About Us

A Historial Treasure.
The Bar You Had Your First Beer In.
The Place to Party in Galesburg Since 1984.

Kit and Pam Wilcox
Kit and Pam Wilcox

We Go Way Back

Cherry street opened in 1984.  It is actually one building made up of three different buildings which originally had separate addresses and businesses, beginning in 1897 for two of the buildings and 1904 for the third. When the Carmody brothers purchased the three buildings in 1984 and opened Cherry Street Brewing Company as one business, the buildings were numbered as 47 and 57 (even though it included the middle building, 55.)When Kit Wilcox bought the business from the Carmody’s in 1989, it was a bar that served food. Kit and Jim Carter transformed it into a restaurant / bar, with a 50/50 mix of food and beverages.

In 1991 they opened the Bier Garten in number 47. The Bier Garten is a 3-season room open to the outdoors, but with a roof. Kit took the windows out and put in sky lights. There is a party / event room on the first floor in the northern most building, which has been recently renovated into The Safari Lounge, a bourbon bar.

Cherry Street Brewing Company history includes a number of firsts:

St Patrick’s Day – Kit and Jim Carter organized the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1990. Holding it on the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s day, Cherry Street would serve a big breakfast with live Irish music as entertainment. The first year it proudly had 6 vehicles – but eventually has grown to be as large and successful as the Christmas Parade.

Between 1989 and 1994 Cherry Street hosted events on a quarterly basis:
  • Indoor Miniature Golf – sporting 9 holes in 5 different rooms, the indoor golf was a competition.
  • October Fest – For Octoberfest Cherry Street Brewing Company would close off the street in front of the bar. And they would bring in various attractions. One year it was bungee cord jumping which drew between 3-4000 people. Plus they would have family activities like a petting zoo and face painting.
  • Halloween Party – The Saturday closest to Halloween, Cherry Street would host a Halloween party, where staff and cliental would all dress up.
  • Customer Appreciation Party – Every year they had a customer-appreciation party for Christmas on the Sunday prior to the 25th. They would use this to show their clientele how much they appreciated them with free food and drink.
  • New Year’s Eve Party – They had a huge New Year’s Eve party every year at the bar.

Interesting Tidbits

Kit’s Original Mud – In 1989 Cherry Street Brewing Company started selling Kit’s chili cheese dip. Patrons enjoyed it on their food and ordered it to take it home with them.

Prior to being Cherry Street Brewing Company, buildings #55 and 57 were a pizza restaurant. #47 was originally a grocery store. The upper floors were rented out as living quarters.

Finally in 1994, Kit Wilcox sold Cherry Street Bar so that he could be more involved with his children’s’ activities as they started high school.

A Comprehensive History of Cherry Street

There are three buildings which make up Cherry Street Brewing Company.

  1. The southern most building was numbered as “57,” and occupied by businesses from 1897 to present, except for 1924-1925 when it was residential.
  2. The middle building was numbered as:
  • “49” was residential from 1870-1882, never mentioned again after 1882 in City Directories;
  • “51” was residential from 1873 to 1959, except for 1904-1905 and 1941-1942 when occupied by businesses, never mentioned again after 1959 in City Directories;
  • “53” was businesses from 1897 until 1971, never mentioned again after 1971 in City Directories;
  • “55” was listed as vacant in 1924-1925 and as a stairway in 1926, never mentioned again in City Directories.
  1. The northern most building was numbered “as “47,” and was residential from 1875-1876, and from 1907 to present was occupied by businesses. All three buildings were numbered together as “57” in 1999.  The City Assessor lists two of the three buildings as built in 1906, and one was unknown.  However, businesses occupied the three buildings, i.e., Gust Henderson’s Billiard Hall (47), Galesburg Plumbing & Heating (53), and Plaindealer Printing Company (57) beginning in 1897, and there was a business, Gus C. Rausch cigar factory (51) in 1904.  Please see the following detail:

Follow the Changing face of Cherry Street over the Years

1875-187647William O’Nelson [residence]
1897-190847"Gust Henderson’s Billiard Hall—Pool & Cigars"
1907-192047Joseph P. Quigley plumbing & gas fitting [moved from 53]
1922-193847Hiles [& Cordell] Lunch Room a/k/a Hales G Hiles Lunchroom
194647George A Woodward Photography, Horace B Ramsey Novelty movedanufacturer
1949-195447Art-O-Lite Co. Inc. electric contractor
1956-196547Foster’s Radio & TV Services [ & Eddy’s TV 1961-1965]
1967-197147Dave’s Bike Shop Sales & Service
1972-197547Best Buy Office Furniture
1976-197747Amy’s Academy of Gymnastics
1977-198047Family Fun & Game Center
198147Village Recreational Center
1983-198547Harley’s Barn Motorcycle Sales & Service
1985-present47Cherry Street Brewing Co./Cherry Street Restaurant
1870-188249Charles Selk [residence] he was a boot & shoe mfg.
1873-187451F.A. Shull [residence]
189751JP McCaffery [residence]
1898-190351 Stairway
1904-190551Gus C Rausch cigar factory
1928-193851Joe or Cecil Wong [residence]
194151WPA [work shop for “Work Projects Administration under Pres. FDR]
1949-195051Lloyd J. Cedatol [residence]
1949-195051Leonard Armstrong [residence]
1951-195251Dale E. Kendrick [residence]
1951-195251Mrs. Olive LaForce [residence]
1954-195551Mary Smith [residence]
1956-195751Mrs. Mildred Smith [residence]
1958-195951Vacant [51 no longer mentioned after 1959]
1897-189953Galesburg Plumbing & Heating
1900-190153Gross & Co. [general merchandise]
1902-190553Joseph P. Quigley plumbing & gas fitting
1909-190853Galesburg Envelope & Specialty Co.
1913-192053 Elite Theater [in 1920 it was vacant]
1922-192353Larkin store
1926-195153Haine’s Market [meats]
1954-195553Sages Market
195653Chucke’s Market
1959-196453Fritz’s Market [grocery]
1965-197153M & W Market [53 no longer mentioned after 1971 in City Directories]
192655Stairway [55 never mentioned again after 1926 in City Directories]
1897-191157Plaindealer Printing Company [and Republican newspaper]and Galesburg Tribune from 1902-1903]]
1902-190357Galesburg Tribune [along with Plaindealer]
1915-191657VL Brown
1919-192057FW Holliday dry cleaning & pressing
1919-192257Ed Garfield [basement] shoe repair
1922-192357Cowper Cleaning [dry cleaning]
1924-192557Lawrence Anderson [upstairs residence]
1924-192557George Leidy & wife [upstairs residence]
1924-192557Frank McFate [basement residence]
1926-193057New Grand Café
1931-193657 Vacant
1938-194157Daisy Ice Cream Co.
1946-194957James R. Mann auctioneer
1951-195457Rivers Appliances [household]
1956-196057Jack’s Pizza
1960-196557K-of-E Brake Donut Shop
1960-196457Floyd Sargeant & H.A. Yelton real estate
1967-197657Martie’s Pizza
1977-197857Besserra’s International Restaurant & Lounge
1979-198057Spanish Villa
1983-198557DJ’s Country Still Restaurant & Lounge
1985-present57Cherry Street Brewing Co./Cherry Street Restaurant