Thursday, November 26, 2009

Katie McButt's Bus Tour


Last Sunday I participated in a pub crawl sponsored by Peoria institution Katie McButt's. We started at Katie's at 10 AM with doughnuts and beer, Homer Simpson eat your heart out. Just before noon we hopped on the bus which was, in fact a full size school bus. It's been ten years for me since I've been on one so I was pretty excited to make faces and moon people out the window. Since we were the cool kids we took our seats in the back so we could hop out the emergency door at each stop.

First Stop: Carrigan's Pub 5506 N. Main St. East Peoria

Located just southeast of Spring Bay Rd., Carrigan's looks like a newer bar inside and out and had some cheap drinks. A Guinness and bloody mary cost me only $8, while 16 oz domestic cans were two bucks. This place has the look and feel of a biker bar and probably is. During each quarter of every Bears game they hold a drawing that starts at $10 and rolls over. While we were there I noticed the current amount was $230. Like any good law abiding Peorian I rarely venture into Tazewell county for drinking purposes unless the sun is out, someone else is driving, or I am no longer sober enough to make responsible decisions. However, if you find yourself on the evil side of the river and reasonably sober, Carrigan's is worth checking out. After 35 minutes it was on to the next bar.

Second Stop: The Silver Bullet 135 N. Main St. EP

The Bullet is located in the shopping center that houses Harbor Freight Tools and Co-Op Records. Basically the fucking Lion's Den. I'm guessing the EP Police Dept. probably has a 30 second response time seeing as their headquarters are a stones throw away. The Bullet is probably an institution in EP but to me there's nothing really special about. Average pub food, reasonable drink prices, and a shitload of TV's. Recently, the owners of the Bullet added a smoking patio on the river side of the building. From what I've heard the city of East Peoria made them jump through all kinds of hoops to get this done, but I'm sure it was worth it in the end. Bonus: the patio does have a pretty nice view of our fair city's skyline. 35 minutes and 2 Bud Lights ($2) later it was back on the bus.

Third Stop: Club Phoenix 4602 Pfiefer Rd. Bartonville

Not surprisingly Club Phoenix isn't so much a "club" as it is a regular bar. Located atop the hill on Pfeifer Rd. it sits caddy corner to the Insane Asylum, (not sure what it's real name is but I think most of you know what I'm talking about). The last time I've even been in this area was in high school when some friends of mine may or may not have been breaking in to verify the claims that this place is haunted. I don't remember what the verdict was but the this place looks creepy even during the day. I asked a guy on a Harley, who I assumed to be local, about who owns it etc. He said that last he heard, some guy from Chicago had bought it but that was all he knew. Whatever the case may be the building looks to be in piss poor condition complete with gaping holes in the roof. Back to Club Phoenix. Nothing really special about this place except for the fact that they had a basketball hoop on the patio out back. Upon discovery of this, a game of horse ensued which I won due to my superior hooping skills. Okay, maybe it had something to do with my opponent being in his mid forties, pathetically out of shape and whiter than my ass in a snowbank. Drinks were reasonable ($2 domestics, $4 shots), 50 cent pool table, and a good atmosphere. Club Phoenix probably gets packed on the weekends as its really the only bar around.

Fourth Stop: Jimmy's Public House 2801 W. Farmington Rd. Peoria Il.

Despite the fact that Jimmy's looks like a DUI trap from Hell they do some pretty solid business and for good reason. Cheap drinks, good atmosphere, and plenty of local flavor can all be found at Jimmy's. The walls are adorned with Peoria sports memorabilia and other local nostalgia. Another great thing about Jimmy's is that they serve up man-sized shots. Basically, a shot at Jimmy's is a double anywhere else. One of the guys on the bus tour works there so we ended up staying there longer than was originally planned. Also, the leader of our tour was getting pretty sauced and our strict schedule was waived in favor of....well boozing. The only downside to this was that we had to skip our last stop, the Hillside on Sheridan, which is one of my favorite places.

After Jimmy's we hopped back on the bus where myself and a few others started a Hillside chant but to no avail. Katie McButt's was our destination and short of hijacking the school bus nothing was going to stop our driver from getting us there. Back at Katie's we were provided with hors d'ouvres and spaghetti and meatballs. The food was good but I stuffed myself and couldn't handle anymore beer. Before you judge me though, let me just reiterate that I consumed 20 some odd beers and about 8 shots in a period of 6 hours, so I think I did pretty good for myself. On the plus side, while I was sleeping off a long day of the Creature, I didn't have to watch the Bears lose! God they suck. Anyway, a good time was had by all and I'm looking forward to next year's trip. Not to mention how nice the weather was that day. It might have been one of the last good days we have so I'm glad I was able to get out and enjoy it.
I hope everyone has a safe holiday weekend and folks, let's not get too crazy on Black Friday, unless you're going to buy me a new flatscreen, in which case arm yourself to the teeth and take no prisoners!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fieldhouse

The Fieldhouse, formerly known as Gorman's Pub is located at 1200 W. Main St. in the Campustown shopping center. The new restaurant and bar is a massive improvement over Gorman's.

It's a typical sports bar with an extensive menu and a shitload of flatscreen TV's. They also have 3 huge (8 feet by five) projector screens on opposite walls. This is just the front room and there is another bar in back with 2 more big screens and a handful of LCD's. The owners of the Fieldhouse did a fantastic job of gutting and remodeling the building. The only thing that remains of Gorman's is the bar which has been refurbished.

Drinks are a little expensive, however you can get a $3 Coors light 23 oz. everyday. But don't expect to take a shot for cheap, a Jameson straight cost me $4.50. I wasn't that hungry but knew I had better eat because a long night of boozing lay ahead of me so I ordered the garlic fries. They were good but were short on the parmesan, if they had more they would have been a lot better. There are some interesting items on the menu, especially the sandwich known as "The Mess". The Mess is a Texas toast grilled cheese with a 1/3 lb hamburger, grilled ham, fried egg, shredded cheddar and diced onions. Basically, there are more calories in this sandwich than the entire menu at McDonald's. All I can say is God bless America, we are the only country in the world that uses a fried egg as a fucking sandwich topping, take that Al-Quaida!

The Fieldhouse is going to make a lot of money, it's a great environment in a great location, with good food. How the owner of Gorman's managed to run that place into the ground I will never know, maybe he had a coke addiction or something or maybe he was just an idiot. With that many students within walking distance it would seem almost impossible to fail. I don't think The Fieldhouse will have that problem.

I like that this bar pays homage to a Peoria landmark that is now gone. I like it even more that they have enough TV's to literally watch every sporting event that is taking place at any point in time. So if there's a big game or twenty big games that you want to watch, then go to The Fieldhouse. If you feel like having a heart attack or rendering yourself completely worthless for the next 3-4 hours try The Mess, it sounds good if your into that sort of thing, which you probably are because you were born in America. Fuck yeah!

Update: The last time I went here the place was absolutely packed. The garlic fries were much better the second time around and I had a grilled chicken sandwich that was pretty good. My guest said she really liked the sweet potato fries.

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Peoria Institution: Dome Tap



The Dome Tap is located at 2305 W. Lincoln Ave. in south Peoria. I think it's safe to say that this is a pretty rough neighborhood, especially at night. I don't think I would ever be concerned unless there weren't that many people in the bar or I closed the place down. I went down to the Dome about 4:00 to catch the after-work crowd and ended up staying till about 9:00. The crowd got significantly more rowdy as the night progressed, especially when the karaoke started.

I'm going to go ahead and add Dome Tap to the list of Peoria Institutions for several reasons. First: it's age. This place is probably one of the oldest bars in town that has operated continuously I couldn't find anything online that actually confirms it's age but there were a few clues. The entrance to Dome Tap is adorned with a tile mosaic with the Gipps Beer logo on it. I'm not quite sure when they closed the Gipps brewery here in Peoria, but according to a Q&A with Pete Vonachen and the Journal Star in 2003 it was somewhere in the mid 50's which would have been MANY years after the height of its popularity, here's the excerpt:

Q: You ended up in an ad for Gipps?
A: Yes, I did an ad for Gipps in like, 1951 or '52. I was probably one of their best customers so they used me in an that tried to promote Gipps beer. Now right shortly after that they closed down.
Q: You jinxed them?
A: Yeah I guess I must have.

If I had to guess I'd say that the Gipps mosaic is original (or close to it) and that Dome Tap has been around since the early 20's. Above the bar is a stained glass Dome, hence the Dome Tap. The Dome is definitely original and I don't think I've ever seen a more original ornament hanging above a bar.

The drinks were cheap, $1 PBR and Old Style drafts, Bud family we'll cost you 2 bucks. Thursday night at the Dome means $2 Cuervo shots. I did not partake in any tequila because unfortunately it doesn't make my clothes fall off as much as it makes me want to fight anyone and everyone in the room. The $1 PBR's were working out just fine and a good time was had by all. The bar seats 12-15 and the sign above the bar said the maximum capacity was 47. By the end of the night there were definitely 47 people in there, maybe more. Also, this bar is Altoid tin friendly for you 20 percenters out there. The Dome is a typical dive bar so the bathrooms are small and dirty. Which makes me wonder were people smaller back in the day? Or was space at a premium, because every old bar I've been into has tiny bathrooms. The Dome was no different. I'm only 5' 8" and if I had sat down on the toilet, I'm pretty sure my knees would have touched the door.

So, the Dome Tap is definitely an institution and a must see for any native Peorian. If you are at all intimidated by the neighborhood, go check it out during the day. The neighborhood may not be nice but the folks in the Dome Tap sure are, they even clapped at my drunken off-key rendition of "Pride and Joy"! That's got to count for something, right?
Cheers to Dome Tap!

video


Update: The Dome has apparently closed due to unpaid rent, no word yet on when it will re-open.
According to this note left on the front door of the Dome, this amount of rent was due in late March. Hopefully the bar will re-open soon.
Update II: There is now a for rent sign outside the Dome, hopefully someone will take up the challenge of running this joint as it's been around forever. But for now, R.I.P. Dome Tap.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Northeast Adams Stretch: Amy's Anchor Club (Now Veteran's Pub and Pizza)















Amy's Anchor Club is located at 2525 NE Adams St. in Peoria. You can only see the sign if you are driving towards downtown as it hangs above a window on the northeast side of the building. When my two friends and I walked in, there were some odd looks, I'm guessing this was because we were the only white people in the bar. The only special that night (this past Saturday) was MGD 64 for $1.50. I've never had one and I heard they suck so I ordered a tall blonde. The Miller High Life cost me 2 bucks and PBR's were the same, no drafts, bottles only.

The bar was really nice; a couple of flatscreens, lots of blue lights, and of course, nautical decorations. There is a kind of half wall seperating two pool tables from the bar area. Up against this wall on the bar side is a shuffleboard table. I asked the bartender for the pucks and my friend and I started to play with the rules he learned at The Illinois State University. In the other room with the pool tables, there was a DJ (or maybe just some guy who works there) playing music from his laptop. Now, normally I'm not usually a fan of having no say in what is being pumped through the sound system but this guy had some good picks, mostly old soul, R&B, and blues. Also on the "pool side" was a table with some crock pots, apparently somebody was having a pot luck.

Side note: at least Notre Dame lost to a ranked opponent this week, but losing to a team coached by Dave Wannstedt always hurts.

After watching ND lose and losing my first game of shuffle, something interesting happened. A few people in the bar turned around in their barstools and started watching our second game. Eventually, a guy approached me and asked how to play. It was then that I realized that apparently, shuffleboard is a white guy's game and never looked interesting enough until my freinds and I started getting competitive and talking shit to each other. So, I obliged this guy (who I'll call Dre) and we started playing, it didn't take long for him to catch on and he eventually beat me 15-13. He then showed his girlfriend how to play and she beat him. Ahhhh, the circle of life. Not to say that no one in Amy's knew how to play shuffleboard prior to Saturday night but I think at least a couple of folks in there got hooked. Maybe the next time I go to Amy's, people will be gathered around the shuffleboard table instead of the pool tables.
The most unique thing about Amy's are the bathrooms. There are no sinks in either bathrooms but a common sink sits just outside of them. This way, everybody knows if you use the john and don't wash your hands afterwards. Also, they are the cleanest bathrooms I have ever seen in a dive bar or any bar downtown for that matter.

As we were about to leave, Dre asked me if I wanted to join him in enjoying a "cigar". As we were enjoying this fine Jamaican stogie, we watched a State cop who had pulled someone over and was lining up beer bottles on the curb....ouch.

Amy's Anchor Club seems like a fun place. It is definitely the most lively place I've been to on the NE Adams Stretch. Cheap drinks, good times can be had at Amy's.

Update: It seems that Amy's has closed. For the past three Saturdays or so, the bar has been closed at night. Not sure if it is temporary or permanent.
Update II: The past few times I have driven by, it looks as if people are working inside. Amy's may be getting ready to re-open.
Update III: The sign bearing the anchor club logo has been removed, the building next to Amy's has been completely torn down. On the roof there are now several military related flags flying and a temporary sign reads "Guess Who's Coming Back?", or something like that.
Update IV: There's a new sign on top of Amy's it reads "Veterans Pub and Pizza Coming Soon". Sounds like I'm going to have to add a "Gone But Not Forgotten" tag to this post.
Update V: Amy's has changed hands and is now Veteran's Pub and Pizza, will provide a new review eventually.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Roger's Place







Roger's Place is a great little hole in the wall located at 1923 SW Adams St. just south of downtown Peoria. I went there last night after work to have a few before the Bears game. Roger's is a one room bar with 30 stools, no tables and a smaller than usual pool table. The table looks really old and I can't think of another place where I have seen one the same size. One side of the table is only about four feet from the wall but the bar provides shooters with a short stick in case you have to shoot from that side.

I walked into Roger's about 7:00 and there were only three people inside, including the bartender who is called Booter. I think it is a safe bet that this is a nickname, I can't really picture anyone actually naming their child Booter but I guess anything is possible. Roger's has two beers on draft: PBR and Bud Light. The PBR goes for $0.75 and the Bud Light will cost you $1.00. I thought I would splurge so I ordered a Bud Light. To the suppossed 20% of you reading this, Roger's Place is Altoid tin friendly, if you don't know what this means, I guess you'll just have to find out for yourself. You can also buy six packs of Blatz for $5.00 (awesome!), and 40 ounces of King Cobra or Steel Reserve.

After about 40 minutes the place started to fill up with regulars. The first ones to arrive were two Mexicans, one spoke fluent English, the other did not. Javier told me that he had just come from a DUI class, where he translated for his friend, which I found hilarious. He said it was fun and he heard some good stories. So, basically after attending a court ordered Dry Roads class, Javier's buddy needed a drink and Roger's Place was the watering hole of choice. Anyone who has ever had to go through one of these guilt trip sessions probably has felt the same way. They are like AA meetings without the actual intention of not drinking AND they are required AND you have to pay for them.

I took a picture of the bathroom sink because I don't think I've ever seen one like it. I swear to god the bathroom was two feet by two feet. It had a NO SOLICITING sign on the door, which I assume is some joke about prostitution.

One last thing about Roger's Place, if you are a pool player the following house rules apply if you want to hold the table. First, you must make the eight ball with a bank shot to win the game. Secondly, if you scratch trying to make the eight ball, you do not lose. In other words the game continues until someone makes a bank eight. I thought this was cool because it makes the game last longer and with the smaller table, is significantly easier to do than on a full size (7 foot) bar table. Also, bars that have house rules mean that the same guys play there all the time, in other words, there is almost always competition. I played Booter for two games, lost the first and won the second, despite the fact that he was obviously better than me.

Roger's Place is your typical hole in the wall with regular customers. It seems like it would be a fun place on the weekends. I'm guessing that a lot of craziness goes on here. On top of that, Booter told me that Willie York has been hanging out there a lot lately. So if you want an opinion on just about anything, maybe you can go down to Roger's and have a little talk with Willie! I know I have always found his semi-incoherent slurs to be very enlightening.
Cheers to Roger's Place!


Update - I've really grown fond of this place and the characters in it. Several times, people at the bar have thrown down some cash to buy a half pint for Willie who stops in from time to time. Booter is a great bartender and a fun guy to talk to. Kenny and Donnie are two brothers who sit at the Adams St. end of the bar and are nothing short of hilarious. Kenny's catchphrase is Yah Right! This place is a real solid boozer and is usually busiest from 5 - 8 on the weekdays. It gets kind of slow after that and is a good place to waste away by yourself if you're looking for solitude.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Northeast Adams Stretch: Dixie's Dungeon and Averyville By Chance


I'm not really sure why there are so many bars on NE Adams in Peoria. It doesn't seem like a huge population center (at least not one that would neccessitate 8 or 9 bars in a 2 mile stretch). Whatever the reason, most of these taverns have been around for a long time. My girlfriend and I went out last night and hit up two of these fine (?) establishments and are planning more trips to check out the rest of them. Here's the breakdown from last night.

First Stop: Dixie's Dungeon 1227 NE Adams

For some reason if you look for bars on NE Adams online there are two entries for this address; Cookie's and Dixie's, apparently this bar is now known ad Dixie's Dungeon. Aesthetically speaking I think referring to Dixie's as a dungeon is a good analogy. It's a small, cramped place seperated into two rooms, one with the bar and another for billiards. Despite the fact that Dixie's has an Adams St. address, the only entrance is on Spring St. When you walk in you'll find yourself looking straight at a bar with about 20 stools. There's a good size flatscreen in the middle (something I suspect is a rarity amongst Adams St. bars), to your left are 6 poker machines, that I assume, like most dives, probably pay out. At the end of this row is an ATM machine, probably because the bar doesn't accept plastic. Also in this front room is a cigarette machine (yes apparently they still exist) one of only two or three that I know of in Peoria. My girlfriend and I ordered two Miller Light drafts for $1.50 each and I was happy to see they were in the full size pint glasses. The bartender was very personable and my girlfriend immediately started a good conversation with her while I searched via the remote for the Blackhawks game on TV. Side note; any place you go where the bartender gives you the remote so you can find what you want to watch is a good place in my book. The beer was cold and the atmosphere was real laid back, of the three other people in Dixie's last night I had good conversations with two of them. The third was a really old guy who looked like he was super drunk and I couldn't understand him that well. In between our first and second beers I took down Dixie's weekly specials.

Sun: $2 vodka drinks
Mon: free food (not sure what kind) and $1 Miller bottles
Tue: $2 Miller Lt. bottles
Wed:$2 wells
Thu: $2 Miller Lt. cans (not sure if the bottles cost more or what thats all about)
Fri: $10 buckets 'o' beer
Sat: $12 buckets 'o' beer

Second Stop: Averyville by Chance 2803 NE Adams

First off, in case you weren't aware the general area that most of these bars fall under is called Averyville and has been for a really long time (when most Peorians actually lived downtown). This bar has had this name for as long as I can remember so it might be encroaching upon "institution" status. I'd really like to go here in the summertime because my impression is that this is a huge Cubs bar. The cabinets behind the bar are all painted red and Cubbie blue, with lots of Cub memoribilia everywhere and the bartender (owner maybe?) was wearing a Cubs hat. Also, my girlfriend said that the girls' bathroom had pro Cubs/anti-Cardinal graffitti all over, yet the guys' had none, so maybe its a Cubs/lesbian bar. Unfortunately, they only have two old rear projection TV's to watch games on. There were three beers on tap; Bud, Bud Light, and PBR (awesome), I had a Red, White, and Blue and started checking the place out. For those of you who like to shoot stuff but can't actually go through with killing a living thing, there is a Big Buck Hunter machine as well as some poker machines, two dartboards, and a pool table. The bar seats about twenty and there are tables and chairs for twenty more, definitely way bigger than Dixie's. It was a cool place but there wasn't really that much going on, so we finished our drinks and moved uptown to check out some bars on Wisconsin Ave. However, I'm guessing that on the weekends Averyville By Chance gets pretty packed and might be worth checking out. Before we left I got the weekly specials.

Sun: $1.50 drafts
Mon: $1.50 drafts
Tue: $2 Monster (energy drink) bombs
Wed: $2 Bud family bottles, $2 UV bombs
Thu: $9 buckets
Fri: $3 Monster bombs
Sat: $3.50 well pints

Cheers to Dixie's and Averyville, for being the kind of laid back dives I have come to love. The next time you find yourself at the bottom of the hill, skip all the downtown bullshit and cruise on up to NE Adams. At least you won't have to pay upwards of three bucks for a Bud Light.

Update: Dixie's has been closed for a few months now with no signs of re-opening. Averyville by Chance is owned by a guy named Chance (duh!) and he is super cool for many reasons, the least of which being his love for Trailer Park Boys. On Sundays, Chance provides his patrons with a nice spread of hot dogs, brats, and usually salsa. Last point, this is a huge Cubs bar, so if you're a fan of another team, don't expect to watch them if the Boys In Blue are playing.
Update II: Dixie's re-opened a few months ago and originally had a sign that said 745 Tap. That sign is gone now but the bar remains open. Also Averyville by Chance has been closed for about a month (I think). Will provide more information as it becomes available.
Update III: I'm still not sure what Dixie's is now called as there is no signage at all on the bar. Secondly, Averyville has been closed for about eight months with no signs of re-opening.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Peoria Institution: Katie McButts



Katie McButt's is located at 2440 N. Knoxville Avenue in Peoria. If you have ever driven towards downtown on Knoxville, you have probably noticed an Irish flag painted just outside the front entrance of Katie's on a wall facing north. This bar has been around for a long time, probably about 30 or so years. A friend of mine told me that long before it was Katie's, the bar was called the Turf Club and was  pretty hip place in the 60's and 70's. The bartender, Trevor has been serving drinks at the East Bluff tavern for the past 15 years and is as good a bartender as you could hope for, especially if you get to know him. Every time I have ever gone to Katie's, Trevor has always bought me a shot and/or a beer.

Among their specialties are 18 beers on tap (with one tapper of root beer) and the best Guinness combos in town. Try a Half and Half (Guinness and Harp), Belgian Waffle (Guinness and Blue Moon), or an Irish-American (Guinness and PBR or Old Style), all for only $3.75. Among their other drafts are Killian's, Honey Brown, Smithwicks, Beamish, Coors Light, Spaten, Moose Drool, Miller Lite, Old Style, PBR, Harp, Smithwick's, and several other. Out of the 18 drafts, almost all are "regulars" with only a few that rotate. Imports are $3.75 while domestics are $2.75.

Despite the location, Katie's is generally a safe place to stop in for a drink. A few years back, a robbery took place. Luckily though, only a handful of people were in the bar at the time. I consider this to be an isolated incident as this is the only such robbery to have taken place in recent history. The bottom line is that Katie's is no more dangerous than a night out downtown. The crowd is friendly and on nights when the dart league takes place McButt's is a lively place to be. The bar does not have a pool table but has three dartboards, a Silver Strike machine, and several poker machines.

A friend of mine recently told me about his 21st birthday at Katie's where he took "The Challenge". Behind the bar is a large copper tub which holds ice and beer mugs. On the front of this tub are the 19 drafts. To the left of the tub, above the cash register are two bottles of Irish whiskey, upside down, with pouring mechanisms on them. The first is Tullamore Dew (rough!) and the second is one of my personal favorites, Jameson. "The Challenge" as my friend called it, is to drink one of all 18 beers (and the root beer) going from right to left. When you get to the end of the line, you must take a shot of Tullamore then Jameson to complete the challenge. I can only imagine how drunk one would be at the end of this excursion but it still sounds like fun. Plus, then you can brag to your friends about your completion of one of the more unique and ridiculous drinking games there are! And while 18 beers may not sound like much, keep in mind the brews involved in this challenge run the gamut from Belgian white ale, to Irish lagers, to American pilsners, and everything in between. If you think you can handle the challenge, drink a Miller Lite, Smithwick's Guinness, Harp, Old Style, then PBR in that order to test your insides. That sequence makes up the heart of the batting order for "The Challenge."

As for food, you can always get a Butch's pizza and a bag of chips. Katie's also has fifty cent chili dogs every Saturday (11 AM- 5PM), which Trevor informed me is the reason for having root beer on tap.

I've listed Katie McButt's as a Peoria Institution because of it's age and atmosphere. Personally, I cannot think of another bar in town that is locally owned (with the possible exception of Crusen's) that has more beers on tap, this adds to Katie McButt's uniqueness.

Another unique thing about Katie's, is that it holds baseball dual citizenship. Mac, the owner, is a Cardinals fan and there are several St. Louis mementos in the bar. The bartender Trevor, however, is a die-hard Cubs fan (as if there were any other kind). So, when Mac is occupying his seat in the tavern, it's a Cardinals bar but as soon as he leaves, Katie's magically transforms into a Cubs bar. If it is a slow night at Katie's, Trevor will turn the juke box off and turn up the game. Seeing as he had fond memories of both ball clubs, I think Harry Caray would find himself right at home here, especially with Budweiser on tap.

The atmosphere at Katie's is much like other older taverns that are located in a neighborhood, or in Katie watching the news. Around seven, they'll clear out and business will be pretty slow until nine or so when the regulars start creeping in. Katie's is hardly ever busy. The only exceptions to this rule are when a band is playing (not often) or when a group of professionals from downtown decide to take a chance and check out the East Bluff tavern for after-work drinks.

This past New Year's Eve, my friends and I made Katie's our bar for the night. Knowing that every place in Peoria was going to be packed, I came up with the idea to make Katie's our home base. It couldn't have worked out better. From nine until almost midnight, we had the bar to ourselves and even after people started showing up, there was still plenty of room to be comfortable. I'm not sure why it is that more people don't frequent McButt's and I'm not complaining because it's a great place to go and watch a Cubs game in peace. But I will say, if you're looking for a place to meet some friends that isn't too crowded and has a friendly atmosphere, Katie's is the place.

So, if you live in the East Bluff, I suggest making Katie's your local watering hole. If you don't live around the area, Katie's is still worth a shot (or two).

Cheers to Katie McButt's fro keeping the neighborhood tavern tradition alive and well!

P.S. Katie's, in keeping with the way things used to be in Ireland, is not open on Sundays