Just a couple week’s ago I discovered a bar in West Peoria that I had never been to called, Champs West. I had read a great review on PBR and decided to check it out for myself. The place was a wonderful dark bar and filled with fun and magical people. I planned on making this a regular stop on the MBIP traveling list. Well, I just heard that Champ’s West got bought out and that it’s going to be closed within a week and then remodeled. Ugh, remodeling usually is usually never a good thing. SoI thought I’d stop by to have a final few beers and document Champs, the way it was. To the MBIP mobile!
Here we are cruising up Main Street towards Champs West.
And we're here, this isn't the last night that Champs West is going to be open, but it's the last time I'm coming here before it closes. I don't like to be in bars on the last night that before they close, it kind of has a jinxing feeling when you do that, so I like to visit them a couple days before the fact. Let's go inside and pay our last respects to a place I just discovered.
There's a good crowd in here tonight, I spy a seat at the end of the bar, let's go snag it.
Gavra, the pretty and friendly bartender we met last time, serves up a beer. Gavra really embodies the spirit of this place and adds to the freewheeling charm in here.
Todd and Michelle were seated next to me and Todd illustrated his feelings about the closing by setting fire to this notice. Ha! I knew this would be a great night in here!
No need to worry, folks. Todd and Michelle have this situation under control!
See? All is well!
And it's back on the wall behind the bar just like it never happened. I love it in here!
Here's a shot from where I sit. What a great dark bar. Glad I got a chance to hang out in here.
As we noted last visit, Gavra's not only a great bartender, she's a musician and an artist. Here's some of her artwork on display at the far end of the bar.
This piece is untitled, so I'm going to call it, "Girl Within A Half Quote." So there!
Here's Bad Brad and Michelle outside of the bar. It may look like Bad Brad is smoking some wacky tobacky, but in reality he's playing the harmonica. That's how he got his nickname, he's a badass on the harp.
Who knows what this place will be like when it reopens after the remodeling, but if the Little Nut Hut is gone, trouble will most likely ensue. That's not a threat to the new owners, just a nutty warning.
Here's Gavra out from behind the bar spinning one of her handmade hula hoops one moment...
And knocking out some notes on the piano the next moment. She's a whirling dervish of artistic talents.
You gotta love the spontaneity in here, there's a great energy within these walls.
It's 11:06PM and here's John Armstrong, right on the dot! And we all know what that means...
Champs West group portrait, take one!
Take two...with feeling!
This is why I love doing this blog. To quote Elton John: "I thank the Lord for the people I have found."
Cheers to Champs West and to all the people inside of it! See you all tomorrow.