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« Saturday, December 25th, 2010—Bar 349 | Main | Thursday, December 23rd, 2010—Bar 347 »

Friday, December 24th, 2010—Bar 348

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010—Bar 348

The Trolley

Okay, I’m finally squared away here in Peoria and today I’m meeting my friend, Phil Luciano at The Trolley, a bar which I frequented a lot in my wild youth growing up in Peoria. Phil Luciano is somewhat of a renaissance man in Peoria. He’s teaches journalism at Bradley University, he’s a working journalist and writes a column for the local paper, The Journal Star and he’s co-host of the Markley and Luciano Show which is a morning rock and roll party five days a week on Max FM 102.3. And he also makes a mean hot apple pie, and it’s not the kind of apple pie you’re thinking of. Come on along the crawl and you’ll see what I mean.

This place was called The Toonerville Trolley when I was a kid, not it's just, The Trolley. Let's go inside.

Plenty of seats in here, let's take a load off.

And the lovely and friendly Belinda serves up an ice-cold afternoon beer.

A view of my seat at the bar. What's that strange light beaming in? Oh, it's sunshine, I need to get some sunglasses for my daytime duty here in Peoria.

There's a dining table in the back room and...

A nice pool table and...

A vintage shuffleboard table. I think this was here way back when I used to drink here.

A fan hovers over the bar and keeps the air moving.

Some of the specials at the bar: three bucks for all you can eat pizza and a bucket of five bottles of beer for ten bucks. Holy smokes! I'm not in New York anymore, Toto. And surprisingly enough, Toto is playing on the jukebox. Irony at its finest hour.

Photos of patrons past and present hang on the wall.

A couple of the regulars pointed out that this is a photo of Jim Thome in the bar. I got some major league laughs when I asked who he was, because it turns out he's a famous baseball player from Peoria. Shows you how much I know about sports. But, hey, I know that Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison are from here. In fact I've met both of them. So there!

Meanwhile, things are taking a leisurely pace back at the bar. Let's go see who this guy is.

It's Billy a friendly regular here at the Bar. He's adorned with a Trolley sweatshirt and flashes the 365 card. Cheers to Billy!

Belinda in action at the bar.

And here's my pal, Phil! He grabs my boob for a true Nearby Nite Life inspired photo. If you didn't live in Peoria in the '70's or '80's, you probably won't understand that, but that's okay.

And lunch arrives in the form of a Butch's Pizza. I need to start getting these delivered to New York, the best pizza in the world!

And here's Phil with his hot apple pie on the brain. It's homemade hooch made with Everclear and apple spices and other things that I was too busy eating pizza to note.

Phil pours, it goes into the microwave and then...

Baboom, we have an instant holiday toast. Cheers!

Okay, the pizza's almost gone and I told my mom I'd stop drinking at three in the afternoon. I think we all know what that means...

It 's time to snort Phil's hot apple pie in the parking lot. Goodnight, everybody!


I don’t know how long the Trolley has been in business on Farmington Road, but its been there as long as I can remember, so it’s safe to say its been there quite a while. The front of the bar is dominated by an oval wooden bar with stools and patrons on the perimeter. Most of the customers are regulars who’ve been sitting on these stools for decades, but it’s the type of place that’s even friendly to some kook from New York who’s going to 365 bars in 365 days.

It’s a full bar and beer can be bought by the bucketfull for not much dough. There’s also chicken wings, Butch’s pizza, chili dogs and other bar grub to be had. There’s daily specials and a pool table, darts and a shuffle board in the back.

I sent Phil an email before I came back and asked him if this joint was still open, he replied with this: Grab a Napkin and Help Out Fred. Nice to see some things remain the same. Thanks to The Trolley for the hospitality and to Phil for the hot apple pie!

The Trolley

2411 W Farmington Rd.

Peoria, Illinois


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Reader Comments (21)

I'm enjoying the change of scenery. There's another "famous" person from Peoria, famous at least to New Yorkers. Long time WMCA/WABC/WCBS-FM DJ Harry Harrison is from Peoria.

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKen K. in NJ

That is some awesome looking pizza !

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

That Everclear is like a 151 proof base and you add stuff to it and presto,,,an original drink. I bet it pack's a wallop too. I like these neighborhood bars and Im sure Peoria is loaded with them.

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

That home made apple pie sonds like rocket fuel and I could use some right about now. The weather in the twin cities turned Minneheinous again last night and I've got some shoveling to do. It's times like this that I miss Peoria the most with it's MUCH milder winters. Notice that you've only got a dusting of the evil white stuff down there. Oh, by the way, The fabled Toonerville Trolly was also the name of the fabled ride that Tuinal addicts used to ride back in the '60's and '70's. This interesting bit of trivia comes to us courtesy of Steven King in his novel; 'Pet Sematary'.

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

I have a few Everclear tales of woe from my "Misspent Adulthood".
Most resulted in Blackouts though.
Glad to see you made it home safe and sound.
To Butch's!
Merry Christmas Daddio!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Mmm! That hot apple pie sounds good! You should pour some over vanilla ice cream and make some hot apple pie a la plowed! The Trolley looks like a great place to kick back and enjoy a few beers. That shuffleboard table is awesome! And I noticed that old slow cooker behind the pool table, which is a sign of a truly great bar because it usually means pot-luck, and a pot-luck at a bar usually means patrons who seem like family, and there's nothing better than having a pot-luck at a bar with patrons who seem like family. Merry Christmas, Trolley! I like your style!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

This much better then yesterday !!! So I will stop leaving messages on your cell , for now , Ha Ha
TO : Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison , didn't know they where from there !! They where The Best !!
That Pizza Looked Fantastic !! Yummy
That Bar looked like someones home , it's a kind of Bar I like , since I like to Drink at home most the time .
TO : Hot Apple Pie
& To Merry Christmas Beers , I mean Cheers !!!!
Where Is ZioumZioum ?
Oh she is busy with Wedding invites & wedding party , I forgot .Shit soon I will be married , WOW !!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

Holy crap! The trolley could be any old school RSL club in Australia!
For those who don't know what and RSL is?....Returned and Service Leagues. A club set up for military folk who served in ww1 and 2. These clubs are every where and the beer is usually cheap.

I forgot to mention...
IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! and it's Christmas day!!!!
I know it's still xmas eve in US&A but we're a day ahead.

Merry xmas everyone!!! and especially to our main man Mr Marty for creating this rad blog and building up this community of like minded booze heads!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

merry chrissy marty, & to all 365 fans hope ya's all have a good one....& happy birthday clacky ya mad bastard!!!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

A nice Peoria bar! I knew Richard Pryor was from Peoria, but didn't know about Sam Kinison. Dan Fogelberg was from there as well. And now, Marty the 365 bars guy! Happy birthday to Clacky and Merry Christmas to you all!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

happy birthday clacky! and merry christmas to you all. love this small town bar friendly bar! to marty for spending his vacation doing this!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

Happy birthday, Clacky! Here's my present to you: GO EAGLES!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

I thought the same thing @JHwang did, looks like you could be hanging out in someone's house. Nice small town feel.

Happy birthday @Clacky, and Merry Christmas 365 crew!!

December 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Al, Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVern Damico

@Bifffff: yeaa..You are are such a brilliant human being and a fantastic lass to booze on with. Get yo ass to Aus and we'll continue from Milady's where we left off. The bar is always open to you, Biff!! and the BBC and JaWs and Rajinrr and did I mention the BBC? Those guys are serious good friends because of Marty!!!
GO EAGLES!!! Shit yeah! I Smell a super bowl that involves Birds Of Prey!!!

To Wombacher!

December 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

TO green coloured Birds of Prey!!!

December 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

ho ho ho merry christmas to all...happy anniversary clacky (one only has one birthday all the rest are anniversaries...just saying)...the trolley looks like a great place to hang...not sure i could make a steady diet of hot apple pie...KOC


December 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Marty: The trolly has been there since (I think) 1928. It's noted on that hoodie I bought for my girlfriend. When she opened it last night (what a fabulous Christmas present, eh?!), it smelled like the Trolly deep-fryer. She had to immediately wrap it in a plastic bag to contain the fumes. Awesome.

December 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLuciano

@Everybody: Once again, sorry to not be answering back to everyone, but I've got about a half an hour a day internet time, but Happy Birthday to Clacky and Happy Clackmas to All! Thanks so much to all of you for bringing some holiday magic to this blog! Now I've got to put up today's post and answer email in my small amount of internet time.

December 25, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Mmm that pizza looks awesomely delicious.

"But, hey, I know that Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison are from here. In fact I've met both of them. So there." Wow that is so cool, I did not know that they were both from there. Very cool!

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

I'm Late, but MERY CHRISTMAS !!!!!!! :D
Bars in Peoria are cool !

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZioum Zioum The Chainsaw

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