Sky Harbor 40th Anniversary

Klusendorf’s Sky Harbor Steakhouse 40th Anniversary
Oct. 27.28,29, 2011

Contact: Daryl Klusendorf 309-369-0821


Klusendorf’s Sky Harbor Steakhouse will be celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary this year.

We have celebration dates of
October 27
4PM Chamber Ribbon cutting with cake for all guests Thursday.
7 PM - 9 PM Live music: Bluegrass by Andy Hatfield, Andy Hodge, Dr Bob Bevell & Dan Martin. 9 - close Jam session hosted by Daryl Klusendorf
October 28 Live Music 7:30 - ? Darren Peacock, Daryl Klusendorf, Tom Abbot
October 29 Live Music 7 PM Jimmy Binkley and Friends.
Complimentary cake and punch for all guests. Food and drink specials. Full menu available. Reservations welcomed. 674-5532
open 4 - 10 pm Thursday Open 4 - 11 pm Fri & Sat


On Thursday, October 27, The Peoria Chamber of Commerce will kick off our celebration with a ceremonial Ribbon Cutting. Complimentary cake will be provided to all guests on Thursday.
Also, on the Last Thursday of the month, a regular music feature “Pickin ON” occurs. This month we will be Pickin on Bluegrass Pioneers Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Live music on Thursday begins at 7 PM. Guest hosts for this include current Flatpicking champion Andy Hatfield along with bluegrass jammers Andy Hodge, Bob Bevill, and Dan Martin. I play guitar and banjo and will sit in for a couple of tunes.
On Friday, we will host a musical reunion of sorts. Original Flying D’rito Brothers Darren Peacock & Daryl Klusendorf hook up with Tom Abbot for an evening of Americana, harmony and humor. Darren and Daryl along with Tom Nelson and the late Dan Newby originated the Flying D’rito’s at Sky Harbor in 1988.
Music from 7:30 until ?
On Saturday our regular music feature is Peoria’s legendary jazzman, Jimmy Binkley. You never know who might stop by and jam with Jimmy. Jimmy plays at the Sky Harbor Piano bar Wednesday’s and Saturday’s and volunteer’s his talents four days per week at area nursing and senior homes.

Sky Harbor built it’s reputation on our delicious sizzling steaks and award winning ribs, but music is a big part of the Harbor experience as well.

Partial History:

In October of 1971 Bill and Ellen Klusendorf acquired Sky Harbor, then overlooking Greater Peoria Airport.

My involvement with Limestone American Legion baseball led to our discovery of Sky Harbor. I was a senior at Richwoods and an all conference third baseman. Myself and 5 other Richwoods players were invited to participate with Limestone in the inaugural season of Legion baseball in Bartonville. Sky Harbor was on the way home and became a regular stop for burgers and refreshments after the games.

Bill Klusendorf was managing the original LUMS restaurant on N. University in Peoria. That store was about to be acquired by Dave and Ernie, who had subsequently obtained franchise rights for all LUMS in the area.

Ready willing and able to go back into business for himself, an offer to purchase Sky Harbor was made when the current owner, Ken Kaufman indicated he was ready to get out of the bar business.

Bill and Ellen had experienced success with the steakhouse concept when they introduced sizzling steaks to the Lariat Club in 1956. After 8 years @ the Lariat, Bill, Ellen and partners Art and Evona Nelson found a buyer for the business and we moved back to Minnesota for 4 years. Business opportunities brought us back to Peoria and eventually to LUMS and then Sky Harbor.

Klusendorf’s signature sizzling steaks, au gratin potatos, delicious bar b que sauce, and knack for hospitality quickly caught on.

Consistent quality has been the main strength of the restaurant throughout our history.

Son Daryl joined Sky Harbor full time in 1978. He had completed 2 years as Chef at the Peoria Elks Club and graduated from Bradley.
Under his direction, the original Sky Harbor was expanded twice. First with the addition of an outdoor observation and dining deck. Later additional dining area was added and the outdoor dining feature moved to the rooftop. Sky Harbor was one of the unique downstate dining venues.

In 1996, highway widening projected for Airport Road as well as updating aviation technology caused the restaurant to be relocated. The Gold Lion on Park Road in West Peoria was deemed a perfect fit as owner Mike Unes was ready to retire. Sky Harbor made a seamless transition to its current West Peoria Location on September 3, 1996.

Hope this give you some insight into our world.

Daryl Klusendorf 369-0821

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Anonymous says ... on Friday, Jan 17 at 4:54 PM

need menu

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