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« Saturday, January 8th, 2011—Bar 363 | Main | Thursday, January 6th, 2011—Bar 361 »

Friday, January 7th, 2011—Bar 362

Thursday, January 6th, 2010—Bar 362

Jerry’s Bar

First off, I’d like to thank Phil Luciano for writing about me in his column today in the Journal Star, check it out here: "It's A Wonderful Life." Phil joined the bar crawl the last time I was in Peoria and if you missed that post, here’s a link to it: Phil and Marty at The Trolley. In addition to writing for the Journal Star and teaching at Bradley, Phil also has a great morning radio show with Jamie Markley on 102.3 Max FM. Check it out here: Markley and Luciano. See you at lunch today, Phil!

Alright, time to reveal where I’m traveling to (pretty much everyone knows anyway)...Peoria, Illinois. Yeah, just like Bob Dylan, I’m bringing it all back home.  One trouble with today’s bar is I’ve done the early morning bars in LaGuardia Airport and I only have so much time in O’Hara Airport in Chicago to make my connection to Peoria. So where can I go for my nightly bar? Well, the answer is simple: Jerry’s Bar in my parents basement. This is a bar that’s been transplanted from the house I grew up in, to the place where my parents live today. I’ve had a lot of kooky times at this bar through the years, I’ve probably drank over thousands of beers here, I’ve passed out on top of it and tonight, I share a drink a few beers with my parents at it. And you’re welcome to join the party! But first we have to get to Peoria, so let’s go see if the car service guy is downstairs.

Okay, he was right on time and we're off to LaGuardia Airport. Usually these cars smell like a combination of bad curry and diarrhea have a distinct odor to them, but today's is fine. But the driver is rattling on about his girlfriend and I can only understand like every fourth word. This is going to be a long ride.

And through the magic of the internet, here we are! Check out the sign in the back, thanks for the Jefferson Airplane moment, LaGuardia Airport!

Been there, done that, but I need a couple pre-flight drinks, so we'll do it again.

Caroline's the pretty and friendly bartender on duty. (I think it's Caroline, I lost the napkin I wrote your name on, if I'm wrong feel free to correct me in the comments section below.)

Cheers and prepare for take-off...

And landing! Welcome to Peoria...deja vu...didn't we do this like a week ago? Lisa Fink should make a donation for all this free advertising I'm giving her!

And here we are, Jerry's Bar! Let's get inside, it's downright freezing here in the midwest.

It's located at the foot of this tartan-colored stairwell.

And here it is, just how I remember it. There's a couple people at the bar, but I see a seat at the end, let's go snag it.

And here's the friendly bartender Jerry, serving up the first of many ice-cold Budweisers.

Cheers, from Jerry's Bar. I better behave down here or I'll get sent to my room for the evening.

Free snacks! Pistachio peanuts! Actually there's a whole pantry of food upstairs, I always gain about five pounds when I come here.

The bar is illuminated by this unique lamp at the end.

The official Jerry's Bar coasters.

As you can see, it's not quite a "full bar..."

But there's plenty of beer in the refrigerator off to the side of the bar. I think that'll hold me for the night.

And here I am with the other pretty and beautiful patron at Jerry's Bar, my mom!

The base of the bar is made from wooden casks, sadly they're empty.

Comfortable stools line the front of the bar.

There's a pool table off to the side of the bar. This doesn't get much action these days, but back in the days when my parents would go on vacation and my brother Jim and I would have a week-long party in the house, the pool table and bar saw lots of action. I'm sure it's bringing back fuzzy memories to a lot of readers out there. I bet there's even a fellow clutching an axe while reading this and remembering the good times of our youth.

A long shot of one end of the bar.

And a shot from the other end of the Formica-topped bar.

Here's bartender Jerry posing with some fellows that are hanging around.

And here I am with four good Buddies at the bar. Goodnight, everybody!



There’s no place like home. (Click heels three times.)

P.S. Once again while in Peoria, I won't have much access to the internet, so I won't be able to comment much here or on other people's blogs. Thanks for following me to the home stretch!

Jerry’s Bar

Peoria, Illinois

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Reader Comments (24)

This is definitely one of the best entries yet. What a great set up!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDan LD

I agree with Dan, one of the classics! Cheers to your folks! Oh and the Blimpie story? LMFAO! I agree, Blimpie's sucks, but cheers to Happy Cappy! LOL!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

That's a most excellent bar! It even has a ledge to rest your feets on! Love the tartan carpet and easy access to the pool table - I even appreciate that unique lamp you've pointed out. But that clown statue has got to go! Clowns have always freaked me out, even before I saw that Bobcat Goldthwait movie (although I have to admit the freakies took on a new dimension after that). Anyhoo, I love Jerry's Bar! Handsome bartend - and the most beautiful patron yet! TO MOM AND DAD!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

"Helloo Jerry!"
You indeed can go home. What a fitting touch toward the end of the crawl.
It IS about the people and who better than tMom and Dad W. to make a few more memories to take with you. They have been a part of this journey a few times. Wonderful to have them along again.
(and even a return visit to the airport bar prior to leaving NY)
This brings back memories (or lack thereof) of the Bar my parents had in their old house.
I'm sure that one is still there.
I wish my Dad was around to have followed this journey of yours.
But my Mom has from time to time.
Thanks for the personal touch on this one Daddio!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

Today's lesson; never never skimp on a sandwich deal with a good friend who just happens to be a formidably talented working class writer with hydrofluoric acid in his brains and a keyboard with smoke pouring out of it...muahahahahahaaaaaaa! Jerry's has got to be the homiest bar in existence and the only bar in the world where the bartender can spank your butt and send you to bed without any dinner! Three more bars to go Marty...hoo hoo hoo...BOOYA!!! Go to boy!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Great article Phil. So you DON'T like Blimpie? Lets combine two things everyone loves, airports and dentists! WTF? Oh wow, plaid carpeting and paneled walls. What a friendly bartender and patron. Nice to see you back at home.

@Jaws, I've seen some bartenders that could spank me and send me to bed ;)

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Oh yes,,,that tartan carpet, the basement, those wooden casks,,its all so good. Jerry's bar was the perfect choice and your mom and dad look very similar to mine, aged like fine scotch, and very refined.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Kari; With your permission and blessings? Moahahahahahaaaaa...

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Awesome post! Exactly how I would have pictured it. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the place has kind of a "homey" touch.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergroovyrick

Nineteen years ago on this date in P.O.P. history, we were doing the original Par-A-Dice spree, riverboat gamblers we.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFoster

@Jaws, maybe even some begging!

Sorry didn't mean to take the sweet, going home post down into the gutter.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkari

My parents had a bar in the basement at their cabin. and we had the exact same two dudes on the wall. those little buggers are collectors items now. we had two others too. I now have the old bar in my dining room.. it was a bitch to move out here but worth it. gold naugahyde. it's awsome.. so truly fucking sixties.
i love your mom and dad dude:)
have a great last part of the crawl!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGidgie

@Kari; AAAAAHHHHRRRROOOOOO!!! (pant pant)

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Are you out of your mind?
I was just about to get Blimpie's to pay big money to sponsor your 365th bar crawl and now you went and totally screwed yourself.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHappy Cappy


awesome post! I liked how your parents bar/basement looks! I liked the coasters and the casks!

Always good fly back home!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGuilherme

Best. Bar. EVER!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

TO; : Jerry’s Bar
Great One Marty .

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang Love's ZioumZioum

AWE(andthen)SOME, Marty!!!! There's no place like home!!

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpammie

That was a great one, Marty. Can't beat the friendly confines of the house you grew up in. Well played.

Hope to see you Sunday for the 365th.


January 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrhen


January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack. Australia.

@Happy Cappy: Tell Blimpie's to take their corporate money and shove it up between their buns! And thanks for your donations and support! You know I'm only kidding...well...sort of.

@Everybody: Thanks for all the nice comments and kind words, my parents are really getting a kick out of it! Two to go!

January 8, 2011 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Sorry I'm late to this, reading it Saturday morning, but this is the best post ever. No wisecracks from me. Just loving it.

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNed Sparks

I LOVE Jerry's Bar!!

"Lisa Fink should make a donation for all this free advertising I'm giving her!" LOL

January 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertiki bar susie

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