Today we travel to Utica for a visit to a great local haunt that isn't too far a stretch for us Central Illinoisans, Duffy's Tavern.
We discovered Duffy's about six years ago after a trip to beautiful Starved Rock State Park, less than two hours from Peoria. Duffy's is not far from the park, on the corner on the main drag (Mill Street) in Utica. It looked like a nice Irish place to quench a thirst worked up by a day of hiking.
The building is beautiful, an old brick building with tin ceilings and lots of great trinkets to check out while you toss back some cold ones. You might even luck into a basket of popcorn to munch on while you hang out.
Duffy's has a good selection of imports and such, and Irish favorites like corned beef and reuben sandwiches, plus seafood, steaks and pasta. I must say, we haven't eaten a meal there yet, but we need to soon!
A few years later, in the spring of 2004, we were saddened to hear about Duffy's being hit by a tornado that struck Utica. The second story of the building was damaged, but we heard Duffy's would plan to reopen and cheered.
For an anniversary, we booked a cabin at Starved Rock in 2005 and headed over to Duffy's. They were back in full force, basically just as we remembered the place. It was almost like coming home.