January 13, 2011

The Locker Room

By Eric Shangraw

January 13, 2011 Updated Jan 13, 2011 at 9:41 PM CDT

A downtown Peoria tavern is thriving when there are crowds at the Peoria Civic Center.

They also serve an inexpensive lunch.

Eric Shangraw is taking a trip to The Locker Room in this week's You Gotta Eat.

The Locker Room is a late night hot spot for fun and suds after a Riverman hockey or Bradley basketball game.

Sisters Tara Panek and Tabatha Waid opened the restaurant last summer. Local sports paraphernalia peppers the walls.

But they are most proud of what comes out of the kitchen. If your getting a hamburger or turkey burger, they use a scorecard you fill out to determine your sandwich line up.

"You can get as basic as lettuce, tomato, pickle or as creative as fried eggs, chili and bacon. It just makes it a lot of fun," said Panek.
"You can get something different every time. And it is something that pleases everyone," she said.

"Starting from the bread. The meat. Everything that goes on it you get to choose. And it really is nice for $5.95 plus a side," said customer Angie Cramer.

"It is relaxed. Casual. But the food quality is better than most other bars. It is really good," said customer Lisa Lee.

Photographer Larry Faulk went with a half-pound Angus burger on Ciabatta bread with some standard extras. The Ciabatta is a sweater bread. I had a turkey burger on a pretzel bun. It is made from a pretzel without any salt. I also selected coleslaw, cucumber, jalapenos and tomatoes with a chipolte sauce. We both had to cut them in two to manage the intake. They are juicy, drippy, messy meals. Extra napkins are needed. I also had some smashed potatoes and onion strings. The were good... But the sandwich is almost all you need. The sisters also had us sample their homemade potato chips with a buffalo chicken dip. Lick smack'in good. With drinks our bill; $16.64 plus tip.

We also took time to play some shuffle board. Larry won, after three rounds. We would have played all afternoon but needed to get back to work.

The Locker Room is a great place to get lost in downtown Peoria. They're open Monday through Saturday and on Sundays when there are events at the Peoria Civic Center or a Bears game, like this weekend.

The Locker Room
112 SW Jefferson
(309) 713-3334

Monday-Wednesday 11am-10pm
Thursday 11am-Midnight
Friday-Saturday 11am-4am
Sundays-Open for Special Events Downtown and during Bears Games

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