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Photos by Jess Charlton
Town Club Bar and Grill co-owner Mark Kribs works behind the bar. The establishment at 2400 East Broadway, founded in 1932 by Greek immigrant John Nicolou, has been a family-owned business for more than 80 years.
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ALTON — “Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came” was the theme to the popular TV show “Cheers” — and it rings true for Town Club Bar and Grill.
The establishment at 2400 East Broadway, founded in 1932 by Greek immigrant John Nicolou, has been a family-owned business for more than 80 years. Passed down from generation to generation, the tavern has always been in the hands of a family member.
“My dad began working for my Uncle John in 1945, and then in 1968 became partners with him,” co-owner Lainie Kribs said.
Kribs added in 1973, her dad, Tom Gineris, and her mother, Angie, bought the business from her uncle John. In 1988, 15 years down the road, the tavern would be in the hands of her brother, John. It was not until 2011 when she and her husband, Mark, purchased the business.
“When my brother John was ready to retire, we had the intentions to buy it from him,” she said.
Kribs said her husband and co-owner, Mark, began working for the tavern in 2001.
“He worked for Bon-Air before that, and it just seemed like the right fit for him,” she said.
Town Club Bar and Grill, Kribs said, is a family-friendly place where nobody is a stranger.
“It’s a place where everybody knows everybody,” she said. “It’s a very friendly place, with really good food.”
“This is a place where you wouldn’t feel uncomfortable coming in there,” she said.
Although she and Mark are the only owners, family members, including her brother and mother, still help out.
“We also have a couple great few people who work for us, too,” she added.
With reasonable food prices, Town Club Bar and Grill has many dining options. Kribs said they have gyros and many other sandwiches, including a grilled chicken sandwich on a pretzel bun.
“A signature sandwich of ours is a giant pork tenderloin, which is breaded, called the ‘G-Man,’” she said.
In addition to the many popular items, Kribs said the tavern offers specials daily, with a beer special on Saturday and pizza specials on Sunday.
To Kribs, the tavern is more than just a business. It is where her family made their mark, and where many of her fondest memories lie.
“My family - my dad and my brother - have worked so hard to keep the tradition alive by putting out a good product. I can remember when I was little my dad would work from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. He would come home for a few hours and go back to work at 9 at night until 1 in the morning,” she said “But that’s just the way it was.“
Kribs said the family-owned tavern is a place where memories are made, and memories past are told. For her, walking into the tavern is a reminder of old days.
“Generations of children come into the tavern, and people who used to come in years ago. Our customers are our family,” she said. “You walk in there and it’s like walking back in time.”
Town Club Bar and Grill is open 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. Sunday. For information, call (618) 462-5431 or visit the website www.townclubofalton.com.