Monday, January 10th, 2011—Bar 365
Monday, January 10, 2011 at 1:09PM
365 Beers in 365th Bar, Mike's Tavern, Peoria

Sunday, January 9th, 2011—Bar 365

Mike’s Tavern

Okay, this is it. To quote Bobby Zimmerman: “It’s all over now, baby blue.” I decided to wind this whole crazy journey back at the bar that I first had heard of as a little kid growing up in Peoria, Illinois, Mike’s Tavern in West Peoria. It seemed only fitting to end it here. One of my favorite relatives of all time is my Grandpa Seitz, who died back in 1980, but when he was alive, Mike’s Tavern was his hangout and he was a regular and a character in this tavern. I’ve written about this before, but when I turned legal drinking age in Peoria and stopped in at Mike’s, I wasn’t welcomed with open arms, until they found out I was Leo Seitz’ grandson. Then I was treated like a rock star in this place. Years later, when I was publishing the magazine POP, Mike Foster wrote a great feature story about Mike’s Tavern and its owner, Tony Ward and we had a great day hanging out there. This is the only bar I’m repeating on the bar crawl. I can do this because there were a few days when I went to more than one bar in the same day, so in actuality, I’ve been to over probably 370 bars in my travels. So today we make a well-deserved repeat visit to Mike’s Tavern. And here we go to the 365th bar in on the 365th day. A year of beer is soon to be over. Come along, a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

It all begins and ends here. I've got so many pictures from this great night out, that I can't possibly write captions for all of them, so I'm just going to post the photos and let every picture tell its own story. Thanks to everyone who showed up, it was one of the best nights of my life. Okay, here we go!

Review

 

You can read my Mike’s Tavern review and story about my Granspa Seitz here: Mike’s Tavern. TO LEO SEITZ AND TO MIKE’S TAVERN!

Thanks so much to my family who supported this crazy idea and all my others in the past. You guys are the best and I love you lots! Thanks for all you do for me, any other family would have had me committed years ago.

And now it’s all over. 365 bars in 365 days. I’d really like to thank Tony Ward for allowing the last night to happen at his fine bar, Mike’s Tavern. Thanks to 365 resident artist, “Boris,” for the great artwork and for maintaining the 365 Bar Store (the store will stay open by the way!) And thanks to Gidget for creating the 365 facebook fan page and to her and “Boris” for maintaining it (check them both out on Woody Radio.) A big thank you to the Waugh family who supplied food on the last night and are always there when I need them, thanks for being my second family. Thanks to Tim and Colleen Carey from Butch’s Pizza for supplying pizza, I ate a fair amount of Butch’s Pizza on the bar crawl and I suggest you all try it, you can order it online if you don’t live in the Peoria area (just remember to cut it into squares when you serve it.) I also want to extend a big, whopping thanks to all of you who have read and commented on the 365 blog, those of you who have written about what I did and every single person I’ve met while doing this and that is literally thousands of people. Think about it, I was able to meet thousands of people in bars this year and share conversations, stories and ideas with them. Really crazy, but that’s what I’ve always said was the purpose of this bar crawl, to go out and meet people and then report about these people and the bars that they were housed in the next day in words and pictures. I thank and appreciate all of you who played along with this kooky idea. 

So, once again, a heartfelt thanks to all of you that have followed me this year, a cool little social scene happened in the comments section and I hope it grows and continues. I’ve made some good friends while doing this, reconnected with others from the past and I consider that a blessing. There’s more to come, so stay tuned if you’d like to. And remember (To quote the John Lennon Sisters): Whatever gets you through the night, it’s all right, it’s all right. The bell tolls for us all. Ring-a-ding-ding.
Now if you’d please excuse me, I’m going to go have a nervous breakdown. Goodnight, everybody!
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Update: December 5, 2011. I just got the sad news that Tony Ward passed away on Sunday, December 4th. My condolences to his wife, kids, family and friends. Tony really made this day and a lot of other days special. I'll be putting up a tribute to him tomorrow at my Marty After Dark blog. R.I.P. Tony Ward.
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Article originally appeared on 365 Bars (http://www.aguywalksinto365bars.com/).
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