I was thinking about the different bars on Main Street last week and I realized that the oldest one is The Basket Case. I don’t know when it opened but it’s been there for over four decades that I know of and has withstood the test of time. While a lot of other bars have come and gone on Main Street, The Basket Case stands tall in its original space! I haven’t been there for quite a while, so I thought that it would make a good spot for this week’s Thursday bar post. So away we go to The Basket Case on Main Street!
And here we are at 610 Main Street, which is just about a block from the corner of Sheridan and Main. As I said, The Basket Case has been here for decades and that sign on the corner of the building is one of my favorite bar signs in all of Peoria! It’s classic, as is this bar! The entrance is just down the short alley-way here to the side of the building. Let’s go inside and see what’s going on in here on this fine Thursday evening out and about in Peoria, Illinois!
Well, the rectangle bar in here looks fairly crowded, so I went down to the end and found a spot to squeeze into. Maggie was the friendly and cute bartender on duty and here she is with an ice-cold can of Budweiser! She told me that her mom named her after the Maggie May song by Rod Stewart and a number of the regulars in here call her Maggie May. And since she’s holding up that beer, I think now would be a good time for this announcement!
Weekly Donation Alert!
Sean Tomlins sent in a generous donation this week to the MBIP Virtual Beer fund and the first round tonight is on him! He included this note with his PayPal donation:
“Love reading your posts. My dad played softball for Jimmy's back in the 90's and loved going in there with him afterwards. I was in college. I'm in Chicago now but love hearing of Peoria's goings on. Next one’s on me! Cheers, Sean Tomlins.”
Thanks, Sean! I truly appreciate the generous donation which helps keep the MBIP blog chugging along and the fact that you check in from Chicago! If you’d like to donate to MBIP and buy a round next week, you can find out the details by clicking right here. Okay, now bag to our blog, already in progress!
Here’s the back of the bar with a mirror and some of the bottled inventory on display. Hey, what’s that box back there...it’s a Basket Case game! Ha! I wonder if they get a royalty from those games?
This is a shot of the bar from my perch where I’m seated. I love the way it’s all lit-up!
Tom and Shawn were seated next to me and in addition to giving me the one finger salute, Tom told me he’s a regular MBIP reader, which is always nice to hear! Then I saw a familiar Peoria company on the back of that shirt and it’s worn by James, who was at the bar with Rose. Rose surprised me by telling me she not only read my magazine People of Peoria which I published in the early '90's, but still has some issues at home! She also remembered my brother Jim’s drawings and illustrations in the magazine and that really made my night!
After taking a long shot of this side of the bar I noticed this glass on the table and it’s adorned with a logo from the Brass Bull in Morton. Maggie told me that this is the sister bar to The Basket Case. I’ve never been there and need to stop in and take a look at that watering hole. Stay tuned for that!
Blaine came over to where I was sitting and wanted to show me a trick he does with a beer can in here and here goes! He takes the beer and then makes it rotate on the bottom rim! It spins around on the bar like that! I’ve never seen this and then Tom did the same with his can of Budweiser, I need to learn how to do this so I can fit in here! I feel a little socially inept right now, but hey, it’s not the first time!
That Christmas tree isn’t late coming down from Christmas, it’s there all year long! A mark of a classic dive bar is Christmas lights and The Basket Case does it one better by having a festive tree lit-up all year long! There’s the drink specials for the evening and a reminder that what happens in The Basket Case will be talked about later! There’s also a state-of-the-art dartboard and a gaming section in the lounge area opposite the bar.
I took a photo from the other end of the bar and it turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself and I just did! Sometimes I luck out with these pictures!
Joe was seated down here at the end of the bar and I’ll be damned if he doesn’t know the beer can trick too! I need to learn how to do this before I come in here again so I can be part of the crowd!
Elvis Presley Blvd...does this mean that the King is nearby?
It sure does and here he is! But Elvis ain’t leaving this building anytime soon! Maggie has a firm grip on him behind the bar! Thanks to Maggie and everybody who was hanging out at The Basket Case tonight, it was a lot of fun and great to spend and evening in one of Peoria’s classic dive bars! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
The Basket Case
610 W Main Street
Terry Grawey Hypnohumorist Show Tonight!
If you’re looking for something different to do tonight, look no further than The Broadway Lounge at The Waterhouse here in Peoria. Hypnohumorist Terry Grawey is doing one of his unique comedy hypnotism shows there tonight and it’s really a fun show. If you don’t believe me, check out this post when he appeared at The Lariat Steakhouse and hypnotized me! You can see that by clicking right here. Check out the information on Terry’s website, it’ll be a fun night out and definitely a different kind of show than anything else you’ll see tonight!
Bonus Gift From Ragin' RR!
I got a mysterious package in the mail yesterday addressed to the MBIP World Headquarters! I opened it up and it was a book called, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and it was sent in by MBIP commenter and quote-giver, raginrr! This is a five part series and they’re all collected here in one read! This looks like a great book...or five books rolled up into one and maybe I’ll get some hitchhiking tips for my next hitchhiking post here on MBIP! Thanks to raginrr for this generous gift!