:+: The Cellar II :+:
The Cellar II is a bar located in downtown Normal IL (Illinois).
Date of visit that this review is based on: December 31st, 2004 (New Year's Eve).
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:+: Review of The Cellar II :+:
The Cellar II (or The Cellar 2) is a bar/restaurant located at 102 S. Linden street in Normal IL.
It is owned by Pete Fassett.
The entrance is to the right side of the building if you're standing on the sidewalk with your back to the street. There's a double door there. Don't feel bad, I walked up on that porch thing, myself. LOL
Inside The Cellar II
When entering the bar, the bar itself is facing you about eight feet from the door. The prices and specials are written upon a blackboard above the bar facing people who come in the door. Very thoughful, that. :-)
Sitting at the bar were some interesting people. One tall and skinny guy with dark hair kept calling me Elvis (probably because I kept my mirrored sunglasses on). I gave him one of my "CyberWoLfman's Web Asylum" cards with the picture of a werewolf wearing mirrored sunglasses holding a liter of cold beer with a sword on his back standing in front of an insane asylum and told him that I wasn't Elvis, but a drunken lycanthrope. Didn't say much to me the rest of my time, there. ;-)
The bar at the time I entered only had about 15 people in it, and at its busiest, got up to about 30, but this was New Year's Eve, and almost all the students were gone for the holidays. Seating capacity of the place is 94 people, if I remember right. I was drinking a lot of beer, so my memory of the time there isn't exacly perfect.
Drinking at The Cellar II
Looking up at the blackboard hanging over the bar, I saw written there "$2 pitchers". Although the beer was only Natural Lite, at that price, I wasn't going to complain. ;-) The beer wasn't quite as cold as I prefered it, but it was cold enough.
As the evening wore on, we were also served free champagne. First one bottle, then another. I would've prefered beer, but it was New Year's Eve, and I had a lady with me that I wanted to ring in the new year with, so I figured what the heck...
We got a little smashed, but we weren't driving and took a taxi cab home.
Service at The Cellar II
As we were sitting at the bar for about half of the time we were there, this wasn't a problem. When we got to the seat by the window, we were pretty much left alone, except when one of the bartenders, who I think was named Jeff came by to give us some free pretzels. They probably didn't want to bother us too much, anyway, as I was with a very nice lady. :-)
Jeff reminded me a lot of some of the more wilder people I enjoy partying with sometimes. At first sight, you get the impression that he's almost hippie-like in nature, but there's a deep-down alert consciousness lurking behind the hair on his face. Or maybe I was just getting blissfully drunk...
The other bartender was a woman, but I didn't deal with her too much, except to get the trivia game controller.
Food at The Cellar II
Besides the free pretzels, there was a steamer thing to keep food warm that had hot dogs and hot dog buns in it. These were also free. :-) Condiments were catsup, mustard, diced onions, and pickle relish. Only had one, I think, but they were okay.
Entertainment options at The Cellar II
Three dart boards on the left side as you come in, a Playboy pinball machine to the far left, a pool table in the right side of the bar, a jukebox and some kind of televised trivia game that you can play with people in other bars around the country.
On the jukebox was a very big selection of music that (Thank the gods!) wasn't all top 40 stuff. Among the CDs I saw listed were Queen's Greatest Hits album (the one with the red album cover), the original Heavy Metal movie soundtrack album and a lot of other things I rarely see on a bar's jukebox. Made me feel almost at home...
The trivia game was free. You just had to put up with the ads on the television screen. The bartender gave me a remote control like unit with a gray background LCD screen on it and push buttons for the numbers to choose for answers to the multiple choice questions. The questions weren't that interesting, but it was free.
Cellar II's pinball machine was having a problem, however. On it, it advertised on a black and gold colored piece of cardboard, that it was 3 games for $1, but when I put in a dollar of quarters, I only got credited with two. Doesn't matter though, as my pinball playing skills were at a remarkably low level by that time. LOL
There were some nice windows overlooking the street at the far left side of the bar. Traffic wasn't much, but I'm certain that after the students come back, there will probably be a lot more to see, and it may offer a nice view of the sunset, which would be handy if you want to enjoy it inside a warm bar.
The people here were enjoying themselves, and seemed a happier sort than the kind you find at most other Bloomington-Normal Illinois bars, where they mostly just sit at the bar and watch sports.
Comfort and tolerance level at The Cellar II
These guys get high marks for this! Not only didn't they complain when I was shining my green laser at objects just for fun, but when I started howling when I got to feeling good, not a single bartender or bar patron complained. :-) Not going to find that kind of a relaxed atmosphere in one of the more uptight bars!
The only really bad point...
Smoke control in The Cellar II wasn't very good. The place was only up to about 1/3 its capacity, and I was having problems dealing with the cigarette smoke. But, I've got odd senses, and this was my only major complaint about The Cellar II, and considering all the rest, I think this place is worth trying out. :-)
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CyberWoLfman's Pix #4. Back to the real world. Includes Halloween pictures, party pictures, more pictures of Bloomington-Normal Illinois including events, people, theaters, et cetera.