Richie recently played a show in Normal IL at a pub/pizza place called Firehouse Pizza and Pub. (107 East Beaufort)
It is a small chain is native to central Illinois. According to their Facebook page, the chain was started 5 yrs ago by a fireman who wanted to replicate his favorite college pizza.
Do not be alarmed by the leering fireman. He is there to save your taste buds from the fires of eternal damnation.
If you're selling pizza in a college town, you have to have some sort of unique selling point. I'd suggest shirtless firemen waiters, but this particular Firehouse went with buying a million TVs. The booths have little flat screens and the walls have gigantic projection TVs. Diners will not miss whatever pitiful Illini/Bears/Cubs game they want to watch.
In addition to the sports filled environment, they also occasionally have live music in the pub area, as they did the night Richie was there.
Behind the mic
The pizza boasts a unique flavor. Firehouse has concocted a very sweet tasting sauce. What's the secret behind this? Probably massive amounts of sugar. If you are a pizza purist, you can order traditional style sauce instead. You are also probably overly picky and opinionated.
I told Richie to bring home pizza or don't bother coming home. I did not specify what kind. So... the best thing in the world besides chocolate is pickles. I think 99% of the human race can agree on this. Knowing this important fact, Richie ordered the Cheeseburger Supreme pizza because it is topped with pickles! It also features hamburger, bacon, onion, cheddar, mozzarella, and mustard.
The sauce was, indeed, very sweet and reminiscent of ketchup. Therefore, it was suited for this type of pizza. The crust is thin and crispy, though you can get NY hand tossed as well. The toppings were loaded on, covered with cheese, and each slice had it's own pickle chip. Though I ate it cold at 5:45 in the morning, pre-run, I thought it was delicious.
Their other specialty pizzas include BBQ chicken, Hawaiian, Garlic, Ranch, Taco, BLT, and Margarita. They also have typical appetizers like wings, onion rings, and garlic bread. I was stoked when I viewed the menu online and saw that they have pigs in a blanket. Such refined tastes I have.
The pizza is great and I think Richie enjoyed the atmosphere. You can forgo the pub side and just sit in the restaurant to avoid aggressive drunks/tipsy business majors from ISU.
Live music YaY