Monday, December 27th, 2010—Bar 352
The Red Barn
Okay another day in Peoria, another special guest star. This time it’s my friend Jim “Rooster” Rustman. I met the Rooster the one year I went to college. He was roomates with my brother Jim at Drake University when they were junior’s and I was a freshman. The three of us hung out a lot and boy are there a lot of stories from that year, but that would fill up this entire post. Let’s just say it was a year of madness and leave it at that. After my freshman year I flunked out due to the fact that I spent the entire year doing drugs and drinking and stopped going to classes the last semester decided that I’d try another path in life and got a job as a janitor in a factory in downtown Peoria. My working career has spinned sideways ever since that gig.
Anyway, Rooster lives in Las Vegas now, but he’s visiting Pontiac, Illinois to see his mom. He decided to take a sidetrip to Peoria and we’re headed to The Red Barn, a great Peoria bar that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t visited in about a decade. It’s lunch time and we all know what that means...Butch’s Pizza and beer!
Okay, here we are at the Red Barn. Yeah, I know it's night time out and this is a day time bar crawl. The fact of the matter is I forgot to take a shot of the front of the bar and my dad had to drive me back to get one. Okay? Sheesh!
Okay, there's plenty of seats at the bar, time to settle in.
Here's Dan, he's not only the bartender, he's the owner of the joint! A friendly guy and a great teller of jokes.
Always the sign of a classic bar, a nut hut! And right next to the Red Stag.
There's booths opposite the bar...
With vintage photos on the walls, including this one of the fab four.
They also allow graffiti on the walls. Hmm...this is Peoria's verson of the Mars Bar!
Some of the drafts available at the bar.
Lunch is served, a delicious deluxe Butch's pizza, just one of the reasons I come back to Peoria.
And poof, that pizza is gone! To the left of me is the elusive "Rooster." I had to blur the shot because he's wanted in about ten states for various crimes ranging from tearing the tops off of parking meters to removing mattress tags in Howard Johnson hotels and everything in between. Yes, he's an evil and bad man!
Up front is a state of the art dart board.
The front window has a lamp straight out of a "Christmas Story."
A shot from the other end of the bar. There's Rooster and Dan, but who's the guy at the end?
It's Michael and he and Dan make quite the comedy duo, you have to see it to see what I mean.
Here's two of Michael's signs he designed especially for the Red Barn. Nice!
The back room has a full stage for bands and performers. There's live music many night's a week here including Tuesday and Friday open mic nights.
There's tables and chairs up front near the stage.
Here's another one of Michael's customized signs: No "Stairway to Heaven!"
So I complied and sang, "D'yer Mak'er." Goodnight, everybody!
The Red Barn has been a Peoria Institution since 1965. Dan, the current owner has held the reins since 1983. The bar is divided into two rooms, with the bar in the front room off to the left as you enter. There’s large booths off to the side of the bar and graffiti and vintage pictures line the walls that give the place a relaxed and “anything goes” feeling. There’s a stage and tables in the back room and music happens here several nights a week and always on Saturday nights. Tuesday and Friday are open mic nights, so if you’re ready to road test your new band or song, stop on by.
There’s a full bar available with a nice selection of bottled beers. Some of the draft beers available include: Amber Bock, Blue Moon, Budweiser and Bud Light. If you’re hungry there’s Butch’s pizza available and nuts from the nut hut. I’m not sure if they have sandwiches or anything else, but they’ve got Butch’s pizza and nuts from the nut hut, what more could you want? Don’t make me come over there and slap you upside your head!
621 W. Glen Ave.
Bonus Christmas cookies from Gidget!
Yesterday afternoon a package showed up for me at my parents house from La Porte, Indiana. That’s where my friend and the coolest DJ in the world, Gidget lives! Let’s see what she sent me! (And don’t forget to check out her show on Woody Radio.)
Here's the package from Gidget! Let's open it up!
There's a nice card inside...
These two packages!
And they're filled with delicious homemade cookies from Gidget! Thanks Gidget, this is too sweet, no pun intended.
And of course my dad sniffed them out in no time flat. Thanks, Gidget! Happy holidays to you and yours!
Bonus Photos From Peoria’s Emack and Bolio’s in Peoria Heights!
My good friend and spiritual guru, Tim Hennessey owns and runs an Emack and Bolio's upscale ice cream parlor in Peoria Heights (along with his business partner, Jumping Jim Maxwell.) Rooster and I decided to stop in after lunch and say hi.
And here we are, Emack and Bolio's at 4534 N. Prospect Road.
And here he is, my personal guru, smiling Tim Hennessey!
Even though it's cold winter day, people still line up in here for the quality ice cream.
And so Tim quits posing for pictures for me and gets back to work. Sob!
Classic rock and roll photos line the walls in here.
An original piece of art drawn by my brother Jim of Melanie Griffith hangs on the wall in here. Thanks for that, guys, our whole family appreciates it!
And here's Tim with his beautiful wife, Tina. If you want to see a smile light up on Tina's face, just ask her about the time I helped out with Tim's surprise birthday party. No need for any more thank you's Tina, the pleasure was all mine! As it always is! Ha ha ha!
And there's more here than ice cream, check out the candies and goodies.
And look, it's Charlie Brown's Christmas tree!
Okay, all of a sudden I see one of Tim and Tina's kids, Katie with her husband Larry posing with a bunch of people whom I have no idea who they are. I think the baby is Katie and Larry's, but all I know is that when they were in mid-pose, I ran over with my camera and shouted, "Say, mescaline!" And the only one's who looked were Larry and this kid in the red cap, who kind of looks like me when I was a juvenile delinquent. Now I'm not about to say these two are holding drugs and I'm not judging, I guess what I'm saying is, you two guys ever heard about sharing?
And in the end...well, you all know about that. Turn me on you big ice cream eating dead man!
This is either a combination Prozac/Abortion clinic or a dry cleaner with a bar inside, but either way, I’m glad it’s here. Okay, I'm in the La Guardia airport doing this and now I have to do my bar crawl because it's like a two hour taxi wait. I'll write about it tomorrow, stay tuned.