I’ve heard good things about not only the pizza at Hammer’s Bar & Restaurant in Bartonville, but I’ve also heard that the chicken wings there are exceptional. So I thought that Hammer’s would be a great place to have our 38th pizza pie on this cheesy year of pizza. And there’s special guests today as well, keep on scrolling to find out who they are!
Here we are at Hammer's Bar & Restaurant. It's located on Roosevelt Street right as you enter the neighboring city of Bartonville. It's a short drive from Peoria.
Let's go in and see what's shaking.
It looks nice in here, let's grab a seat, there's some chairs just ahead at the front of the bar.
As I sat down at the bar, I met Travis who told me he reads MBIP, which is always nice to hear.
And here I am getting served a beer by the owner of Hammer's, Brad Kempthorne. Brad's a former hockey player for the Peoria Rivermen. The bar has been operating since 1994 when another Peoria Rivermen player, Bob "The Hammer" Fleming opened it up. Bob moved to Las Vegas and his former teammate and fellow Hockey Hall of Fame member, Brad took it over along with his wife Joann.
Brad showed me this impressive display of awards that the bar has won for their chicken wings. The wings were voted, "The Best In Peoria," for four years in a row. We'll definitely be sampling some of them today! All those awards for wings, Paul McCartney would be jealous if he saw this.
In addition to the bar, Hammer's has a diner styled restaurant next door that opens in the morning and serves until 1PM in the afternoon.
Here we are inside, Brad said there were some photos on the wall he wanted to show me.
Here's Roosevelt Avenue back in the 1900's. It's the exact block where Hammer's Bar & Restaurant stands today.
This is The Bartonville Tire Shop which was located nearby on S. Adams Street.
Here's a photo of Roosevelt Street getting paved in 1910. Love these historic photos!
Here's Brad with Armondo, who's the chef at Hammer's and has been here for over twenty years. Armondo is the man who's come up with the award-winning recipes for the chicken wings and pizza that we'll be eating soon.
Okay, we're back at the bar and here's a shot from the from the rear of the building.
There's a room back here kind of designed like a man cave. It's dark and there's TV's with sports games and gaming devices back here.
Here's a table up front where you can lounge and watch the world roll by on Roosevelt Street in Bartonville.
There's more tables lined up against the wall where you can sit and watch the games on Sundays like these people are doing.
Here's a board of specials available at Hammer's.
Right above the front door are two photos of Bob "The Hammer" Fleming and current owner Brad Kempthorne back in their Peoria Rivermen glory days.
And remember I told you I had a couple of guest stars joining me today? Well here they are, Vic Nasty and Big Perm, from the Peoria based podcast, The Big Perm Show. The Big Perm Show is broadcast via the internet every Sunday with local guests being interviewed. Some past guests on the show include, Phil Luciano, Greg Batton, Justin Glawe, musicians from Brainchild, Nick Vlahos, Jay Goldberg and many more. It airs on Sunday evening at 8PM and it's live and uncensored. And I'm a weekly guest as well and you can tune in and listen to The Marty Monologues at 9:30PM and hear me ramble on about one thing or another every Sunday. Check it out this week and follow the page on facecrack. I've talked with these guys on air a lot, but we've never met in person so it was great to finally meet them. Now it's time to eat!
We ordered up some of the award-winning wings and a pizza. The only hot sauce is this lone bottle of Sriracha hot sauce. I gotta start remembering to bring the Ragin' RR hot sauce!
Here's a basket of the wings, which I'm dying to try. And no, they're not burnt, those are blackened BBQ wings, which Brad told me are the most popular style in the bar. There's over a half dozen styles you can choose from on the menu.
Brad told us that he's one of the few places around that keeps the "flapper" on the chicken wing for extra goodness. Most places cut this off, but I prefer it kept on. I'll have to start looking for another place that keeps the flapper intact. The wings were delicious by the way, they're worth the trip to Hammer's all by themselves. Now on to the pizza, which I've heard good things about.
And here it is, the 38th pizza of our saucy tour. It looks and smells fantastic.
Here's a slice undergoing the all-important cooling process so I don't burn the roof of my mouth and it gives me time to have another beer.
The pizza here is really good. We got a sausage with extra cheese. The crust is in between thin and thick and has a nice chewy consistency to it. The toppings are fresh and plentiful and the sauce is tangy and tasty. It's a great pizza! And there's more to eat at Hammer's than just pizza and wings. They have quite an extensive menu, check it out here.
It was a great day and wonderful to meet Vic Nasty and Big Perm! Don't forget to check out The Big Perm Show this Sunday at 8PM. It's live and uncensored. I'll be on at 9:30PM with The Marty Monologues, which is kind of like the Vagina Monologues, but with a real dick!
Now it's time for the next day cold pizza challenge. And yes, the craft beer corner of the MBIP refrigerator is still empty. Hopefully that gets fixed by next week.
It's delicious and as you can see, I've got a couple of wings in the box for dessert. Thanks to Vic Nasty, Big Perm and to Brad for a great day at Hammer's Bar & Restaurant. We'll see you all tomorrow!
Three and a quarter Chef Boyardees. Great pizza and unbelievable chicken wings, check this place out if you haven’t already!
Hammer’s Bar & Restaurant
103 Roosevelt Street
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