The Dive Bomber: Woodstock Lounge
Surely not everyone in Alton braves the tourist-filled crowds when they want to have a beer and catch up on the neighborhood gossip. However, most of the bars I found beyond downtown Alton were empty and sporting for sale signs. It's a tavern ghost town.
Woodstock Lounge sits in sight of the Clark Bridge. Jessica the bartender says, "We're a biker bar. We got beer, Jack and Cuervo. That's it." There's slightly more behind the bar, and several patrons have an affinity for Rumple Minze shooters.
We spent hours talking about our pets, kids and creepy-crawly creatures that scare us. Jessica shared photos of her two twenty-pound white cats while another patron told stories about his cuddly pit bull and fierce Yorkie. Jessica astounded us with her extensive knowledge of Star Wars and Resident Evil. She has a background in aeronautical engineering and mathematics. She'll also kick your ass if you order a cosmo.
I think I want to be her new best friend.
A regular bought a round for the bar. I passed, since I was planning to leave. Silly, because two hours later I was still there, talking to Jessica and a 23-year-old young man about the importance of proper birth-control education and how to raise children properly.
Fast Eddie's might get all the press, but it's not the place to tell bike tales while sharing your snake phobia.