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Fighting COVID Shutdowns: You Gotta Fight, For Your Right, To Party

Written By | Jun 2, 2021
Poopy's, Shutdowns, Covid, Illinois, Pritzker

Poopy’s aerial screen shot courtesy of WQAD Savannah –

ILLINOIS:  Kevin and Peggy Promenschenkel are the owners of one of the premier biker bars in the Midwest, Poopy’s Pub N’ Grub in Savannah, Illinois.  Poopy’s is the brainchild of Kevin Promenschenkel. Memorial Day weekend marks the official kickoff of the summer and biker community season at Poopy’s. Despite Gov. Pritzker’s draconian COVID shutdowns.

Around 4,000 people show up at Poopys on Memorial Day. Each on is there to celebrate the freedom of living in America. While giving thanks to the brave troops who paid the ultimate price to keep America, America. Don’t tell them Poopy’s is not essential.

Live music, good food, and drinks are, of course, part of that celebration.  In 2020 that celebration almost did not happen. Kevin Promenschenkel stepping up to fight COVID restriction and becoming an American hero.  At least in Savannah.

Promenschenkel was, and is, fighting for protecting American’s right to free assembly. Including a tradition of giving thanks through celebrating what makes us free.

Poopy's, Shutdowns, Covid, Illinois, Pritzker

In early 2020 Kevin Promenschenkel was served with a cease and desist order just before Memorial Day.

Illinois COVID cops learned patrons continued to eat and drink at his pub in violation of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s non-essential business shutdowns and stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illinois bar owner responded by hiring St. Louis lawyer Tom DeVore to file a lawsuit against Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker’s shutdowns. Pritzker’s executive order, he was effectively shuttering Promenschenkel business as nonessential as designated in March 2020.

Much the same as we have in previous years, a mix of bikers and Poopy’s supporters, including myself and the Mrs., went to Poopy’s last year to celebrate Memorial Day. All in violation of the Governor’s feckless overreach stay-at-home order.

There were no COVID surges, outbreaks, or spikes after the event even though people like the CDC and Dr. Fauci would have labeled us in as a super-spreader  “HOT SPOT”.

It was, indeed, a “hot spot” though as the live band played a cover of the Beastie Boys hit song, “You Gotta Fight, For Your Right, To Party”!

The song became the unofficial theme song of Poopy patrons!

About the attempted Shutdowns of last year, Kevin Promenschenkel said,

“I don’t expect anything bad to come out of it.  Many people support us. I think if something bad happened to us, the uprising would be pretty huge.”

Promenschenkel ‘s St. Louis lawyer Tom DeVore became “The Man” for many Illinois small businesses in the southern and western parts of the states. (Meet the Bond County lawyer who’s fighting Pritzker’s coronavirus orders)

He aided them in objecting to the business-killing stay-at-home rules.  Devore filing some 100 lawsuits on behalf of small businesses deemed by unknown government officials as “non-essentials”.

DeVore also wrote letters to many local authorities telling them local businesses intended to reopen despite the stay-at-home order. Furthermore, the state was to cease and desist at any attempt to close them.

Governor Pritzker, sensing he was losing the battle, responded,

“I would just suggest to all of them that they are putting the patrons of their businesses and the people who live in their counties or in their cities in danger when they simply break the rules, break the law in fact, and they decide that they want to go it alone.”

Pritzker then announced that restaurants across Illinois would be allowed to open for customers on May 28.

Illinois is moving to Phase 3 of the 5 phase reopening plan for Illinois.

Phase 3 loosened some restrictions by allowing outdoor dining as long as restaurants remain in compliance with Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines on social distancing of 6 feet apart.

Kevin Promenschenkel had put in place a reopening plan for Poopy’s several weeks prior.  The Governor mimicked Promenschenkel’s plan in his reopening announcement. When questioned about it, Governor Pritzker said his plan was intended to keep the people of Illinois safe and had nothing to do with mounting litigation against him.

“I have been listening all along because I want to do the right thing,” said Pritzker. “The most important thing is that we got to make sure the epidemiologists and the experts feel that we can execute this in a way that keeps people safe. That’s the number one consideration,” he concluded.

Promenschenkel heard Pritzker’s presser and said,

“It’s common sense. I’m happy that he allowed it.  So, we’re opening up this weekend, and we’re going to do social distancing. But we’ll be open.” 

Promenschenkel said he was opening Memorial Day as his lawsuit against the Governor remained in place.  Promenschenkel saying.

“Obviously, we want to be fully open. So, we’re still pursuing it.”

Kevin and Peggy Promenschenkel felt if they were not able to reopen for this annual Memorial Day concert and summer kickoff, the business would not survive.

Like so many other life-long residents of Illinois, the Promenschenkel’s have wanted to leave for another state and start over. 

In 2016 the Promenschenkel’s put Poopy’s up for sale at around 5 million dollars. The plan to move to Florida and start a new venture. But the asking price and issues of running such a major operation seemed a little too daunting for most people.

The business has grown a bunch in the last 25 years as the owners added new buildings and features. One unique offering is the “reverse pool bar” where the bikini-clad bartenders serve you from water as you lounge poolside.

So why do people in Illinois hate the leadership enough to leave? 

In the case of Governor Jay Robert Pritzker he has capitalized on the COVID pandemic as;

  • He owns a company that makes the COVID-19 tests. (
  • He owns another company that does the testing. (
  • He owns a third company that does the billing of the doctors that do the testing. (
  • He owns a fourth company that does the digital messaging about COVID test results to patients.  (

The Pritzker family owns the Hyatt Hotel chain which is not related to the above but does explain how they came to their billionaire status.

Visiting Poopy’s on Memorial Day once again 

This Memorial Day, Karen and I rode our new Harley for yet another celebration at Poopy’s.

I sat and enjoyed my cold beer with clam strips and pondered two things,

“I wonder how many people here remember why we are here today?  I wonder how many people here know the lengths Kevin went to for us to be here last year on Memorial Day?” 

It seems, to me, important moments in history are all too soon forgotten these days.

Poopy's, Shutdowns, Illinois, Pritzker

Image captured by the writer, Mark Schwendau

About the name Poopy’s Pub n’ Grub  

Kevin once told me how the name came about.  As a kid, he was on a baseball team.  He had a bird poop on his head before a game and then another bird hit him on the head during the game.  Thereafter his nickname was Poopy.

Kids can be cruel.  I am sure Kevin and Peggy are the ones laughing now.  I first met Kevin in 2008.  I said to him,

“It is an honor to meet you, sir.  My parents raised me to be polite so do I call you Mr. Poopy, or Big Poop or what?”

He laughed out loud and then told me his real name and story.

You can visit Kevin and Peggy online.


Read more from Mark Schwendau

About the author:

Mark Schwendau is a Christian conservative patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development) who prides himself on his critical thinking ability.  Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “- bringing little known facts to people who simply want to know the truth.”

Mark is on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting.  His website is I Draw I Write.

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Mark Schwendau