Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cerno's Bar & Grill

Sometime during the later 1990s, a friend of mine introduced me to a gorgeous bar in Kewanee, Illinoid.
Now, anytime I am out in that neck of the woods, I try to stop by, as I did in early August this year.
When I started visiting the bar it was known as Lloyd's.
My dad, who grew up in the area knew it as Ann's Place. And well before his time, it is said that the bar remained open during Prohibition.
Currently it houses Cerno's Bar & Grill.

From their website:
"Imported from Belgium, this bar was built by Pabst Blue Ribbon in 1898.
John P. Brady (prominent young business
man of Kewanee, a wholesale and retail liquor dealer who was born in that city in February, 1868, son of Thomas and Rosanna [Trainer] Brady) was the original owner; his initials are still etched in the front door glass.
The Mahogany mirrored bar spans fifty feet, with hand carved figurines at each end. It is also accented with the original brass fixtures.
Detailed carved lion heads are throughout the building.
Along the wall are small buzzers topped with tiny eagles that were used to summon a waiter to the customers. While overhead is an embossed tin ceiling. Stained-glass and leaded windows enhance the 19th century atmosphere.
The brass footed pedestal tables are still here, as is the teller cage where men would cash their paychecks, and then come in for a drink. The brass spittoons are now used as tip jars behind the bar. Years ago when women were not allowed in the taverns, the men would have to take their lady friends upstairs to drink. Their drinks were then sent up to them via the dumbwaiter, which still works today."

I never tire of looking around the bar, taking in the ancient looking wallpaper murals depicting horse and buggy, the tin ceiling, the mahogany lion's heads carved into each arch of the bar and doorways, the old tile floors, the curved brass foot rail, the cozy wooden booths...this is one place where despite changing hands several times over the years, the character has largely been left intact.

Cerno's Bar & Grill
213 W 3rd St
Kewanee, IL 61443

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