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Entries in Exit 197 (1)


Sunday, January 9th, 2011—Bar 364

Saturday, January 8th, 2010—Bar 364

Exit 197

Okay, a couple more last minute donations have rolled in! My friend and co-worker, Mike Pyrich sent in a generous donation of twenty dollars. His message stated: "Good Luck on finishing your project,I hope it leads to a million dollar movie deal." Me, too! Are you seeing this Marin Scorsese? Thanks so much, Mike!

Next, Lenny Herold sent in a more than generous donation of fifty dollars! His message he sent was: "For a few buds and maybe some Jameson on the side. From @GatorLenny from bar #267 - wish I could buy you a beer at the finale." Thanks so much Lenny, and here's a shot of Lenny from bar # 267:

Lenny! Thanks for the donation Lenny, next time we meet, I'm buying the first round!

Alright, just like Willie Nelson and Canned Heat, we’re on the road again. One guy who has helped me out from before this blog was born is my good friend and 365 resident artist, “Boris.” He designed the banner art and logo for the website, put up and maintains the 365 Bar Store (and you can still buy the 365 shirts and products that “Boris” designed!), and he helps maintain the 365 facecrack fan page along with Gidget who created that page (and don’t forget to tune in to both Gidget’s and “Boris’” shows on Woody Radio). So anyway, this whole year “Boris” has told me about the bar and liquor store where he buys his Lotto tickets and how they’ve been wanting me to bring the bar crawl to their bar. Well, with help from my parents who are driving me out there and “Boris” who is driving me back home (I don’t drive as you may have surmised), the bar crawl tonight comes from Pontiac, Illinois. Usually it’s Cheeseburger Saturday Night at the bar crawl, so let’s see what they can whip up for us at Exit 197 (that’s the name of the bar, not the actual exit.) Okay and we’re off!

And here we are taking off. That's Jerry, my dad and owner of Jerry's Bar behind the wheel.

There's my mom in the co-pilot seat...

Here I am still passed out from last night resting up for today's bar crawl.

The wide open spaces of the midwest.

And before you know it, we're in Pontiac and here's "Boris" ready to take over the driverly duties from my folks. Thanks for the ride, mom and dad!

We don't have far to go, it's about eight feet away.

And here we are at Exit 197, looks like a great place!

Beer tour? Did they know I was coming?

This place really gets cranking at night, but since we're here at four in the afternoon, there's plenty of seats at the impressive, wooden bar. Shall we?

And here's super-cute and friendly Lindsey serving up the first beer of the day. I like it in here!

And here's "Boris" and I, together again! Cheers to you all!

There's hand-painted wooden tables and chairs opposite the pool table.

A pool table stands opposite those tables, it's a large front room here and there's an even bigger dance floor in the back.

Here's Jason and Susan who were chilling out at the bar. They loved the 365 bar crawl idea and are nice people.

A long shot of the highly polished wooden bar. "Boris" looms in the distance and wonders if I'm ever going to quit taking pictures.

There's bottle caps embedded on top of the bar. Very cool!

And they have Butch's Pizza here! That trumps a cheeseburger any night of the week!

Here I am with the lovely Shelley at the bar. And look, I'm wearing my Gidget t-shirt that "Boris" designed. I have to get a "Secret Weapon" one when I get home.

Here's Lynn, who came in to the bar to show me the daily edition of the Daily Leader.

And look who made that day's edition, Mr. Publicity Whore himself! Mucho thanks to the Daily Leader for putting that in, very nice!

And Lynn not only bought me a paper and a beer, he donated five bucks to the bar crawl! Very, nice Lynn, thanks so much!

Hey, that reminds me, we still need to order a pizza.

Here's "Boris" with Kim who had just stopped by the bar.

And here we are, a delicious Butch's Pizza! And yes, it's sliced in squares, Lindsey said she was told to do it that way. Slices, squares, who cares, let me at that pizza!

Callie was seated next to me and presented me with a beer cozy from her wedding. A wedding with personalized beer cozies, that's my kind of couple!

Here's "Boris" with the original owner of the bar, Cathleen. Cathleen originally opened the place in 1984 and it was called the Shamrock back in those days.

And here's the two present-day owners, the lovely April and Amy. They're very friendly and two of the most hospitable bar-owners I've encountered on this bar crawl!

They even let me hang out behind the bar to get a view of the action from that side. That's the first time that's happened on the entire bar crawl, very nice. From left: Yours Fooly, Amy, April and Lindsey. I call this picture, "The Beast and Three Beauties."

And on the way out, the pretty and friendly Shelly sells me a Lotto ticket. If I win, I'll come back and drinks and pizza are on me. Goodnight, everybody!


Okay, I’m crazy-ass busy today as I have to get ready for the last bar crawl and it’s happening in a couple of hours. Amy and April, the owners of the Exit 197 were kind enough to send in a summation of their great bar. And here it is, take it away, Amy and April...


Exit 197 offers something for everyone!  With a huge dance floor, comfortable ambiance, smooth drinks and a wide variety beers, Exit is one of the most happening bars in central Illinois.  The front bar has a roaring 20’s theme with murals featuring some of the period’s most notorious people.  In the early evening hours, Exit caters to the local crowd, offering a world beer tour featuring 197 beers.  The bar also offers over 40 varieties of vodka that make up an impressive martini menu.  As the night grows later, the friendly atmosphere jumps to life with music as the back bar’s 1000 sq foot dance floor crowds with people. The bar hosts a variety of entertainment, from karaoke to DJ’s to bands.  THe beer garden also offers live music, bean bags, and live music when the weather is warm.  In the winter, the area has heaters to help keep the smokers warm!

The bar is attached is also attached to a liquor store which is convenient for grabbing beer at the end of the night!


Thanks April and Amy! And they also told me to let people know that if you come into the bar and mention my name, the name of the 365 blog and what number Exit 197 was on the bar count (364) you get a FREE beer! I have to get back to Pontiac soon! Thanks again to Amy and April and everyone at Exit 197, it was a great time! And an extra special thanks to “Boris” for the ride home, all your help with this blog and for your friendship, Daddio! And it was a special treat to stop and meet your lovely mom as well! Thanks Brother and I hope to see you again soon.

Exit 197

952 W. Reynolds (Just off Interstate 55)

Ponitac, Illinois



Bonus Halloween Photos from Exit 197

We were at the bar early yesterday, so I didn’t get any shots of the huge dance floor where bands play and DJ’s spin tunes, but Amy and April sent in some shots from their Halloween party, check it out!