I was over at my pal’s Fat Al and Anonymous Guy’’s blog, A Half Empty Glass and noticed a link in their blogroll that looked interesting (it’s the last link down). It’s called, “Where The Fuck Should I Go For Drinks?” I’ve been meaning to check out some bars outside of Peoria, but I’m just not that familiar with any of them, so I thought I’d use this service to find a place in East Peoria, let’s give it a try, shall we?
Well, we’re actually in Peoria, but we need to find a spot in East Peoria, so...
That’s what we’ll type in the box.
I’m having a Beatleish flashback as it tell us to, “Wait.”
Hmm...the fucking Variety Club? Okay, why the fuck not? Let’s fucking go!
And here we go, the snow started melting today, but now it's frozen over and the streets are slick in some spots. At least it's supposed to rain tomorrow and I'm hoping it'll wash all this shit away! Damn you, Polar Vortex!
Obligatory rear-view mirror shot.
And through the miracle of the internet you're spared a white knuckle drive over an icy bridge and here we are at the Variety Club in East Peoria.
Let's go in and let the evening begin!
It's nice and cozy in here with wood-paneled walls and a shiny formica horseshoe bar. All the action seems to be down there at the end of the bar. Let's gravitate that way and get the first beer of the evening.
Okay, we're all settled in and pretty bartender, Erin serves up beer number one. And Erin's not only the bartender, she owns the joint! She's the second generation owner, her dad bought the place back in 2002 and Erin took it over a couple of years ago. She told me the bar has been in existence in East Peoria for at least 50 years and it's been in this location for around 30 years. I'll drink to that!
Here's a shot of the back of the bar from the stool where I'm seated. That's the original bar sign hanging over the bar.
Brett and Mallory were seated next to me at the bar and they told me they're engaged to married in 2015. Maybe we'll get invited and I can blog the wedding! Stay tuned!
Here's Karen who was seated at the end of the bar. After she saw my name on the MBIP card she asked if I had a relative who was a dentist and I told her that my Uncle Bob was a dentist and it turns out that was her dentist when she was growing up! And I think we all know what that means...time to cue up, "It's A Small World After All!" Sorry about that, but it has to be done at times like these!
A long and well-used shuffleboard table sits opposite the bar.
Erin told me this fellow's name is Steve. He kind of gives me the creeps so I'm just going to slowly back away from him, thank you very much!
Here's a state of the art dart board up in the front of the bar.
A pool table sits down here at the other end of the bar with a Budweiser lamp hanging overhead.
Check out this phone in the back with instructions on how to use it! Now that's what I call an old school smart phone!
I don't know why there's dollar bills stuck to the ceiling and next time I need to ask about this strange practice.
Here's a shot of the bar from the back.
Check out the nightly specials.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, Erin is talking with this gentleman, who I learned...
That he's probably the longest-running regular in the bar's history. His name is Zink and he told me that he's been drinking at The Variety Club since 1968! I'd drink to that, but my beer is empty so I need to get a refill...
And here's Erin serving it up with the traditional two finger salute! Cheers to Zink and everyone at The Variety Club and we'll see you all tomorrow...and hey, let's be careful out there!
123 E Washington Street