It’s that time of the month where I buy lunch for any of the MBIP Contributing Writers that can show up. I’ve become a big fan of Phil Luciano and Danielle Hatch’s weekly Barstorming videos over at the Journal Star every week. This week they go to Tina’s Coach Stop, but last week they went to Mike’s Tavern in West Peoria. Mike’s is a special tavern for me, not only was my Grandpa Seitz a regular there his whole life (read about him at this 365 bars post, scroll down to the story), but I finished my 365 bar crawl there.
Doing this blog and working six nights a week has made it tough for me to get there as often as I’d like. Seeing that edition of Barstorming reminded me I need to stop in there, so I’ve decided that’s the destination for this month’s Contributing Writer’s lunch. So it’s off to West Peoria to Mike's Tavern.
Here we are at the legendary Mike's Tavern that was once a garage decades ago.
The beer garden is open, but it's a little chilly to be sitting out here today.
Mike's is open for business, so let's go in and see what's happening in there at this pre-afternoon hour of 11:15AM.
If you've been following my blogs since the 365 bar crawl days, this is a familiar sight, if you've just joined us, welcome to Mike's Tavern!
Tom the friendly bartender is on duty today. Since I have to go to work this afternoon, I have to stick to a non-alcoholic can of diet Coke. I think this is the first time in my life I won't be drinking beer in here.
Here's Frank and George who are long-time regulars here at Mike's. Both of them knew my Grandpa Seitz and we shared stories about him. Frank remembered how he used to drive him back to St. Joseph's home from Mike's and I told them about how my brother Jim and I used to sneak him shots of whiskey at my parents house when he'd come over for Sunday dinner. Memories...
Gotta get a shot of the Little Nut Hut, one of my favorite things in here!
And no post about Mike's is complete without a picture of the school desks that line the wall opposite the bar.
The patent-pending Spike's tap shot. Three taps, three is a number that will come into play later on in this post.
I love the vintage Budweiser Trolley that spins around over the bar.
I decided to look for a table to sit at in the back room. Frank and George are watching TV and I don't want to bug them with our lunch-time chatter.
I've never sat in this back room, so it's another first for me at Mike's today!
Well, this table isn't going to be big enough...
And neither is this one, but...
Okay, the guys should be arriving at any minute, so time to start getting the lunch order ready. I've decided we'll have a special three course lunch at Mike's today. The first course, three cups from the Cup-O-Nuts jar.
And just as I got the food placed on the table, two Contributor's show up. Three Amigos or Three Stooges? You make the call! Clockwise from left: Mike Foster, Yours Fooly and Bob Gordon. Cheers to those Contributor's that couldn't make it, hopefully some of you guys can make it to next month's lunch.
The first two courses are being enjoyed at our table.
I really enjoy these monthly lunches, it's a good excuse to hang out and shoot the shit. Topics from this month's lunch included: Roy Clark, the Heart of Illinois Fair, haunted pawn shops, sock hops, Chuck Berry, blogging, the Peoria Journal Star, DeWayne Bartels, Danny Seitz, my grandpa Seitz, Michael Moore, Chillicothe and all of the other MBIP Contributing Writers. Yes, we talk about all of you who don’t show up behind your backs. And it gets pretty vicious and ugly! Especially when we cuss and discuss, Jeff Putnam, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.
We got the large pizza...
But it sure disappeared quickly!
And speaking of gone, so am I as I head out the door to run some errands before work. Thanks to Mike and Bob for showing up and to all the MBIP Contributing Writers for your fantastic work. Maybe I'll send some of you out of state contributors some Kitchen Cooked potato chips! See you all tomorrow!