Monday, January 12, 2009

Bar Review, It'll Do 2

Last night, Kridz and I went with one of her coworkers from the depotay (after the holiday partay) to It'll Do 2, 123 S. Mattis (in the Country Fair Shopping Center) Champaign.

It'll Do 2, was previously "Chiefs"which closed for some reason. Prior to that it was "Tommy G's" which also closed.

Many Many Many moons ago, my (then) Tuesday night pool team would have to play a game or two each session at Tommy G's. I didn't like that place, although there were some fond memories of when Beaird and I played pool with April, and with... damn, I can't remember her name, but she was awesome. Other than that (probably one night) every other time I was there, I didn't enjoy myself. There was the one time the guy I was playing put his hand on my neck because he didn't like something, oh yeah, he was playing barefoot at the time, and it's possible he was the manager/owner of the place.

The last time I was there, was with Meat, and Big Brad, and Donna. Meat's wife dropped me and him off, and then left due to some emotional reason, then Meat left, so Donna was nice enough to give me a ride home. I think some band was to be playing there that night, probably the Brat Pack. The beer I drank that night was a Goose Island 312, on draft... it was served in a frosty 22 oz mug. It seemed totally inappropriate.

It'll Do 2 (the first is in Arcola) just opened on Jan. 2. It looked the exact same as Chiefs. The difference I noted was the sign in the parking area had changed.

The beer selection, isn't really a selection. There was 312 on draft (still) and also Blue Moon. Then, there's the taps of Bud, Bud Light, Miller.... the list goes on. The bottle selection was similarly American Macro Lager based. There was a row of Guinness cans, along with Michelob, and I think a Dos Equis Amber.

Apparently Chiefs may have had some problems, and the new owner is trying to change things to prevent the same things. I heard him say that the first thing he did when he went in was to pull all the Rap and R&B out of the jukebox, so that may give you an idea to what the perceived problems were, and what he's trying to change the place into.

I'm not sure if they are trying to turn it into a "biker bar" but if he's got one that works, there's no reason to not try to do another.

The place used to have a greasy spoon kitchen, and I'm not sure if they are going to rev that back up again.

There are several pool tables, and if you get there early enough, the place will probably be rather quiet, if you just want a place to shoot. The last I was there, I remember the tables being $1 a rack, which is too expensive.

I'd compare this place to D.R. Diggers and the Phoenix. With some work, it might get up to a Boomerangs or maybe a Tumble Inn. Without an overhaul of the beer selection, and style of bar, it won't be Blind Pig, but then that's not what they are going for, at least I don't think.

It's not the bar for me. I feel uncomfortable there. Something about macro beer, country (nee... redneck) music, and screaming people just doesn't do it for me. Short of them magically having one of my most favoritest bands in the world play there, I won't be back.

But then, just because it's not the place for me, doesn't mean someone else won't like it. They may like it for the very reasons I don't. Ultimately, I felt rather beer snobbish there, I don't like feeling like a beer snob, but I was.

Funnily, the beer I ordered was PBR. A guy sitting at the bar commented that I was drinking rot gut (or something like that). So I struck up a beer conversation. (I don't mind PBR, and for the kitsch value, it's ok too) I asked if he'd tried the New Old Schlitz, and he said he didn't know about it. So we talked about the original recipe, and other stuff. That was one of the more interesting conversations I had that night, unless you count morphine, vicadin, muscle relaxers, a three day coma, hip degeneration...

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