Biker-Friendly Bars Abound

By

Tim Alexander, Guest Writer

on

The Greater Peoria region is home to multitudes of biker-friendly restaurants and taverns that will be ready to welcome you this summer. We’ve chosen this list with special attention to establishments that are family-friendly, offer a food menu and participate in motorcycle-related charitable events such as poker runs and benefits.

As a bonus, we’re spotlighting the nine bars/restaurants that are hosting Walter Brothers Harley Davidson (WBHD) of Peoria’s St. Jude Summer Rides series, currently in progress. According to Walter Bros. marketing director Stann Wiebler, 2023 marks the 16th year of the company’s St. Jude Rides weekly ride series, which originates from WBHD, on Thursday evenings at 5:15 p.m. To date, the rides have garnered over $10.2 million in donations.

Culminating with a hog roast and a drawing to determine the winner of an HD motorcycle and passes to HD’s Homecoming Concert (with Foo Fighters and Green Day) in Milwaukee on July 13-15, 2023, the St. Jude Summer Rides series serves to showcase the Greater Peoria area biking community’s generosity and compassion, while striving to find a cure for childhood cancers.

Whitetails Firepit + Grill {Glasford} // Owners John and Nan Rudd go all out for their St. Jude Summer Rides days. Live music, an outdoor grill and a family-friendly atmosphere await. “It’s a block party atmosphere and they actually shut the street down around the establishment,” says Wiebler.

Deer Creek American Legion {Deer Creek} // Known for their steak cook-outs, Pam Tanner and Monica Martindale of the Deer Creek Legion do a lot for St. Jude in conjunction with WBHD. They host live music and grill pork chops outdoors for riders participating in the St. Jude Summer Rides and for the public. Line dancing may ensue!

White Oaks Sports Bar {Canton} // “They do a lot of fundraising at White Oaks; as much for other charities as they do for St. Jude Rides,” says Wiebler. “On bike days they bring in a grill and cook a variety of meats. Some of the folks at White Oaks also participate in the annual St. Jude Ride to Memphis with us, and that’s how they got involved in the Thursday rides. They found out where their hearts and passions were, and that’s how we brought them into the fold.”

Asher’s Bar + Grill {Pekin} // Famous for their Home Plate tenderloin sandwich and lemonade shake ups, Asher’s is new to the WBHD St. Jude Summer Rides event. The owners of Ashers are allowed to close down a section of Pekin’s Court Street for an impromptu bike show and live music.

Burnzee’s Bar + Grill {Brimfield} // Burnzee’s is a charter member of WBHD’s St. Jude Summer Rides and has grown along with the number of riders who participate each year. Owner Steve Burns has expanded the business and can now accommodate large groups of riders. “We’ve grown and expanded right along with Steve’s business, and it’s now a great [place to hang out with a huge outdoor area. A family-friendly place to visit,” Wiebler says.

OZ’Z Bar + Grill {Creve Coeur} // Another new addition as an official sponsor of WBHD’s St. Jude Rides, Oz’z, normally a 21-and-older establishment, turns family-friendly during St. Jude events. “They’ve jumped in both feet first,” Wiebler notes. “Brad and Mary have put a lot of time and money into Oz’z, with a huge outdoor beer garden, outdoor grill and picnic tables, and lots of room for families. They also have a permanent structure for ax throwing, if that’s your thing.”

Whiskerz Pub {Lacon} // Owners of a smaller establishment, owners Steve and Stacy Crisp have been participating in the Memphis St. Jude Ride for over a decade. The couple decided to go all out for St. Jude Rides, adding an outdoor, covered area for bands and food vendors, including Willie’s Tamales. (Travelers should be aware of the summer-fall closing of the Rt. 117 bridge connecting Lacon to Sparland across the Illinois River, and plan accordingly.)

Corner Inn {Elmwood} // Offering great food and drink selections including homemade reuben and ribeye sandwiches, wings and margaritas, the Corner Inn serves as a great destination for St. Jude bike nights. “Gary Mannes has been a St. Jude supporter since day one,” says Wiebler. “Great food, great pizzas, and you’ll see Gary out there running food and taking care of his customers any day of the week.”

Other biker-and-family friendly bars and restaurants in Greater Peoria include

FULTON COUNTY

Steel Horse Watering Hole 104 2nd Street, London Mills

Country Line Bar + Grill 725 W. Locust Street, Canton

Mc Ducks 220 W. Valleyview Drive, Banner

MARSHALL COUNTY

River Valley 119 119 N. Washington Street, Lacon

Psycho Silo Saloon US Hwy 6 and Ill. Rt. 40, Sheffield

MASON COUNTY

The Thirsty Barrel 118 S. Tonica Street, Mason City

The Hideout 141 E. Chestnut, Mason City

Daugherty’s Pub 13442 Route 78, Chandlerville

PEORIA COUNTY

Refuel 12910 W. Farmington Road, Hanna City

T E J’s Sports Connection 3219 NE Adams Street, Peoria

Veterans Pub + Pizza 2525 NE Adams Street, Peoria

Moontower Bar + Grill 908 N. Front Street, Chillicothe

Ludy’s Kickapoo Creek Saloon 9828 US 150, Edwards

Trolley 2411 W. Farmington Road, West Peoria

The Rail Splitter 10307 State Street, Mossville

Hanna City Tap 119 Main Street, Hanna City

Skwurt Inn 3201 NE Adams Street, Peoria

Castaways 1707 N. 4th Street, Chillicothe

Red Barn 621 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria

The Brown Jug 18403 Farmington Road, Trivoli

STARK COUNTY

Catalpa Grove Tavern 7935 IL-17, Toulon

TAZEWELL COUNTY

Carrigan’s Pub 5506 N. Main Street, East Peoria

Hilltop Bar + Grill 100 Village Court, Creve Coeur

Kirk’s Korner Tap 2359 Washington Road, Washington

Full Throttle Bar + Grill 3308 N. Main Street, East Peoria

The 5th Quarter 1110 N. Main Street, East Peoria

Hole in the Wall 214 N. 5th Street, Pekin

Twisted Spoke Saloon 251 Derby Street, Pekin

Country Saloon 3415 Meadows Avenue, East Peoria

Alpha Bravo 2305 Washington Road, Washington

WOODFORD COUNTY

Sue’s Place 518 E. Mt. Vernon Street, Metamora

The Ditch Bar + Grill 106 E. Bestor, Secor

Topsy’s Bar + Grill 23 W. Front Street, El Paso

Germantown Grille 505 Ten Mile Creek Road, Germantown Hills

Author
Tim Alexander, Guest Writer

Discover Peoria, IL