Thursday, January 6th, 2010—Bar 362
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!