Live, from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night, starring this week’s host, West Town Tap with special guest stars, Michelle, Chris, Jenny, Chuy, Ashley, Marcus, Phillip, Chuck, Andy, Shawn and featuring The Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. And now please welcome this week’s host, West Town Tap!
Here we are at our Saturday Night destination, the West Town Tap. This is the bar formerly known as Champs West. Champs closed down and then it was bought about three years ago by Chris Herold. Chris has had plans since then to turn this into a revamped version of Champs West, complete with a full menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well, it certainly looks like it’s gotten a makeover from the outside of the building, it looks brand new and I love all the lights running around the top perimeter of the place! It’s sparkly!
And as you can see from the signage outside, it’s gotten a new name as well, it’s now known as West Town Tap and the kitchen is officially open! They start serving breakfast at 6AM and then continue on with lunch and dinner throughout the afternoon and evening! Let’s go in and take a look at what’s happening in the newly christened, West Town Tap on a Saturday night in West Peoria!
There’s a good-sized crowd at the bar and I managed to squeeze in and when I did, I was met by not one, but two bartenders on duty tonight! That’s Chuy on the left and Jenny on the right. I’ve never met Chuy before, but I’ve taken plenty of pictures of Jenny at assorted taverns around town! Great to see her working here and she’s armed with an ice cold beer!
There’s tables opposite the bar and I see two familiar faces there in the background...
It’s Michelle who I haven’t seen in a while and she’s looking prettier than ever! Then we called over the owner of this establishment, Chris Herold and he posed with Michelle for a photo. Chris said things are going great here and people are loving the new menu. Speaking of the new menu...
Here it is and there’s quite a selection of items to choose from. There’s appetizers, burgers, wings salads and a full breakfast menu. So what did I get? Well, keep on scrolling and you’ll find out in due time!
There’s a shot of the back of the bar and Spuds MacKenzie is looking over the proceedings from a top shelf. Over in the corner is the West Town’s Tap own little corner of Wrigleyville complete with a neon light, a popcorn machine and a great framed photo of a vintage fight poster between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. Michelle introduced me to two of her friends nearby, that’s Ashley and Chuck at the bar. Ashley works here as a waitress on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 9PM, stop in and say hi to her!
Jim came up to me and said hi and told me that a good friend of his who lives in Chicago is a faithful reader of the MBIP Blog! Her name is Betsy, so I had Jim wave hello to her from this picture. Hi Betsy and thanks for reading the blog! Let me know next time you’re in P-town and I’ll buy you a beer at West Town Tap!
There’s a really nice dining area over on the other side of the U-shaped bar and as you can see, there’s plenty of tables for seating and sturdy wooden booths line the walls which have black and white classic baseball photos hanging on them. There’s Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio! Swing, batter...swing!
Drink specials happen on a daily basis in here and there’s not only twelve dollar buckets every single day, you can also drink PBR for two bucks all day and all of the night in here!
Meanwhile, back at the bar, there’s Chuy talking with a customer and as I settled back in to my seat I met Phillip who recently moved back to the area. Phillip lived in New York for a while, so we swapped stories about the city. He’s currently working in sales for Comcast Spotlight.
And now, it’s time for dinner! Here’s Andy and Jenny serving up this week’s Saturday Night meal!
I started off with an order from the Sharable Appetizer section. These are Mushroom Fries and they’re Portobello Mushrooms lightly breaded and fried. They’re served with the sauce of your choice and I got mine with Ranch and they are so good! Crispy and seasoned on the outside and juicy and flavorful as you bite inside of them. A tasty start for this week’s dinner!
Now it’s time for the main course! I ordered the Pork Burnt Ends and they come with your choice of homemade potato chips and fresh cole slaw. I got the barbecue chips and they were popping with flavor and had a little kick to them which was contrasted nicely with the cool and creamy cole slaw. Now on to the star of tonight’s dinner...
The Pork Burnt Ends! You can read more about these in the review, but they were really savory and delicious! The meat is slow cooked, hardwood smoked pork and it is so tender you hardly need to chew it! The barbecue sauce I got is a homemade Guinness sauce and it was the perfect dipping sauce for this succulent meat. A real barbecue treat and something you don’t find on the menus at most taverns!
After dinner I wandered around and found Jenny on the other side of the bar with Ashley and Erika! There’s Chris with two of his nephews, Andy on the left and Shawn to the right. Andy cooked tonight’s meal and kudos to the chef, it was phenomenal! There’s Ashley with her husband Marcus and after I shot that, she turned the tables on me and took a photo of Michelle and I. It was great to see Michelle because we first met in here in June of 2013, almost four years ago! We talked about that and we decided to have a fourth anniversary party here in June, so stayed tuned for details on that! Great to see Michelle and everyone at the new West Town Tap!
And as the evening wore on and the lights dimmed, Spuds MacKenzie lived up to his reputation and was the last one lit up at the bar! Thanks to everyone at the West Town Tap for the fun evening and wonderful Saturday Night dinner! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
I started off with an order of the Mushroom Fries and these were a real treat. The mushrooms are fresh, juicy Portebellos and they’re lightly breaded, seasoned and fried and are really delicious! A nice snack to have at the bar, or in the case a perfect way to start out Saturday Night dinner!
For my main course I got an order of the Pork Burnt Ends and these were really a treat! The meat is crispy on the edges and oh so tender as you bite into them. The pork is smoked with hardwood and slow-cooked for 14 hours and these can rival anything I’ve had at any barbecue restaurant! And the Guinness barbecue sauce was just a little spicy and was a perfect dipping sauce for the tasty barbecued meat. The chips and cole slaw are both made in house and were tasty compliments to the main course. The menu at West Side Tap is expansive with burgers, wings, salads and a full breakfast menu that starts serving at six in the morning! Owner Chris Herold told me that his goal was to fill a void in this part of town with fresh comfort food served every day of the week. One look at the menu and a couple bites into your dish you order and you’ll agree that he’s filled that void and then some!
Four Galloping Gourmets—So far I’ve only sampled the Mushroom Fries and the Pork Burnt Ends and there’s so much more to try and after this dinner, I can’t wait! Stop by soon and try it out for breakfast, lunch, dinner...or maybe all three!
515 N. Western Avenue