Whitey’s Tip Top Inn is a classic Peoria bar. It’s been in business on Sheridan Road as long as I can remember and it’s got the distinction of being the first bar I was ever served in. Way back when I was 16-years-old, I remember driving around with my friend Moon, probably high on the wacky tobacky and we drove past the Tip Top and I said to him, “Let’s go in there and see if they’ll serve us a beer.” So we parked, went in and ordered up two bottles of Budweiser. Phil the bartender squinted sideways at us and asked if we were old enough to drink. To which we replied, “yes.” So he served us up the first of many beers for the day. Times were different back then! I haven’t been to Whitey’s Tip Top in years, so let’s go and have two beers there tonight. To the MBIP mobile!
Here we go up Sheridan Road to...
Whitey's Tip Top Inn! There's no sign outside, you just need to look for the Bud Light sign and know where you're going. I know where I'm going...
I'm going in the door to the side of the building. This is the way to enter Whitey's Tip Top, the front door is for squares and newbies.
Wow, it's wild to be back in here. The place hasn't changed one bit. It's the quintessential Peoria neighborhood bar, let's go snag a stool and get a beer.
As you can see, bartender Tony takes his job seriously as he serves up beer number one. He told me that the beer was paid for by none other than...
Whitey, the owner of this fine establishment! I hadn't seen Whitey in years and was hoping he'd be here. It was fun catching up with him. Whitey was a regular back here in the day and bought the bar over 21 years ago. It was great to see him and talk about days and old friends from the past here in the Tip Top.
And here's a special guest for the evening, MBIP reader and commenter, Steve Frank! Steve grew up with MBIP contributing writer and artist, Jaws the Cabbie and they reunited after Steve read Jaws' article about Terry Kelly. Crazy things happen here at MBIP! It was great to meet and have a chat with Steve, always love to meet the readers of this blog!
Here's the view from my perch at the bar.
Knick-knacks and photos line the shelves to the left of the bar.
Here's some photos of the Tip Top back in the '50's that Whitey brought out to show me. Whitey told me he thinks this bar has been in business since the early '40's.
As you can see, the bar hasn't changed much, that's the beauty of this place.
A ceiling fan hangs overhead while a maximum capacity chart looms nearby. I'm not sure what the maximum capacity chart is all about, but I'm always grateful to be able to type in the word, "looms," so there!
There's islands directly behind the bar to hang out and have a few beers at.
Round wooden tables are lined up near the back of the bar.
This shuffleboard table lines the back wall and has been here as long as I can remember...but then I barely remember last night, so it might be brand new for all I know!
These photos don't do justice to the nostalgic memories that are flooding through me right now. It's so great that this place has hardly changed a bit since the days I used to hang out in here.
A shot from the other end of the bar.
Kitchen Cooked potato chips!
The MBIP tools of the trade.
Tony serves up the second beer and gives us quite a solemn traditional two finger salute! Great to see Whitey again and to meet Steve Frank tonight. And great to see some things remain the same after all these years. Cheers to Whitey's Tip Top Inn! See you all tomorrow.