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Kaneland Connection: Elburn’s little sports bar has big opening day plans

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:02 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 2:06 p.m. CST

ELBURN – Elburn’s little sports bar – one named for the shortest player in Major League Baseball history – has some big plans to celebrate the first full day of baseball.

Eddie Gaedel Pub and Grill, located at 117 N. Main St. in Elburn, has planned its opening day celebration, starting at 11 a.m. Monday. The event includes a ribbon-cutting at noon, raffles and a silent auction to benefit local and national organizations, and ballpark-themed food.

Annette Theobald, one of the owners of the restaurant, said the establishment opened in May 2013. There hadn’t been a proper grand opening, and – as improvements and upgrades were made – the weather turned cold, and she said thoughts turned to a celebration of the first big day of baseball. With early weather forecasts suggesting temperatures in the 60s for that day, there is hope for a grand party, with benches set up outside to accommodate bigger crowds than normal.

Theobald and her husband, Dick, also own Paisano’s Pizza and Grill, which is a long-established carryout eatery across the street from Gaedel’s. And Gaedel’s does allow a sit-down experience, but the space is small – with seating for only 42. That’s why it’s named for Gaedel, a player shorter than 4 feet tall, who was signed to play for the St. Louis Browns in 1951 as a publicity stunt.

“Because it’s a small sports bar, and we wanted a term that meant short or small in a kind of sporting term, my husband remembered Eddie Gaedel,” Annette Theobald said. But she said bigger crowds are welcome and expected on Monday, and she hopes as many as 400 people visit during the celebration hours, which will go from 11 a.m. to midnight.

She said there will be raffle items, including tickets to White Sox or Kane County Cougars games, Kaneland apparel, and Eddie Gaedel items. There will be a silent auction to benefit the National Kidney Foundation and the P.E.A.K. Foundation, which stands for promoting enrichment and kindness. The P.E.A.K. Foundation sponsors the Kindness Campaign.

Those interested can visit www.facebook.com/EddieGaedelPubAndGrill for more details or to RSVP.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at alagattolla@shawmedia.com.

If you go

The Eddie Gaedel Pub and Grill opening day celebration is set to start at 11 a.m. Monday at 117 N. Main St., Elburn. A ribbon-cutting event is set for noon.

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