that serves pizza, toasted ravioli, breadsticks and drinks, a room with five gaming machines and a jukebox customers can play for free.
“The atmosphere is awesome, and I think it’s something different for the area,” Korte said. “It has the Route 66 flair.”
The business shares a building with Bigfoot Comics, a comic book store that opened in 2015. The building was originally a church.
Korte said her husband, Chris, came up with the idea of opening a gaming establishment and restaurant.
“I was ordered to do it,” she said. “We do everything together.”
The owner said the Kickstand has a five-star rewards system.
“When you come in, you sign up and every time you come in five times, you get match play,” she said. “So we put five in, you’ll get five. If you get 10 visits, we get 10 match play. We send out promotions for your birthday and things like that. Anything we want to send out, we can text to our customers and they can sign up.”
The business also has contests. It has been giving away flat-screen TVs for the last three months.
Korte said the Kickstand is a good place to go for customers visiting the flea market.
“They can shop and if one person doesn’t want to shop, they can come over here and have a cocktail and play some games and eat some food,” she said.
The flea market, first opened in June 2006, is open on weekends.
“We have over 100 vendors,” Korte said. “With this place (the Kickstand), we have a café here and we have another one (at the flea market), So there are two cafés you can go to. You can get a drink and you can shop. We also sell lottery tickets and we are a bill payment center. We take over 4,000 different bills. They can be electric bills, credit cards, insurance premiums. We take all of it.”
Korte said she’s been busy working at both the Kickstand and the flea market.
“I know where I’m going to go eat during the day and I know where I’m going to get a drink when I get off work if I have time, because I have children,” she said. “I know where I can get good deals all over the place. In that aspect, it’s really nice. It’s fun. It makes life interesting everyday.”
The Kickstand is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and noon to midnight Sundays. For more information, call (618) 709-7193.