Goodland’s Little Bar harks back to the days when it used to be a haven for hard-drinking fishermen coming in daily off their boats to knock back a few beers or shots, and pass some of the evening shooting pool.

It has that well-worn, lived-in feel.

Today, the rough and tumble image has given way to a mellow vibe that makes it a great favorite with locals and visitors alike, something that owners Ray Bozicnik, and his sister, Niki Bauer, have carefully honed since buying the place 37 years ago.

For the Sun Times’ latest series — drinks and desserts — the ebullient Bozicnik and his daughter, Marian Biddle, came up with a tempting selection.


On the desserts side, there is Papa Ray’s chocolate peanut butter pie (named in honor of Bozicnik’s dad, Ray), a homemade coconut crunch pie (made to a handed-down family recipe), and a classic Key lime pie made in-house.

Just how are they made?

“With love,” Biddle said simply, opting not to disclose any of the secret family recipes.


On the mixology side, drinks include a “Goodland Sunrise” — with mango rum, pineapple and orange juice and a splash of grenadine; a “Spicy Paloma,” consisting of chili-infused vodka with grapefruit juice and some jalapeno slices atop the glass, and a classic “Arnold Palmer” refresher with raspberry vodka, lemonade and iced tea.

Being in a fishing town, there’s obviously plenty of seafood on the menu, and the Little Bar naturally caters to a wide variety of tastes – everything from frogs legs to kielbasa and sauerkraut, and from steaks to Reuben sandwiches.

And, the Little Bar may be a bit of a misnomer. Sure, the bar is on the small side, but the restaurant itself is expansive, with dining rooms leading off in three directions from the foyer, including an outdoor seating section overlooking the water. Seating is for around 150 people.

Cutting-edge music

The hangout is also well known for bringing in all sorts of cutting-edge music acts, ranging from country, folk and bluegrass to rock, reggae and roots.

See the Little Bar’s musical lineup weekly on page C3, in “Night Life.”

If you go

What: The Little Bar

Where: Goodland, up San Marco Road about 3 miles out of town

Hours: 11:30 a.m., dinner from 5 p.m., and closing “when we all stop singing.”

Reservations: Suggested

Telephone: 394-5663

Take out: Yes

Bar: Full bar

Entertainment: Every night in season

Prices: Lunch around $12-$15, dinner in the $20s.


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