roadhouse n : an inn (usually outside city limits on a main road) providing meals and liquor and dancing and (sometimes) gambling
Roadhouse can refer to a type of building or business, principally in the USA, Canada and Australia:
In Australia: -
- In Australia, 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.
In USA and Canada: -
- A local inn or restaurant, the "roadhouse" or "road house" commonly refers to an establishment that serves meals, especially in the evenings, and has a bar serving beer or hard liquor, and which features music and dancing for entertainment. Most roadhouses are located along highways or roads in rural areas or on the outskirts of towns. Early roadhouses provided lodging for travellers, 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.
- In Alaska and the Yukon, starting in the 1890s http://www.nps.gov/yuch/Expanded/roadhouses/roadhouses.htm, roadhouses were checkpoints where dog drivers (mushers, or dog sledders); horse-driven sleds; and people on snowshoes, skis, or walking; would stop overnight for shelter and a hot meal. Remains of a roadhouse can be seen today south of Carmacks, Yukon along the Klondike Highway. (See also Black Rapids Roadhouse)
- In the theatre, a "roadhouse" is a venue outside of New York City that does not house a production company of its own, but instead rents its facility to other companies. Many cities have roadhouse theatres of their own that present the "road show" of successful Broadway musicals. The Shubert Organization runs many roadhouses across the United States of America.
References1. Historic Roadhouses along the Yukon National Park Service
2. Texas Roadhouse Official website (requires Flash)
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