Ulrich's is really no different of a place now that Sully no longer owns and operates it. However, the crowd is a little different. For some reason, here in Peoria, if someone with the last name of Sullivan owns a bar, people who make over 100k a year frequent whatever that establishment is. Even if it happens to be on the 600 block of Main St. next to a gay bar. You don't believe me? Go down to Kelleher's on a Saturday night and count the number of Cadillacs and BMW's in the parking lot. Then try to go inside and get a beer for less than three dollars, not going to happen. Anyway, that's a topic for another day.
Ulrich's is styled (not surprisingly) like an Irish pub and does a pretty decent job of pulling it off. The bartenders still wear shirts and ties like they did when it was Sullivan's and there are still no TV's above the bar. The menu is short but has everything you could want from a bar with just a tiny flattop grill. Tuesday nights are free tacos and there is a rotating menu of free food on Friday nights as well. The kitchen is open till 4 AM. I've never eaten there that late but if I happened to find myself downtown in the wee hours with an empty stomach, I'd probably head to Mushrush's over Richard's or Hoops. If you've ever gone out all night drinking and then polished it off with the gut-busting grease bombs that Richard's calls food, you probably woke up the next morning feeling like a big bag of shit. I know I have. The food served at Ulrich's is not fried and most of their selections are actually pretty healthy, like the Cajun tuna and the grilled chicken sandwich.
One of the coolest things about Ulrich's is their smoking patio. There really isn't anything special about it, except for the fact that the smoking area is shared with Diesel next door. This makes for a nice little mix of bar-goers. Where else can you go to an Irish pub and have a smoke with the lively patrons of a gay bar? Its nice because you can get the feel of Diesel without having to actually go inside. If you do find yourself in Diesel, the shared smoking patio can come in handy. For those of you who don't know, the men's bathrooms in Diesel are....well intimate. Basically, if you are taking a piss in the urinal and someone opens the door, you find yourself somewhat exposed. Now, this may not seem like a bad thing but when you're as good looking as I am, it's hard enough to fight off the advances and rufied drinks of the gentlemen in the bar, without hanging my guy out there for all to see. So, if you're a smart man (or at least not a voyeur) you can slip out back and head into Mushrush's to use their clean and more private restrooms.
The food at Ulrich's has been featured on WEEK's "You Gotta Eat" and reviewed by associatedcontent.com. In case you're wondering where the hell the name Mushrush's came from, believe it or not, it's actually the former owner's last name. This past December Mushrush's was sold to the head bartender, Joe Ulrich. Mushrush himself though, will probably still frequent the place basically because he likes to party. Like gettin' drunk and dancing on tables kind of partying. I guess the technical term for that is par-tay. Well, I like to party too and Ulrich's is a good place to do it. So head on down grab a burger and a Guinness, than polish it off with a nice big shot of Michael Collins. If you're on Facebook check out their page for upcoming events and specials.
Cheers to Ulrich's and cheers to cooking good food for the good (drunk) people of Peoria!