It’s Sky Harbor’s 45th Anniversary...oh, okay, last week was Sky Harbor’s 45th Anniversary and I missed it! Well, I decided since I missed it last week, we’d just have our own little Sky Harbor Anniversary celebration this week on MBIP and so here we go...but first, we need to find an appropriate anniversary present. Since it’s the 45th anniversary and Sky Harbor is not only known for it’s food and unique atmosphere, it’s also known for it’s piano bar and the music that happens there, so I decided to get them a 45 record for a present. The only trouble is that it’s not easy to find 45 records these days and there wasn’t time to order something on the internet, so there was just one place to go to...
Younger Than Yesterday Record Store!
If you can’t find the record you need here, it probably doesn’t exist. The inventory in here is crazy huge so let’s go inside and see if we can find a proper 45 rpm record for tonight’s MBIP Sky Harbor anniversary party. Okay, we’re in and there’s Younger Than Yesterday owner, Craig Moore, who we last saw at the Donovan concert in here, always great to see Craig! Now it’s time to go 45 hunting!
As you can see, there’s a whole bin of 45 records that stretches out across the back wall of the record shop. I challenged Craig to find a 45 that would be perfect for tonight’s celebration and it only to him a matter of moments to find this one...
“Harbor Lights” by The Platters! How perfect is that? Thanks to Craig for finding that and he also donated the record for tonight’s party! Too cool! Craig is putting on a show for the 50th anniversary of his band, Gonn, Thursday, December 1st at the LImelight, here’s the details. I’ll be there and hope you can too! Okay, I wrote a note up at the top of the 45 and it’s time to make tracks to...
There’s the familiar Sky sign lighting up this section of West Peoria!
Let’s go in and let the anniversary celebration begin!
I love the front foyer in here with the rock wall and they now have a gaming parlor off to the side of it if you’re in a gambling mood. I see a familiar face over there by the hostess stand and it’s Mrs. K! She’s looking pretty as always and I wished her a happy anniversary and headed into the restaurant.
The place is looking fabulous as always! We can look around a little more in a minute, but I went over to the bar to give Sky Harbor owner, Daryl Klusendorf his 45th anniversary present and here he is opening it. He loved it and put it in a place of honor on a shelf at the bar!
And to keep the anniversary feeling in the air, Daryl put on a tape from the original Sky Harbor when it was located out by the airport and it’s Daryl and The Flying D’rito Brothers. On the screen from left that’s, Tom Nelson, Daryl, Darren Peacock and Danny Newby. This tape was shot in the early ‘90’s in the bar area of the original Sky Harbor, very cool to see this!
Here’s a shot of the entertainment area in Sky Harbor these days! There’s always live music here on the weekends and if you’ve never been here for it, you should definitely check it out! There’s booths opposite the piano bar and there’s some shots of the back of the restaurant and more booths lined with vintage aqua leather that line the far wall. As I was taking these shots, Daryl pointed out something on the wall...
It’s a tribute to piano man, Jimmy Binkley, hanging over one of the booths. There’s a painting of him at the piano bar and a framed copy of his handwritten sheet much to a song that Jimmy wrote for Richard Pryor called, Uncle Dickey. I love this! There was a great tribute concert to Jimmy here last summer and if you missed it, here’s the post from that musical event that happened here at Sky Harbor.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, Daryl showed me a video clip on his phone of Jimmy and Preston Jackson playing at the piano bar. Nice! Jimmy always was part of a Christmas celebration here in Peoria and it continues on. This year’s event happens on December 1st and you can read more about it right here, in a column that Phil Luciano of the PJ Star wrote.
Now it’s time for the dinner celebration of the evening and here’s Daryl delivering it! I got the fried chicken dinner with au gratin potatoes and it was delicious! The au gratin’s are a signature side dish here and they’re creamy and rich and so tasty! The fried chicken is a Klusendorf family recipe that has been passed down through decades. It’s so juicy and it’s just lightly coated and seasoned to perfection. Every Wednesday here they offer the fried chicken as a dinner special with four pieces and two side dishes for just $10.95!
Terry was sitting nearby and heard us talking about Sky Harbor’s 45th anniversary and she brought over a little computer with footage from last week’s anniversary celebration with Daryl singing a tune at the piano bar! How perfect! Thanks Terry and Happy Anniversary to Daryl, Mrs. K and everyone at Sky Harbor! Cheers to 45 more! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
1321 N. Park Road
Related Post: Sky Harbor’s 43td Anniversary Bash!