By Molly Cerreta Smith

Before you even step inside, you know you’re going to have a hoppin’ good time at the Cross Eyed Cricket Watering Hole located at 28615 North El Mirage Road in Peoria. (C’mon! I had to!) Ok, cricket jokes aside, the Cross Eyed Cricket is indeed a place for fun.

Opened in Peoria’s Vistancia neighborhood in the summer of 2018, the Cross Eyed Cricket serves as a casual neighborhood sports bar that’s got a little something for just about everyone. The restaurant features 22 TVs, including a 150-inch projection screen, two pool tables, three dart boards, shuffleboard, Golden Tee, a Touch Tunes Jukebox and just for those “outdoorsy” drinkers a huge mister-cooled patio that opens from the indoor bar with garage doors.

Whether watching sports or playing some games, the Cross Eyed Cricket offers 18 ice-cold beers on tap and a large selection of bottled beers, wine and specialty drinks for those to wet their whistle as well as a full menu of high-quality American style pub fare including starters such as Bavarian Pretzel Sticks served with Bavarian mustard or house cheese sauce, Poutine, Totchos (tater tot nachos, yum!), a variety of salads and flatbreads including the Egg and Bakey featuring bacon, smoked mozzarella, chipotle aioli and two sunny side-up eggs; sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and even a delectable dessert menu. (I mean, who really has the willpower to refuse a Pizookie!?) The full menu is available until 9:00 p.m. daily; a late-night menu is available after closing of kitchen.

The Cross Eyed Cricket prides themselves on having a great list of event and activities to enjoy including karaoke, live music from the likes of popular local performers like Josh Roy and the Michael Nitro band, trivia night, “family feud” trivia, music bingo and even bar Olympics. And if you think I’d leave you hanging and not inform you about the bar’s fun name, you’re wrong! That would just be mean… plus the name has a pretty cute story.

As it turns out, the Cross Eyed Cricket Watering Hole is a bit of a country music homage. It comes from the opening lyric of the 2006 Eric Church song ‘Pledge Allegiance to the Hag,’ which is Church’s own homage to country music legend Merle Haggard. The song begins: “There’s a little dive on a dead-end road, called Cross Eyed Cricket Waterin’ Hole.” And how can you not want to hit up a place like that for a good time?

So the Cross Eyed Cricket Watering Hole in Peoria invites you to come on in, ‘tip your hat and raise your glass of cold, cold beer’ when you visit. As a fan of Haggard, Church and a hoppin’ good time, you’re bound to catch me in the Cross Eyed Cricket from time to time! For more, visit