It was the mid 1960s when Dennis Calufetti, a Panama, IL native stepped foot into Midland Inn for the first time. In those days, Midland was a tiny roadside tavern serving drinks to Southern Illinois natives and college students alike. What drew Calufetti to the bar? Bumper pool. “He loved it. Dennis’ parents owned a tavern with bumper pool and it made him feel like home. It just drew him in more,” Dave Blankenship, one of Midland’s talented bartenders and managers recalls.
Fast forward to 1967 and Calufetti was able to purchase Midland and make it his own. As the years passed and county laws changed, Calufetti knew there was more to Midland than just beer. “In the late 80’s we started serving up our homemade BBQ. People loved it and the rest is kind of history,” Blakenship said. The 1990s saw an influx in business and a new chef, who specialized in Nuevo Californian cuisine, brought Mexican flavors to Midland. “It took off. We have the best Mexican food in town, people love it, and they love our lizard (logo).”
So what’s next for Midland Inn? “We want to keep on serving our loyal customers, their friends and family, and any folks that come our way. We love making people happy with the food we serve and hope to continue on with the Calufetti tradition.”
“Midland Inn is the kind of place you take your family, friends and neighbors to. There’s something for everyone. We come at least once a week and order something from their smokehouse!”
“There’s something about the Midland Inn atmosphere that I love. There’s no other place to play bumper pool while enjoying a good burger with a humongous margarita!”
“Denny is the nicest guy! My wife and I love coming into Midland at the end of a long week. Even during their rush hour, it’s a relaxing place to enjoy a meal.”
“I’m not from Southern Illinois, but every time I come to visit, I always have a meal at Midland Inn.”