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Who can resist the charm, or baked goods, of Petro Johnson’s Corner ?

By on January 18, 2015

It’s impossible to talk about Petro Johnson’s Corner without talking about cinnamon rolls. For decades, these sweet, oversized breakfast treats have been the signature dish of this Colorado roadside establishment, nationally recognized for their flaky, gooey deliciousness.

This most famous of the menu items at this location is what lures many drivers to plan their route with this stop in mind.

“The bakery makes all of the bread for the restaurant, including hamburger buns, biscuits and bread bowls for soup,” says Chris Harder, bakery general manager. “Everything is made from scratch.”

That’s true of the food in the restaurant too, and has been since the day it opened more than 60 years ago. The goal from the start was to give highway travelers a place to get homestyle cooking. And that will continue now that this iconic stop is part of the Petro family.

sweet-spot-1But there will also be some upgrades, including expanding truck parking, paving the lots and remodeling the showers.

“Drivers come here for that hometown feeling,” says store and fuel general manager Layne Taylor. “It’s like stepping into a place that they’ve known forever, and feel comfortable in. That will always stay the same.”

Those cinnamon rolls

Ida May Brunemeir, a server at the restaurant back in the early 1960s, used to make big batches of cinnamon rolls at home for her family, and bring in any extras to work. They were very popular, so original owner Joe Johnson asked her to start making them on-site to sell — and the rest is history. More than 3,000 a week are sold in the restaurant these days.

sweet-spot-4Now, in addition to the original, there’s always a flavor of the month cinnamon roll. Look for strawberries and cream rolls in February in honor of Valentine’s Day.

More baked goods

The on-site bakery is always busy. Pies, cakes, muffins, cookies and handmade pastries are available at a display counter, and can also be made to order. The bakers have even created wedding cakes when asked. Plans to distribute cinnamon rolls nationwide are underway too.

Double duty

sweet-spot-5Chaplain Bill Reilly conducts regular Sunday services at the small chapel on-site, as well as Bible study and prayer meetings throughout the week. If he isn’t inside, chances are he’s working at the restaurant, busing tables, as he has been doing for years.

Special appearances

Look for the location in the

1995 movie Larger than Life, with Bill Murray and Matthew McConaughey. The location has also been profiled on the Food Network, Travel Channel and WB2 Network, and Travel & Leisure magazine once cited it for having one of the Ten Best Breakfasts in the World. And you don’t have to wake up early — breakfast is served all day.


Something to rely on

The doors opened in 1952, and Petro Johnson’s Corner has been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year ever since.

Petro Johnson’s Corner, Colorado

Where: I-25, Exit 254
Phone: (970) 667-2069
Fax: (970) 667-8669
Truck Parking Spaces: 110
Private Showers: 6
Restaurant: Johnson’s Corner Restaurant & Bakery


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