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« Traveling Day | Main | Tuesday, April 27th, 2010—Bar 107 »

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010—Bar 108

Day 108—Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Khaki Jack’s

Ding, ding, ding! The PayPal donation button has just been sounded! Renee Lavelle sent in a generous donation of ten dollars with the stated purpose of: “Living vicariously through you! Great idea!” Renee saw Michael Heaton’s article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and invited me to stop by the bar she bartends at in Parma, Ohio called, Characters. Sounds like I’d fit right in! Here’s some information about the bar: Characters Bar. Thanks, Renee, I’ll stop by my next time in Cleveland!

Okay, today I’m stopping by a bar in Peoria that I was invited to make a bar crawl stop on my hometown visit. Tony Moreschi is the owner of a bar in Peoria that has an Australian theme, a huge beer selection and a nice eclectic food menu. I hadn’t been to Khaki Jack's since I moved and since Tony graciously invited me, I took him up on his offer and invited a few other friends to join me. Come on Mates (this means you, Fitzi and David Brooks, among everyone else) let’s check out this slice of Oz in Peoria.


Here we are, Khaki Jack's.
The bar has the same friendly vibe I remember from years ago. G'Day mates!
I was supposed to meet some friends of mine in here, where are they? Look at all the bowls of free peanuts!
I think I spy them hiding in the corner.
Hah! You can run but you can't hide! From left: Jeff Klesath (my cousin), DeWayne Bartels and Steve Tarter. DeWayne recently wrote about 365 in one of the last issues of the Peoria Times Observer, check it out here: 365 Bars in Observer. DeWayne is moving on and will be at the helm of the Woodford Times, debuting May 5th. Steve writes for the Peoria Journal Star and recently wrote about my brother Tom, check that out here: Tom Wombacher at BMW. Okay, now back to our broadcast, already in progress.
Nobody else was drinking beer, so I thought I'd better order one quickly to keep my image intact. Cindy the waitress cheerfully brought me an ice cold Red Stripe.
And here's the four of us, cheers!
Here's owner and gracious host, Tony and his son Nick.
The back wall sports an impressive painting of Australia.
Tony had this all set up for Joey D. You're a star in Peoria, Joey, get over here!
Mike and Heidi were enjoying drinks and peanuts, they told me they're regulars at the bar.
Speaking of peanuts, you're free to throw the shells on the floor, which is exactly what we did at our table.
Here's Tony and his son Michael. Tony is the owner of Agatucci's Pizza, I gotta go there on my next trip!
Tony's lovely wife Angie joined the party moments later.
Khaki Jack's regular Alan samples the peanuts from the multiple buckets all over the bar.
We ordered an order of the hot wings.
They were very tasty, very hot and very gone in minutes!
Okay, time for a final shot, on the house, courtesy of Tony!
Tony originally opened the joint up with Mike "Sully" Sullivan, so in his honor he let me wing the shot glass against the wall (read this post for the whole background story: Bar 82). Somewhere up there Sully is laughing his ass off! Thanks for a great day, Tony! And goodnight everybody!

Khaki Jacks opened it’s Australian themed doors on November 1st, 1995 and they have looked back or down under since, mate! There’s a nice bar with a dining room opposite that has tables and comfortable booths for drinking and dining. The decor is all Oz with boomerangs, alligators, kangaroos decorating the walls and a giant map of Australia covering the entire back wall of Khaki Jacks. The bar was originally founded by Tony Moreschi and Mike "Sully" Sullivan (yes, Sully had a hand in many of Peoria’s bars) and it’s now a family affair with Tony’s son Nick doing duty behind the bar. There’s always a few regulars in here, even in the off hours like when we visited and it’s a friendly and fun atmosphere that any Aussie would be happy to throw down a few beers and bog in.

Kahki Jack’s has a full bar and a giant selection of bottled domestic and imported beers. And speaking of bogging in, if you have an Oz-sized appetite you can fill it here and we’re not talking vegemite sandwich either. The menu at Kahki Jack’s features eight different kinds of burgers including the Matilda (cheeseburger), the Kakadu (grilled onion, red peppers and cheese) and the Oz burger which is an ostrich meat burger. There’s also pizza, a large array of specialty sandwiches, salads and Aussie fries by the bowl or as a side order with malt vinegar.

And they have plastic shot glasses! I’m coming back! G’day mates.

Khaki Jack’s

7223 North Allen Road, Peoria, Illinois



Special Bonus Section!


An appearance on the Greg and Dan Show on WMBD Radio, 1470 AM.

This morning was a great morning for me, and that doesn’t usually happen, as I’m not a big fan of morning. Usually at this time of day, morning has broken, all over my head. But today I was invited to be a guest on the Greg and Dan morning talk show on WMBD radio. Way back when I had my POP magazine in Peoria I used to bug the shit out of everybody who had a show on WMBD (and Greg and Dan were part of the crew, albeit on different shows at the time). I would worm my way onto every show plugging my magazine and acting like a maniac. I always knew when I left at the end of the day everybody would wipe their collective brow and say, “Whew, he’s gone for another month or two.”

Well today, I’m baaaaack!

Here we are, 331 Fulton in downtown Peoria.

And who do I run into but my old pal Phil Luciano. I'm sure he thinks I'm stalking him by now!

And here they are, Greg Batton (seated) and Dan Diorio. It was great to see these guys again!

And we're on the air! Greg Batton kicks it off.

Dan Diorio, a longtime broadcasting veteran of WMBD.

And speaking of Peoria broadcasting veterans, it's newsman "Slammin'" Ed Hammond, behind the glass!

The show went great and was a really smooth and fun interview. Here I am with producer Jessica. Jessica does a blog about the show and you can check it out here: Jessica's Blog.

Here we are at the legendary chalkboard wall, where I scrawled my name moments later.

And one final shot. Greg and Dan later told me the headphones go over the ears, not the eye. Damn, no wonder I never got a job in radio! Thanks for having me on, Greg and Dan it was a real blast!

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Reader Comments (16)

Awesome Marty! another great home bar:)
This really is fun....
as for the radio...
and I bet you are a natural on the air....

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Ha! Cool.......very cool! You are off and running! Way to go!

Marty, give Tony a big kiss for me. Being a psuedo-celebrity on your website makes my life complete! I would send over a stripper to kiss him but you probably know where here her mouth has been.........

Cheers and G'Day!!!

Joey D

Love the Plain Dealer interview!! Great Job Marty!!

Khaki Jacks looks like a fun and fabulous place!!

Great cool people and a great and cool host.

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

So... Jeff is your cousin and his wife Susie nee (Walsh) is you cousin-in-law. I used to hoist a couple at Jeff's in-law's house with his brother-in-law Kevin and father-in-law Dick Walsh. Dick was probably one of the funniest "old guys" I ever met...loved that guy.
Haven't been to Khaki Jacks but will give it a go when I go back to town...man I be missin' me some Agatucci's pizza though!

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdirtman

How come ALL Australian themed bars are SO awesome!!!

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

I had so much fun hanging out with you at Khaki Jack's. You were great on the radio. What I bet you didn't realize is they had about a two-minute delay on the show with you on there. I wonder what they possibly could have been concerned about coming out of your mouth??????

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDeWayne Bartels

Marty, I should mention that my wife Deb is the brains and brawn of Khaki Jack's, I'm just the bull shit. Thanks for coming in yesterday. I hope you had a good time. I'm just sorry we didn't get to talk more. Tony

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTony Moreschi

Marty, I should mention that my wife Deb is the brains and brawn of Khaki Jack's, I'm just the bull shit. Thanks for coming in yesterday. I hope you had a good time. I'm just sorry we didn't get to talk more. Tony

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTony Moreschi

Dam I wish I was there !!!
TO : ( Soon to be a Rock Star ) MARTY

Cheers !!

Nice place! Did I see one of those extra-cold ice-water beer coolers behind the bar? Love those. Plus, no one ever lets you throw peanut shells on the floor anymore! TO KHAKI JACK'S!

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

SPECIAL BONUS COMMENT: Thanks for showing us a behind-the-scenes of WMBD. Looks like a fun crew there! But one question: how do they keep all those signatures on the legendary chalkboard wall from being erased? They must not be leaners.

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Khaki Jacks reminds me of the last really great peanut bar I used to hang out in when I lived in Minneapolis it was cop bar that more of less serviced the sixth precinct. Wonderful place, great memories!

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Great work again Marty - another Aussie bar!!!! That's 3 by my count (and I'm sure there are a looooooot more).

No Coopers though? That's OK - at least you didn't have a Fosters. Horrible stuff.

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

firstly they can LOOSE the Fosters neon sign if they are gunna keep a ridgey didge aussie okka theme, other than that littl' major indescretion looks like my sorta bar...the chook wings looked very bloody hot, but yum, & i would have the good ol' aussie meat pie on the menu, never seen a meat pie when i was in the states...funny i bought Kim a crocodile pile when she came down here last feb it was very yum....

@meleah rebeccah "Australia & awesome" 2 words that just go hand in hand....lol....

& Brooksy, wouldnt it be fun to see Marty scull down 3 Darwin stubbies as part of his 365 quota....theres a challenge for ya Marty....lol....FYI a Darwin stubbie holds 2 litres of fine amber gold beer....last year the world record for downing one was broken by a mate who skulled one in 62.5 secs...reckon ya can out do that time Marty??? hehe!

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

Khaki Jacks should be proud that fitzi gives it his stamp of approval! Great bar and loved the radio interview shots! Another great road trip on 365! You're the new Charles Kuralt! LOL!

April 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

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