There’s a bar on Adams called The Irish Villa that I’ve been trying to get to for a long time, but every time I drive by they’re closed. They’re kind of notorious for having early hours but tonight I called and was told that they would indeed be open. I’ve peered into the windows of this place and it looks like a classic bar. Let’s make tracks and get there while the getting is good. Because there’s nothing worse than traveling when the getting is bad. Believe me, I know. To the MBIP Mobile!
Hang on to your socks if you're lucky enough to be wearing any because we're off and rolling at a tempestuous traveling speed of 27 MPH!
Here we are at The Irish Villa. Is this a classic corner bar or what?
The lights are on, so let's go in and see what's happening inside.
Wow, it's everything I hoped it would be and there's plenty of seats at the bar. Let's snag one and see who that fellow is sitting at the bar.
Meet Derrick who's enjoying a beer while waiting for a to-go food order to be prepared back at the kitchen. I sat down and then met...
Here's the owners of this fine establishment, Bob and Sharon Buchanan. Bob's owned the bar for 39 years and told me that the building has been on this corner since 1892. Bob also runs an insurance business on the other side of the building. I also learned that these two are newlyweds, they just got married two years ago. And two is a number that's going to be a recurring theme in the next couple of photos...
Here's a photo I took from my seat at the bar and as you can see, they have not one, but two Spuds MacKenzie's on display. And if you look really close you'll see that this is the first time I've managed to capture two obligatory bar room mirror shots in the same photo! And the miracle of two is not over yet folks...
For they have not one, but two Budweiser Trolleys spinning over the bar. I think this may be the only bar in Peoria with two trolleys in action. Very cool!
It's quite an impressive bar in here. One of the coolest I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of bars!
There's a piano tucked away in the corner over here and Bob told me lots of Peoria piano men have played here through the years including the legendary Jimmy Binkley.
There's a full-scale dining room behind the bar over here.
It was closed for the evening, but Bob turned the lights on so I could take a photo of it. Very nice!
Bob said that the chandeliers and some of the other fixtures in the room were bought from the original Pere Marquette Hotel.
Here's a shot from the back of the dining room.
When we returned to the bar, look who showed up, MBIP pals, Justin and Amber. If you haven't checked out Justin's blog, Story of the Summer, you should do so right now...well, finish reading this post and then check it out. There's no bulletin board in here, so Amber and I have a truce concerning the on-going dueling business card battle between MBIP and All Smiles Dental Care. The pressure is off and so...
Everyone settled into a nice conversation at the bar. Well, everyone except for me because I have to keep taking these goddamned photos! Somebody has to be recording the evening and it's always me.
Justin and Amber have been here before and they brought up the infamous "Lemon Drop Shot," that Bob brought here from his days in Chicago. Here he is starting to make up a batch of them.
There's several types of booze that go into a Lemon Drop Shot, but I can't reveal them because it's a trademarked and patented secret. Mums the word, Mum is also the first few letters of Mumford and Sons, but I hate those guys so let's just keep moving on...
Okay, all the booze and ice are in the pitcher and Bob said that it's better if someone of the female persuasion does the shaking...
So Amber stepped up to the plate and made like Eddie Money...
Next the shots are poured and I thought that it was time to drink, but noooo...
Lemon slices are placed on top of the shot glasses and there's still more work to be done!
Next cocaine is poured on top of the lemon slices...oh, okay, it's really sugar, settle down out there!
Wow, things are really getting interesting now as Bob is pouring Bacardi 151 Rum over the shot glasses.
He's now lighting the shots on fire, like I said, this is starting to get very interesting!
Holy shitballs! I think now would be a great time to cue up the Crazy World of Arthur Brown...
Bob contains the fire with a wet bar rag.
The fire has died down and it's just about time to drink the Lemon Drop Shots.
I took one last photo before the pre-shot secret ritual takes place, I'd tell you all about it, but it's a secret, you'll have to find out for yourself! So there!
After the Lemon Drop Shot we checked out the game room in the back of the bar.
There's a pool table back here...
And there's also a claw machine which Amber is going to try her hand at right now.
And she scored this little doggie!
We thought he looked kind of stoned and maybe had just a wee touch of The Downs. Amber generously gave it to me to add to my ever-growing collection of weird shit at MBIP Headquarters. Thanks to Amber and Justin for hanging out and to Bob and Sharon for being such gracious and friendly hosts! We'll see you all tomorrow...and hey, let's be careful out there!
3333 NE Adams Street