Kenny’s Westside Pub—April 4, 2013—(First Act)
These are photos from the very first night I walked into Kenny’s Westside Pub on Farmington Road over three years ago. Daryl Klusendorf from Sky Harbor told me I should check it out and so I did and the next day I put up a blog post from there. That night I met Sean Kenny and he was really excited about the place. He told me he had worked in bars for years and was determined to make this place a new classic Peoria tavern and night spot. I told him if he could pull that off, I’d make Kenny’s Westside a regular stop here on MBIP and guess what? He pulled it off and then some! In the three years since I did that first post, Kenny’s became a fixture on the Peoria nightlife scene and a home for live music and a great place for freshly-cooked, delcious homemade food. Through the last three years, Sean has become a friend and I’ve had lots of fun, wonderful food and good times at Kenny’s and a lot of it ended up right here on MBIP posts. Below is a montage of some of those moments.
Three Years of Fun, Food and General Tomfoolery at Kenny’s Westside Pub
This is just a small representation of the fun, food and wonderful people I’ve met and hung out with at Kenny’s for the last three years. Sean not only built a bar, he built a home for like-minded people to gather, have a good time and enjoy Peoria’s nightlife in a special spot on Farmington Road. But time moves on, shit happens and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and make the best out of what life hands you. Last year Sean found out he had to move the business and the bar to another location and went to work figuring out how to reinvent Kenny’s Westside Pub at a new location. I had confidence that Sean could pull it off and tonight, we’re going to go and take a look at the new Kenny’s Westside Pub, which is in downtown Peoria, but only a few minutes drive from the original location. Okay, time to get back to the future!
Kenny’s Westside Pub—October 6, 2016—(Second Act)
Wow, this is probably the coolest looking outside design for a downtown bar in Peoria! This is definitely going to be a successful second chapter in the life of Kenny’s Westside Pub and I’m excited to see the inside of the place!
There’s a familiar face hanging around outside, it’s Sean Kenny, greeting patrons as they come into the bar. Great to see him, as always, and now let’s go in and check out the second act of Kenny’s Westside Pub!
This is so cool inside, I love it! It’s got the same friendly and inviting vibe as the old Kenny’s, but maybe just a little more upscale. It’s really impressive in here! The sign says to seat yourself, so I think I’ll go grab a seat at...
The bar! I see two familiar faces seated in the middle, my friends and frequent Thursday night co-stars, Amber and Joe! And there’s another familiar face behind the bar, it’s Katie serving up an ice cold beer!
There’s the back of the bar and I recognize the classic beer taps from the old location! Booths and tables sit opposite the bar, lined up against the far wall. There’s the specials and as you can see, there’s still trivia here on Tuesday nights, open mic and jam sessions on Wednesday’s and live music every Friday and Saturday! Farmington Road’s loss is a big plus for downtown Peoria entertainment via Kenny’s!
Sean really has a knack for decorating the bar and he’s brought a lot of the signage from the first bar and it looks great in here. I could spend nights just looking at everything in here. The way Sean decorates and how he’s reinvented himself and the bar here reminds me of another classic tavern owner, Mike “Sully” Sullivan. Sully’s been sorely missed for years, but Sean is doing a great job of stepping into his footprints downtown and carrying on and keeping the Sully spirit and tradition alive right here on Jefferson Street! Somewhere, Sully's tipping a glass in Sean's direction.
After we looked around the front room and bar area, Sean told Amber, Joe and myself he’d show us the back room, where the live music is going to happen here. It’s right behind the impressive wooden doors with the infamous Kenny’s tree on them. Sean slid them open and revealed quite an impressive room back there! Let’s take a look...
Holy freaking moley! This place is huge and there’s not only a giant space for bands and a space to watch and dance, there’s also a separate bar back here! In addition to live music, this space can also be rented out for wedding receptions, private parties, and corporate events. This weekend is the grand opening for live music with The Sextones tonight and the Willie Waldman Project tomorrow. That’s a great start to a new schedule of great live performances that’s going to be happening here!
As Sean headed back to the bar to talk with patrons gathered there, I ran into Ryan and Anna and we had a nice conversation about Peoria and how Kenny’s is going to be a great new downtown tradition. One door closes and a bigger one opens and a second act begins on Jefferson Street. Cue up the live music, serve up the food and drinks and let the good times roll at Kenny’s Westside Pub, brand new, but still the same in oh so many ways! You’ve done a wonderful job, Sean and I’m looking forward to doing future MBIP posts at this new location! We’ll see you all tomorrow!