Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards

Wednesday, Dec 6, 2017

* First, our winners from yesterday. The 2017 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse-area Bartender goes to Marcena Fleischli

Marcy at Boone’s always keeps my glass full, and she can handle the Happy Hour Rush by herself with ease. The statehouse should really keep her on retainer. Plus she is great conversation. Honestly favorite bartender I have ever had.

She’s definitely good.

* The 2017 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse-area Waiter/Waitress goes to Sarah Brillhart at Augie’s Front Burner

She is by far the best waitress in Springfield. She has an eye for detail and makes such a great impression, you will always ask if she is working tonight.

Agreed. Also, she’s the late John Brillhart’s niece, so that helps in my book. Glad to see she was nominated by several people.

* On to today’s categories

* Best political tavern in Springfield

* Best political restaurant in Springfield

Remember, this is about the intensity of the nominations, not the number of the nominations, so make sure to fully explain your votes. And, please, nominate in both categories. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Jack Kemp - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Boone’s gets my vote for best political bar, hands down. Not only does it have proximity, but in that same vein it is the perfect place to find many big names and familiar faces. The building is historic, the inside has character, and it’s got one of the nicest beer gardens in town. Plus you can’t beat the half price happy hour. It is Springfield’s place to be on any given session day.

    As for restaurant: Gabatoni’s. It too is a place you’ll often find folks you need to talk to, or just happen to run into old friends. Plus, the service is by far some of the best I’ve ever had at any restaurant, period. It’s a nice family feel with it’s old, drab sort of swag, with outstanding food, and cold beer to boot. I could eat there every week no problem.

  2. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    Fritz’s for both as they have both a bar and back room. Although it was earlier in the year that I utilized them.
    I love Fritz’s for the family atmosphere. Food is great.
    And the thing for me is that ( at least the times I’ve been)
    There aren’t a lot of high level politicos in there. I feel relatively safe. I can be myself without looking around constantly like when I’m at Saputos. I also love meeting people at Hawaiian BBQ. Can’t get enough.

  3. - Book Em - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Tavern: Now that I’m far, far away from SPI, there are several things I miss. On the rare occasions I’d go for drinks after work, Boone’s was always the place to be. You’d see everyone (whether you wanted to or not). Affordable, good space, great location.

    Political restaurant or no, Augie’s is tops. Great menu with exciting options and love that Thrifty Thursday. Again, you see everyone there. And excellent warm service.

  4. - Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    Restaurant: Not the “cutting edge in place” and you can debate quality of the food, but this question simply starts and stops with Saputos. If you want to be seen or want to see who wants to be seen, you go to Saputos. End of discussion.

    Tevern: Boone’s given the location near the Statehouse and the fact it won’t costs you a ton to buy a couple of rounds.

  5. - Downstate Dem - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:52 pm:

    Hands down the best political bar in Springfield is DH Brown’s. Outside of being in the Capitol, it’s the best place to get caught up on what is going on. It’s also the go to place for a lot of political events before session and throughout the year.

  6. - BlondeAmbition - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    My vote goes to DH Browns. Not only do you find elected officials from throughout the state holding court together over various topics, but the atmosphere is inviting to all individuals; whether it is the local regulars, an office party or fundraisers from candidates representing any part of the state. It is a place where you feel safe from somewhat prying eyes and can enjoy a minute or evening to relax from the day’s activities and enjoy the company of colleagues, strangers or the great bar staff. There is a reason this bar has been the venue that is selected by so many as their preferred tavern to frequent. They are in a league of their own.

  7. - Cornfield Cowboy - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    By far DH Browns. 40 years running as others establishments have died, the monument lives on. It’s like an old comfortable shoe that you rely on. Cheers to Alex & Dave for another 40 years!

    Restaurant - Boone’s close in proximity and has a healthy mix of statehouse types after hours.

  8. - Ooops - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Best political tavern – D.H. Brown’s

    Where former statehouse legends, sitting legislators, and legislative staff from both parties swap war stories over too many beers and a few bowls of popcorn. For decades Brown’s has been a rite of passage for Springfield political types. This place oozes with character and maintains a genuine dive bar feel that can only be achieved through its decades of history.

    Best political restaurant – Saputo’s

    The best tasting, most consistent Italian food in the Springfield area. You never know who you will see walking in and out of the back room here. On evenings when the legislature is in session, Saputo’s is the place to be.

  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:44 pm:

    Best Political Bar - DH Browns
    There is always a slew of political fundraisers and events at the bar. Beyond that, on any given session night you can walk into the bar to find political types to talk shop.

    Best Political Restaurant - Augies
    I don’t think it is possible to go here without running into people in the political sphere. An added bonus is that Augies has good food and wine options.

  10. - Wannabe - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    DH Browns - because it’s where both policy and political necessity meet. It’s your 1 stop shop.
    They sell beer and liquor for sure but they also run a mail house and offer political printing services to both Rep. & Dem. operations. They rent apartments upstairs to Staff, lobbyists and Members of the GA. If its consultants you need, Browns is where they hang out. It’s an insider trading post for both Republicans and Democrats.
    Joe Gallina’s Pizza- it’s not about the food. You don’t bring your clients there nor have them cater an event, but, for those of us who work at the Capitol, Gallina’s is almost a food group. Definitely hits the spot after somebody opens a tab at Browns!

  11. - Reaganing - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 2:48 pm:

    Butternut hut for a bar. Cheap and divey, what more could you ask for?

    Honestly, I don’t go out to eat enough in springfield. The food here is mostly terrible. Boone’s food should disqualify them from any award ever. If I wanted frozen food put in a fryer I wwould just go to mcdonalds. At least it isn’t pretending.

  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    Best political bar - JP Kelly’s. Just as many politicos there during session as down the tracks at Browns, but JP Kelly’s pours a much better pint of Guinness than anywhere else in town.

    Best political restaurant - Alexander’s Steakhouse. Always the opportunity to tell the Speaker how you really feel.

  13. - Conn Smythe - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:03 pm:

    Best Bar: Boone’s for proximity.

    Best restaurant: Alexander’s. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to have become the place in the last two sessions. Good food, good, fast service, and short of the pretense of the downtown spots.

  14. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    Bar - JP Kelly’s, consistently filled for the pre-dinner crowd where you can find many of the folks you may need to talk to.

    Restaurant - Hate to say it, but Saputo’s still reigns. The food isn’t the best, but it’s always been the place to see and be seen.

    I’ll note these answers are directed at the question and specifically, “political” - my peer group tends not to frequent any of the political joints…we want to get away from it. We play outside the sandbox.

  15. - IMissBentohs - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:18 pm:

    DH Browns for bar as they have a fun environment and the owners seem to have quite the knack to know when to leave you alone and when to give that special attention.

    For restaurant I am torn as I think Springfield has really upped the game … but I will go with Augies because it represents Springfield so well.

  16. - realkewlio - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 3:50 pm:

    * Best political tavern in Springfield- Boone’s because every politic either starts or ends their night there.

    * Best political restaurant in Springfield- Augie’s Front Burner. Last session a whole new crowd started going there, which was refreshing, especially for those of us who have to suffer through Saputos and the Sangamo Club far too often.

  17. - The Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    Anyone who tells you they go to Sapputos for the food is a liar. The fact that it’s packed every session night is a testament to it being the best political restaurant in town.

    DH Brown’s set’s the standard. It’s not fair to other bars to be judged in the same category. Where else will a State Rep outbid you on the jukebox when she doesn’t like the song you played coming up through the floor of her apartment? Lots of other bars in town for the tourists and wanna bees. Brown’s is where the big kids hang out.

  18. - The Iron Lady - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    Bar: DH Brown’s has the best vodka lemonade slushies-that happen to be in season at the end of session. Also I have been introduced to some of my new favorite drinks by Alex including vanilla vodka and root beer- very refreshing! Great atmosphere to relax and catch up with old friends and make some new connections.

    Restaurant: Maldaner’s- Wonderful fresh food prepared by Chef Higgins with an ever changing menu, the best service in town, and always a good place to see various elected officials/lobbyists.

  19. - It’s not even a contest - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 5:22 pm:

    DH Brown’s is, hands down, the best political tavern. Why they are the only spot downtown that has figured out that if you serve up free popcorn then your customers will drink a lot more beer is beyond me. Additionally, no one there is trying to snoop on you. It is an honest to goodness place to relax after a long session day, with friendly faces who are looking to do the same as you. If you want to talk shop with someone then there is plenty of seating in the booths in back, or you can head back to the Bureau of the Budget and hash it out over a game of pinball.

    Best political restaurant goes to…Browns as well. I can’t count how many popcorn dinners I have eaten at Browns. If you need more substance for dinner then order a pizza from Gallina’s down the road and Vito will have it to you in no time. I would vote Gallina’s for the restaurant, but I have only ever eaten their pizza in the most political establishment in Springfield - which is DH Browns.

  20. - NotMe - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 5:30 pm:

    Tavern - no question - it’s Browns. Maybe even retire the category. So many others have nailed the vibe in their nominations. It really is the place where all pretense falls away and everyone regardless of title, party or leaning is just a person getting a drink at the end of the day. When you want to do business, the vibe makes it easier. When you just want to chill, that’s their specialty.

  21. - SaulGoodman - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 5:39 pm:

    Best Restaurant: Kelly Cassidy’s apartment. Best place in town for a great home cooked meal, good wine, and great bipartisan conversation in the “cone of silence.” I’d take dinner there over any restaurant in Springfield.

    Best bar: DH Browns - #1 - free popcorn. #2 - shuffleboard. #3 - good drinks, good owner, good bartenders, and a diverae bipartisan crowd

  22. - AnonyMau5 - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 6:38 pm:

    Best Political Bar: DH Brown’s, by a landslide. I concur with all the other nominations. Brown’s is where the political hacks kick back and blow off steam. On any given session night, you’ll find legislators, lobbyists and staff mingling and sharing war stories. And quite often, some actual business gets conducted. Where else are you going to see all the top political staffers from both sides of the aisle enjoying a few cold ones with the ever-present “Green Party” owners Alex and Dave?

    Honorable mention to JP Kelly’s, which being just up the tracks, attracts a lot of the same crowd as Brown’s. Their Bloody Mary’s are the best in town and Ellen is just great.

    Best Political Restaurant: Saputo’s is always the frontrunner. But lately Alexander’s has been packing them in on session nights, much to the Speaker’s chagrin. Having said that, I sure do miss the basement at Sebastian’s.

  23. - Joe - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 7:56 pm:

    Granted: a long time time since I was a regular ‘round ‘da rail, but what happened to Norb Andy’s - - aka Norb’s?

  24. - Mickey Mouse - Wednesday, Dec 6, 17 @ 8:35 pm:

    Best Political Bar:
    DH Browns. Dem event in the back with a Rep event in the front…at the same time. And all walks of life mingling in between.

    Best Political Restaurant:
    Rep. Cassidy’s apartment directly above DH Browns. R’s and D’s mingling together like they could give two hoots about their leadership solving the worlds problems one meal at a time.

    Entertainment for both:
    The mice enjoy a good time messing with the management at the best Political bar and then head north to the best Political restaurant and chase Sally the dog. Epic entertainment.

  25. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 12:54 am:

    Brown’s casual atmosphere provides staff, legislators and lobbyist a great place to network, relax and have a good time. Definitely the best post-session tavern.

    Fritz’s has an amazing bar, great food and awesome service. It never disappoints.

  26. - Revolver - Thursday, Dec 7, 17 @ 8:57 am:

    Best Political Tavern: Boone’s Saloon. Boone’s has come to represent a microcosm of the statehouse. Each caucus staff clique is represented there, former members have their names on the bathroom walls, and a few lobsters have taken up regular residence. It is THE place for happy hour, and while it doesn’t have the number of events Brown has, it maintains a crowd when there is not one. The best and the worst is there: Boone’s Saloon.

    Best Political Reataurant: Sapputo’s because it is a statement to be there. The food is meh, but the circus is why you go.

TrackBack URI

Post your comment... And please take a half second to come up with a nickname. It makes following the posts easier for everyone... Thanks

In other words, do your best to be civilized and smart.

* Groups file lawsuit against Cook County Assessor alleging racial discrimination
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker's money, pros and cons
* Pritzker wants Rauner to release veterans' home documents
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Illinois Veterans' Home timeline raises even more questions
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





* Another View: No single person in charge of Ill.....
* Pritzker wants Rauner to release veterans' home.....
* Legionnaires' Outbreak At Illinois Veterans Hom.....
* Illinois governor signs opioid law - Pharmacy T.....
* New law aimed at combating fraudulent opioid pr.....
* McSweeney joins Ives in calling for investigati.....
* New law aimed at combatting fraudulent opioid p.....

* German officer interns with Quincy police, broadens skills
* Decatur school's chess club making all the right moves
* Suburban police sergeant charged with shooting his son
* Peoria man who burned child in shower sentenced to prison
* Judges consider if racial bias in drug stash-house stings
* Rookie bomb-sniffing dog at airport has pooping problem
* Judge: Video gambling profits must be split with operators
* Chicago Transit Authority to raise 2018 train, bus fares
* Ex-cop sentenced for tipping off friend about drug arrest
* Scott Air Force Base official under sexual misconduct probe

* Under the Dome Podcast: "Objection! (to nominating petitions), Pritzker endorsements
* Schoenburg: Jones leads fundraising in 13th Democratic primary
* Governor candidates want action on Legionnaire’s outbreak at veterans home
* Schoenburg: Pritzker foundation gave $50 million in 3 years
* Families blame state in veterans home Legionnaires' outbreak
* State insurance department promotes ACA sign-up period
* Westerfield, Hicks, Senor among candidates hit with petition objections
* Fact check: Did Rauner or Pritzker release more tax info?
* Objections filed to candidate petitions
* Illinois' legislative conflicts law could be better, official says

* Sears selling DieHard-branded products on Amazon
* DePaul explores health care expansion
* Chicago Cares, WomenOnCall to merge
* Rauner's big health care headache in 2018? Medicaid.
* Nonprofits backed by 2 powerful families are merging

* White Sox do less than expected in Rule 5 Draft
* Bannon, undeterred, under siege from GOP after Alabama loss
* Cubs agree to terms with former closer Steve Cishek
* Marty Stuart heads ‘West’ with latest release
* Three violent robberies reported in River North, Streeterville
* Cubs sign veteran reliever Steve Cishek: reports
* Fertility doctor faces judge for lying about using own sperm
* Police: Pair burglarized 8 Near North Side businesses in November
* Coroner: Accused Kentucky state lawmaker’s death is apparent suicide
* In the music spotlight: Andrew Bird

* Indian Head Park sergeant charged with shooting 22-year-old son
* Knox Fortune — from behind the scenes in Chicago with Chance the Rapper to making a scene
* White Sox make 'impressive offer' for Manny Machado
* Cubs agree to 2-year deal with reliever Steve Cishek
* Oak Brook trustee doesn't believe allegations against Roy Moore, alleges smear campaign by Democrats
* Former Evanston softball player on a mission to give back
* Pedestrian fatally struck by car along Randall Road in Elgin
* Putin accuses U.S. agencies of manipulating Russian doping doctor's testimony, potentially with drugs
* Bears No. 1 (and only) receiver Kendall Wright has better hands than eyes

» Illinois Women Tell Their #Metoo Stories
» Illinois Issues: A Personal Story
» Key Question For Democrats: To Billionaire, Or Not To Billionaire?
» Pritzker To Be First On Primary Ballot
» 3 Years, 13 Legionnaires’ Deaths At Illinois Veterans’ Home
» Protesters Disrupt Meeting, Call For Palos Trustee To Quit Over ‘Racist’ Comments
» Chicago Hospital First To Sue Over Bad Rating
» Cook County Republican Files For Illinois Treasurer Seat
» Chicago To Pay $31 Million To 4 Wrongly Convicted For Rape, Murder
» Court: 'Making A Murderer' Defendant's Confession Stands

* Under the Dome Podcast: "Objection! (to nominating petitions), Pritzker endorsements
* Kathleen Parker: Women's rage unleashed
* Schoenburg: Jones leads fundraising in 13th Democratic primary
* Governor candidates want action on Legionnaire’s outbreak at veterans home
* Schoenburg: Pritzker foundation gave $50 million in 3 years
* Families blame state in veterans home Legionnaires' outbreak
* State insurance department promotes ACA sign-up period
* Our View: Better ways for Lincoln Library to address late fines
* Sandy Hook police chief: From grief, doing good
* Catherine Rampell: The Trump administration's tax 'report' reads like fan fiction

* Goodfellow Fund donors 12/14/17
* 5 East St. Louis teens charged with armed carjacking
* Traffic alert: Downed power lines at Central Park and Marquette
* Englebert Spieler was an early shoemaker in Highland
* Highland residents could see slight increase in property taxes
* Road closure: North Lee Street
* O’Fallon Public Safety names 2017 employees of the year
* Woman gets prison term for robbing banks in Edwardsville, Glen Carbon
* YMCA program helps local man overcome effects of chemo
* Officers shot in North St. Louis County; standoff diverts I-270 traffic

* Report: Crystal Lake sex offender receives probation for playing Santa in Huntley
* Pedestrian dies after being hit crossing Randall Road in Elgin
* Athletico, Wingstop slated for Walmart outlot in Carpentersville
* EEI's Schweisthal earns P.E. license
* What's in GOP tax accord: Big cuts for business, wealthy

* Hultgren, Roskam help deliver tax bill for...
* Editorial: Roskam gets gun vote right, Hul...
* Kendall GOP chief to challenge Kinzinger i...
* Letter: Consumers taking a hit - Northwest...
* Over 40 Members of Congress Urge President...
* Christmas ruminations; farewell to 2017, h...
* Slew of suburban Democrats seek to challen...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated
* High school football: Randy Hultgren lauds...
* Our Reps: Randy Hultgren Sides With Party ...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Pritzker wants Rauner to release veterans'......

* Lottery results -- winners and losers
* Sunday week in review.
* Rauner kills. Nursing homes and veteran homes.
* The Week In Chicago Rock
* Charter Schools Are Complicit With Segregation
* I’m sure Van Dyke feels picked upon by reporter-type he wanted to silence
* Journalist Jamie Kalven won't be forced to identify his Laquan McDonald story sources, and other Chicago news
* Chicago’s only brewery-distillery gets into the bar business with Maplewood Lounge
* Ayako Kato's three-month movement workshop Art of Now III culminates with an experimental performance concert
* Chicago music-scene photographer Tim Nagle talks about his first book, Take It Outside

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* eero Pro review: The best mesh home network upgrade you can buy
* Apple Pay Offers $5 iTunes Gift Card When You Shop Online at Select Retailers December 14-21
* BLU Life One X3 makes proper commercial debut to erase painful One X2 memory
* Snapchat launches augmented reality developer platform Lens Studio
* Pandora Grants Free Tier Listeners Access to On-Demand Features if They View 15-Second Ad
* iMac Pro pricing ranges from $4,999 to $13,199, with several ‘recommended configurations’ in-between
* [Deal] Grab the TicHome Mini Smart Speaker with Google Assistant for just $48

* White Sox trade rumors: Manny Machado isn’t going away
* White Sox trade Rule 5 pick Tocci to Texas
* Rodon on schedule after shoulder surgery
* White Sox may be busy during Rule 5 Draft
* Winter Meetings Day 2: Rick Renteria’s first chance at a second year
* SHOP SALE: Take 25-50% off sitewide
* Renteria full of praise for Sox prospect Robert

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller