A toast to the late, great Gully’s, where Tricia McClintock Gifford worked, played and all but called home there for a while.
“I started bartending shortly after I turned 21. I had waited on the GM, Dan Peterson, who’s also a U of I grad, at Alexander’s. He told me to come work for him when I turned 21,” says the former organizational communication major, now a senior attorney at Champaign’s Spiros Law.
“I happened to run into him at the video store in Johnstown one day. He said, ‘Aren’t you turning 21 soon?’ Good memory. My birthday was in just three days.
“And so began my Gully’s career. I bartended for a while. I managed for a while. Then, when Dan left, I became co-GM.
“For those of us who worked there, it was much more than a bar or a place we worked. It was home. On any given night, you could find any number of us playing pool, darts, pinball, eating or just socializing — and yes, perhaps drinking from time to time — even if we weren’t working.
“I learned invaluable business skills thanks to that place — from marketing, to management, to pricing and P and L statements. And, I was able to fund my college and make lifelong friendships all while holding the keys to the liquor cabinet — not a bad gig.
“Some of my closest friends today are my former Gully’s co-workers. Thanks to Dan Peterson and Tim Murphy for giving me that fantastic opportunity.”