|The interior of Ike Sander's first restaurant in Bloomington, Illinois. Ike's first wife, Allie Headley is behind the bar; Ike's sister, Lillian is on the right and Ike is in the rear.|
Ike returned to Bloomington around 1915 and opened another restaurant. This lunchroom, the "Cafe and Pool Hall," was located at 410 South Main Street. In February of 1916, an advertisement appears in The Weekly Advertiser (a local black publication) that lists Ike’s pool hall and café at 107 South Main Street in Bloomington, in the central business district.
|Ike Sanders (left) and another man in front of Cafe and Pool Hall at 103 S. Main St., Bloomington, Illinois.|
Note the Ringling Brothers circus posters in the windows.
The club was at this location for a short time until Ike moved the club to 1101 West Washington Street around 1917 where it remained until he was forced to close in late 1919. His second wife, Lue Anna Brown, and Ike worked as equal partners at the Workingman’s Club.
|Owners Ike and Lue Anna Brown Sanders and the interior of the Working Men's Club located at 1101 W. Washington Street, Bloomington, Illinois at 11:25 am. Circa 1917|
Lue Anna recalled that meals were served whenever anyone came in, including breakfast. She said there were three small tables in the restaurant and she helped cook and serve customers. Lue Anna remembered that they did not serve “fancy foods” such as greens, chitlins, barbeque ribs, or potato pie. Pig feet and pig ears were favorite menu items, but they “served most anything customers wanted including beef stew, hamburgers, neckbones,” and fish every Friday. They also served Bohemian, Crown, and Budweiser beers.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.