Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dorothy's Dew Drop Inn

Yah, we're open, why would you think otherwise? Yah, I guess it kinda looks like an abandoned building, maybe we should do some remodeling HAHAHAHAHAHA YAH RIGHT!

Dorothy's is located at 1819 S. Laramie St. and is probably the southernmost bar in the city of Peoria. The only challenger to that claim might be Cheers and Beers on SW Adams. The tavern is jammed into a run-down strip of buildings in the southern corner of the neighborhood which probably has a name that has long been forgotten save by the elder residents of the area. If you drive past the tavern heading south, Laramie St. dead ends into Trewyn Park and on a winter's day with no leaves on the trees you can see I-474. If you didn't grow up in this area or aren't a weirdo like me who drives around the usually ignored neighborhoods of Peoria, you would probably never know about this place. You can thank me for telling you about it by sending me cash, thanks.

I've only been to Dorothy's twice and have literally had two bottles of Bud Light ($2) during my trips there. I'm going to say that the Dew Drop Inn is Peoria's number one dive bar for several reasons. The criteria for great dive bars is as follows.

Location - must be a bad one
Oddities - weird shit laying around that you don't usually see in a bar
Patrons - neighborhood lifers and usually several bitter old men in the middle of the day
Employees - gruff and workmanlike or friendly and talkative, dive bars can go either way on this one
Cleanliness - there is no such thing

We've already covered the location and while it may not be the worst neighborhood in Peoria it certainly ranks pretty high. When you first walk into Dorothy's, you will be confronted by a vicious guard dog yipping Chihuahua named Charlie. After a minute or two and several attempts to send him to the back room, Charlie will eventually give up and trot away, letting out a few more barks as he goes. Now, with that out of the way you can have a look around. One of the first things I noticed was the 90's era desktop and monitor at which Dorothy was seated playing solitaire. The main area of the bar is occupied by a pool table, a recliner that looks like a it came straight from Al Bundy's house, and a small table with four chairs. Why there is a recliner there, I don't know but one day I will sit in it and it will be glorious. The bar itself runs almost the full length of the building and is unique in its construction and by unique I mean crappy. When you sit at a bar stool, you must spread your legs like you're on a horse because the bar is one long rectangle with no ledge that hangs over your lap like, oh I don't know, every bar I've ever seen.

According to, Dorothy's has an estimated annual income of $75,000 and has approximately two employees. Those two employees would be Dorothy and a man I'm assuming is her husband, a gruff looking guy who appears to be in his 60's and probably has more fingers than teeth. Dorothy herself is friendly looking grandma type with her gray hair fashioned in an equally grandma-like perm. She can't be more than five feet tall and looks like she's dealt with a lot of bullshit in her life which isn't surprising considering her occupation.

The decor of the bar is pretty spartan, with most of the nick-nacks having to do with either booze or Nascar. On my last trip there, the old man was watching Sprint Cup practice (that's right practice) despite the fact that it was in March and there were plenty of important college basketball games on. If there isn't any Nascar event being televised, you're likely to find either Dr. Phil or Walker Texas Ranger on the tube. I doubt if either Dorothy or her husband work during the later hours on the weekends but I could be wrong. I'd really like to see what the crowd is like on a Friday or Saturday night but that will just have to wait for now.

If you've never been to Dorothy's you really must check it out. If the neighborhood gives you the willies, just stop in during the week for a nice afternoon beer, you won't be disappointed. The Dew Drop Inn is carrying on the tradition of classic South Peoria dive bars and in my opinion is the diviest of them all.

Cheers to Dorothy's for keeping the Peoria dive bar tradition alive and well!