The Ruby Red Jewels have enjoyed a busy summer visiting many interesting places. Phyllis Diedrich hosted a luncheon at Fischers in Belleville. The ladies dined around a huge round table and ate scrumptious sandwiches and salads. The dining room was surrounded by mirrors which proved to be a delight viewing all the lovely red hats.
Betty Renken hosted a luncheon at the St. Nicholas Brewing Company in DuQuoin. This company was named in recognition of the historic St. Nicholas Hotel which was built on the site in 1879. The original hotel had 37 rooms, a large dining rooms, a carriage house, and a brick outhouse. Later, the rooms were updated with indoor plumbing and 37 cast iron bath tubs. The interior wood is American Chestnut which has been extinct since 1915. Unfortunately, the St. Nicholas Hotel fell into disrepair and closed in 2005. In 2009 the building was purchased at a “scavenger sale.” In August, 2014, the St. Nicholas Brewing Company opened following extensive restoration. The brew pub is filled with many original and recycled items from the original structure or from the area. The lantern in the entryway is from the original hotel. Recycled barn wood is used in the bar and entrance. The staircase is the original walnut. The bar and tabletops are constructed from recycled bowling lanes from a DuQuoin bowling alley. The bicycles throughout the pub are from the area. The current pub owners share a common interest in craft beers and cycling.
The ladies enjoyed the restored pub/hotel. They were served a delicious variety of sandwiches and salads. Following their luncheon, the ladies visited other DuQuoin sights. They toured the DuQuoin fairgrounds where a mobile home convention was being held. Also, they visited the Raggedy Ann Twins Boutique and stopped at the Pinckneyville Thrift Store on their trip back home. The final stop was the Nashville Dairy Queen for ice cream.
Jerri Heggemeier hosted the Ruby Red Jewels luncheon at Southside Ribs in Sparta, IL. The restaurant has two dining rooms with bricked walls and wooden ceiling fans with double domes that are stained glass. The lights adorning the side walls were clusters of three stained glass shades. In front of the large windows there were hanging cords with stained glass shades attached. Unique pictures and signs were everywhere. There were pictures of the “Old West”, old St. Louis Cardinals pictures, the city of St. Louis pictures, and pictures taken from “In the Heat of the Night” movies set that was filmed in some parts of Sparta. Many of the signs displayed saying such as “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
It was a fun and enjoyable place to gather and dine. The specialty was BBQ baby back ribs and sweet potatoes with praline sauce that was simply delicious.
It was a fun and interesting summer for the Ruby Red Jewels: Helen Bleisch, Mary Ann Borowiak, Phyllis Diedrich, Jerri Heggemeier, Judy Heiman, Winona Hucksold, Karen Lunte, Georgine Hawley-May, Laura Paszkiewicz, Betty Renken, Marge Rensing, Jeanetta Thompson, Sandy Turner, and Ann Wojtowicz.