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Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012

* Best bartender goes to Mike at DH Brown’s

Mike is the best bartender in Springfield! He is always watchful for a near empty beer bottle to quickly replenish. Most importantly he knows when a private conversation is taking place, whether it be among multiple lobbyist, legislators, or legislative staff and if he overhears certain aspects that are meant to be confidential, he keeps it confidential! He’s a great and trusted bartender that deserves a Golden Horseshoe after nearly 20 years of service at the best bar in town, D H Browns!

It helped that Steve Schnorf also weighed in with his support for Mike.

* Runner-up

Jamie at Boone’s. She’s got a great personality and is always fun to hang around with after work. Great sense of humor too.

I also like that Jamie started a twitter campaign for herself.

This contest is getting outta hand.

* Best waitress is Annie at Sunrise

I thought I would post here for her because she is so awesome and will stay open late for me so i can get a decent meal after a long session night. Also nice is that Annie is so far removed from the political climate that she will never ever see this until Rich gives her a 24k horseshoe and then she will only be confused.

* Runner-up goes to Jess at Brown’s

She is always smiling and having a good time. Sometimes she even knows when I need another drink before I do, which, in my opinion, is one of the many marks of great service. And when the going gets tough, Jess is always there to make sure we have enough people to have a successful Bear Fight, which isn’t always in the best interest of the bar, the patrons, or the participants…but much appreciated nonetheless.

Congratulations to all. As you may or may not know, there’s no actual physical award. All you get is the recognition.

* OK, on to today’s categories

* Best political bar in Springfield

* Best political restaurant in Springfield

Please provide responses to both categories. Also, remember that it’s not the number of nominations that matter, it’s the intensity of those nominations. So make sure to explain yourself or your vote won’t count.

Have fun.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 10:58 am:

    Easy choices, since Mike is best bartender at D.H. Browns, Browns is the best bar. Since 1977 it has been a gathering place for all sorts of characters across the political spectrum.

    Spauto’s is still the place to go if you want to run into somebody who thinks they are somebody in this town. Amazing to watch the wannabes slow down as they pass the Speakers table.

  2. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    As a Republican, there is no better political bar than D.H. Brown’s. My fave political restaurant is either Saputo’s or Sangamo Club. I do consider the Sangamo a restaurant in the sense that I have been to many a nice meal-based fundraiser there. I don’t like the food but I like the atmosphere an I enjoy the events I attend there immensely.

  3. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    * Best political bar in Springfield-Boone’s for obvious reasons

    * Best political restaurant in Springfield- Saputo’s for fairly obvious reasons as well. You have to give it to the restaurant that reserves the same table for Speaker Madigan to eat there regularly.

  4. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    (despite their ketchupy marinara)

  5. - Fred Manrique - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 12:07 pm:

    Butternut Hut: It’s been said that after 10 it’s just drinking and nobody goes to Butternut Hut before 10. Whoever is there is there to have a good time and not there to see or be seen.

    Old Lux: Food version of the Butternut Hut

  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    Norb’s is really picking up steam again as a good place to run into someone or bend an ear. Heck, I saw Congresswoman Cheri Bustos there recently.

  7. - Obamas Puppy - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    Bar: Globe
    Resteraunt: Ross Isaacs

  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    You stay at the Hilton, you Drink at “The Globe”.

    No matter where everyone heads for the evening, or where everyone had been, at one point or another, there was a stop at “The Globe”. While there are many worthy bars, “The Globe” always seems to be a place you need to get yout ticket punched for an evening out.

    If I want a good meal, I like Saputo’s, but if I am going to eat and work and have it be enjoyable and constructive, “Sangamo Club” is the spot.

    If I am going to Saputo’s, more than likely it is to catch-up, go over the day, etc. If I am going to “The Sangamo Club” its to get something “done” or prepare for action that WILL get done. Different setting, different signal, different results, usually.

    Bar - “The Globe”

    Restaurant - “The Sangamo Club”

  9. - Downtown Lover - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    Gotta love Sebastian’s for the best Restaurant in Springfield!

  10. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Best Bar D.H.Brown’s, At one time mostly Republican, but in the last few years more Dems have joined the party there which really makes for more interesting and vibrant political commentary. Definitely on the upswing again as a political hang out for both parties. Also great prices for an honest drink.

    Best political restuarant; Saputo’s still the king, but Norm and Andy’s an up and comer. Both have good food and good atmosphere with notable political patrons.

  11. - Pink E. Kent - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Seriously, where are you people from, Decatur?
    Now I will hear no more foolishness.

  12. - Jimmy 87 - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    Best Political Bar - This was tough, but I have to go with the Sangamo Club this time. J.P. Kelly’s runs a close second, but for when you say “political bar” it has to be the grill room at the Sangamo Club. The place is taken over during session nights by lobbyist, legislators and staff. Most of the wait staff knows your name and Dennis is a fantastic bartender, serving up stiff cocktails and generous wine pours.

    Best Political Restaurant - Again a tough one, but I’m going to have to go with Ross Issac. Reserve a red leather booth in the bar on a session night and you’ll get a first hand look at Illinois politics. The table placement also makes it ideal to wonder from table to table to say hello; which if you’re a lobbyist is much appreciated. (Honorable mention, Fritz’s Wagon Wheel. Dark, warm, inviting…did I mention dark? Outside of Mastros probably one of the mostly dimly lit places you can grab a drink.)

  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    Globe: Dan Burke, plus, its the only bar where you’ll actually see serious policy discussions take place and resolved between opposing parties.

    Saputo’s: Madigan, plus, Carol Marin says so.

  14. - #thetruth - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    Lets all be honest both votes go to Sebastain’s.
    The Hide Out stays open late during session. The best bartender in town and she hot. The food is amazing and they open the bar at 4p for half price apps till 5p. That place is amazing cause you can go up stairs and have a very elegant dinner, but then you go down stairs to the Hide Out and its still nice and formal but you can let loose a little. Lets not forget the Chef’s they bend over backwards for their costumers. I asked for a special request and they made it #thetruth ps locally owned By Chris and Vic and those guys are great.

  15. - I wonder... - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’m with you Pink E. Kent, Sangamo club over charges (on top of their member fee) for medium quality food. DH Brown’s has a selection of about 3 beers. I get that those may be the political places to go, but find some better places folks!

  16. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    Good no one is mentioning the really good places so lets push
    Best Bar: The Globe
    Best Restaurant: Houlihan’s@lst floor of the Hilton…pack em in

  17. - Crazy Cooter - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    I second Karl’s vote for ‘Bees. Classic flavs and a great place for a celebraish after session

  18. - Sweetness - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    Sebastian’s Hideout for best Political Restaurant Hands down! The food is exquisite, the ambiance is fabulous, and the staff is outstanding,and always friendly. It’s the place to be to network, relax, and have a fun time in the Hideout!

  19. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    I think JP Kelly deserves it this year. There has always business whenever I go in there. Young staffers and seasoned vets. I’ve also seen more Springfield political types there than anywhere else.

    Saputos because it’s where the Sweet Baby Ray’s is delivered.

  20. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    What, no mention of J.P. Kelly’s? It splits the session night crowd with Brown’s. Mostly Dems.

  21. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:47 pm:

    Only someone who’s never been outside Soringfield would think the Sangamo overcharges. It’s my personal favorite spot. I prefer to eat in the bar because the dining room is a bit stuffy. Wednesday fried chicken is outta this world and there are plenty of heavy hitters to talk to, including MJM.

    Butternut Hut for favorite bar because where else can u talk to legislators and listen to live music?

  22. - Fred - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 1:56 pm:

    What a coincidence that the best bar in town also happens to be in your hotel. The hotel you choose to stay in because you like to earn honors points. Lots of other tourists agree. The pros know better.

  23. - Former Bartender - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    Best restaurant: Norb’s. Really starting to get back into the swing of things. Good menu and nice beer selection.

    Best bar: Browns. Still a great place to actually have a meaningful conversation during session and be seen.

  24. - Newbie - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 3:22 pm:

    Best Bar: Boone’s! Great music, great beer garden, cheap drinks

    Best Restaurant: Sebastian’s. Awesome food, love the atmosphere especially in the lower level, and the servers there rock

  25. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    Have to go with Sebastians. The lower level bar is great for watching the lawmaking process and the best food choices are not always on the menu. As for something special and they will bend over backwards to help. Don’t tell anyone, but they have a Mac and Cheese that will make you happy to be alive.

  26. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 6:00 pm:

    I think a lot are missing a point here; “great food, great music, marinara sauce, etc”. You aren’t going for a great meal, a great band, a great DJ, or to pick someone up. Rich said “political” bar and restaurant.

    That makes bar easy-Brown’s, with Boone’s second. They have been alternating the title back and forth for a long time, and they and Bob’s and the Globe are really the only ones in the race.

    As to restaurant, Saputo’s, with the Sangamo a close second, and there ain’t no third.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 7:52 pm:

    Grerat point, - steve schnorf -.

    I can get a meal or a drink anywhere, and I bet I can get ones anywhere too, however, the “politcal” bar and the “politcal” restaurant are far different.

    Also agree on restaurant observation, but I have Sangamo 1st, then Saputos, but that is me.

    Those two, and THAT is the list.

  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 5, 12 @ 8:17 pm:

    ===…I bet I can get ones anywhere too,…===

    Should read …

    “I bet I can get good ones anywhere too,”


  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 12:16 am:

    While I love Springfield, I hardly get a chance to go there anymore, so I’ll have to vote for Boone’s because I like the pictures of their food…and they asked for my vote on facebook today.

  30. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 6, 12 @ 9:40 am:

    Got to vote for Boone’s for best bar. Good bar food and good drink selection.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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