Live from Peoria, Illinois it’s Saturday Night Cheeseburger starring this week’s host, Castle’s Patio Inn with special guest stars, Alex, Ali, Kevin and Bob! Now please welcome, from Loucks Avenue right off off Sheridan Road, tonight's host...Castle’s Patio Inn!
Here we are at Castle’s Patio Inn. This place has been a neighborhood oasis here on Loucks Avenue for decades now. I started coming here in the late ‘70’s when it was Ray’s Patio Inn. One fun fact about Castle’s Patio Inn is that there’s no patio on the premises!
The neon is blazing in the windows, so let’s go in and start our Saturday night festivities!
It’s always a nice familiar and welcoming feeling walking in here and speaking of welcoming, there’s long-time Patio Inn bartender Alex with a bottle of Budweiser, always great to see Alex in here!
Of course the night starts off with the classic Patio Inn cheese! This is some of the best cheese in the universe and as Andy always reminded us: Everything tastes great when it sits on a Ritz!
Check out who’s just joined us at the bar, Bob Gordon, owner of Acme Comics and a drinker of draft beer! Okay, now the party is really starting in here!
In addition to being a four-star bartender, Alex is a master storyteller and is very entertaining. This night he regaled Bob and I with stories about his dad Ken’s (who’s a local Peoria legend) involvement with the WWF in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s and bringing wrestling legends like Bobby the Brain Heenan, Nick Bockwinkle, Superstar Billy Graham and Andre the Giant to Peoria! Alex got to hang out with these colorful wrestlers and the stories of those times are a hoot and a half!
You know it’s a classic Peoria bar when there’s a Budweiser trolley spinning over the bar! There’s a shot of the back of the bar and Bob took the shot of the taps because I was too lazy to move over to take it. Nice work, Bob! I managed to get up out of my seat to travel to the end of the bar and get a shot of Ali and Kevin. Ali’s looking cute as always and I realized it’s been almost five years since I first came in here and did my first Saturday Night Cheeseburger blog in here, so I decided in honor of this anniversary, I’d order the cheeseburger again and Kevin went to work to prepare tonight’s Wimpyish dinner!
I could spend all evening looking at all the knick-knacks and bric-a-brac on the walls in here. There’s the obligatory Phil Luciano PJ Star article, St. Louis Cardinals bats and memorabilia—yes, this is a Cardinals bar! Two of my favorite items in here are the vintage Heilemans’s Special Export globe and the Old Style lamp. Alex said that Old Style lamp has been hovering over that table since the early ‘70’s!
Alex informed me that the ladies who are seated at the special corner table were having a birthday celebration, so I went over to get a photo of this party. There’s the table of pretty women having fun on this Saturday night and the birthday girl is seated on the far left and showed me her Peoria present they got for her. I bought shots for the table, cheers ladies and Happy Birthday to you!
Meanwhile, back at the bar, it appears to be...
Cheeseburger time! There’s Kevin with tonight’s cheeseburger feast!
What a beautiful looking cheeseburger! The toppings are crispy and fresh, the bun is toasted and feels and tastes like it just arrived from the bakery and the burger is perfectly cooked, juicy and very tasty! Beautiful burger work, Kevin!
After dinner I had room for some liquid dessert! Cheers and thanks to Alex, Ali and Kevin for another fun night at the classic Castle’s Patio Inn. And thanks to Bob for hanging out and giving me a ride home! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
The food at Castle’s Patio Inn is all made to order and the cheeseburger is no exception. It’s a solid and tasty burger and it’s the perfect size for a cheeseburger—it’s filling but not so big that you feel a heart attack coming on after you eat it! My burger was expertly grilled by Kevin and it was juicy, savory and really tasty! And the bun was toasted and bakery fresh!
Three and a half Wimpy’s—An excellent burger in one of Peoria’s treasured and long-living pubs. And of course there’s the Castle’s Patio Inn cheese, which if you’ve never had, you need to get over there right now! Well, finish reading the blog and then get over there!
802 W. Loucks Avenue