Tales from the Trails Blog

Folkies Tavern

November 5, 2014 - General -

In 1942 Bernard Folk built a sturdy little building near the river in Marion, Indian. The upper level of the building contained three apartments and a barber shop.

The first level housed the new Folkies Tavern. The cozy little pub provided drinks and sandwiches to the downtown businessmen. Attorneys, shop owners, and factory workers gathered to discuss the news of the war raging across the Pacific.

Today the sturdy little building still stands near the river in Marion. The Barbers pole still hangs on the front corner, and Folkies Tavern is still a cozy little pub providing drinks and sandwiches to the downtown businessmen, and womenJ. Step inside Folkies today and you will find attorneys, shop owners, and construction workers gathered around the bar discussing world news and local events.

Steve Schrader, the current owner of Folkies, is proud of role Folkies plays in the community. A downtown bar and grill is more than a place to eat and drink. It is a place for people to come together. And Folkies has been the meeting place for a long time. Many businesses have come and gone over the past 65 years, but Folkies has remained. It is one of the few constants in the downtown business district.

Though Folkies is a constant, some things about the operation have changed with the times. The original menu of pub grub (sandwiches and fried food) has expanded to include salads and daily meal specials. The patio is a popular option on summer evenings. Steaks and burgers are sometimes prepared on the outdoor grill.

Folkies Crab Races are the most popular entertainment option in town on Wednesday evenings. The weekly races are held on a large round board. Several tables are pushed together, and patrons gather round to root on the tiny contenders. Race fans purchase crabs for $1 each and win a prize if their crab wins. When the bell sounds, the lid containing the crabs is lifted and they race from the center of the board to a ring near the edge. The first crab to get two claws over the line wins! Some weeks the crabs face the obstacles of the Space Crab course maneuvering around holes representing craters. The train track course is even more treacherous with a mini locomotive running round the track that the crabs must cross to win. Everyone is a winner at Folkies Crab Races as proceeds from the event benefits local charities.

Folkies is definitely more than a place to eat and drink. It is a downtown landmark that continues to bring people together.

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