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Recent entries

Kevin Hahn

Food Plotting

Moonburgers and Fried Bologna – Moonshine, IL

Mon, August 05, 2013

I grew up in SE Illinois and many of my family and relatives still reside in the area.  The familiarity with the area and the comfort and pleasure I have while interacting with the locals in this part of the state played a key role in my decision to purchase our hunting farm there.  This area of the state also has some very good deer hunting as well, but many people seem to prefer to keep their hunting successes locally private in this area of the state.  A couple weeks ago I decided to make the 20+ minute drive from our farm to the Moonshine store in the small town of Moonshine, IL which is located in Clark County.  It’s one of the best places to get a sandwich in the area. 

Moonshine, IL—population 2, only residents are Roy and Helen Tuttle. They live above the store/restaurant (circa 1912) which is the only building in Moonshine—not counting the garage and the outhouse.

The menu is very simple with the feature items for “dinner” being hamburgers, cheeseburgers, the famous Moonburger, and fried bologna which are served daily M-Sat. from 10:00a - 12:30p.  At 12:30p sharp, the grill is turned off.  After 12:30p, I am told your only option is a cold cut sandwich if you make into the store before they lock the doors.

My first visits to the Moonshine store was when I was a young boy as I rode along with my dad on his sales route which took him to many of the small country stores in the area and included stops at Moonshine, Bellaire and Haugetown (pronounced Hog-town).  I have vague memories of visiting these small country stores with my dad and now these small country stores are a thing of the past or all have been boarded up with the exception of the one that still remains in Moonshine, IL.  Though the outside front of the Moonshine country store is covered with modern pole barn style steel siding, when one opens the door and goes inside it is like stepping back in time 50 plus years.

The store still has much of what appears to be its original décor with its fixtures, glass display cases and stamped steel ceiling tiles.  When the weather is nice, most will dine at picnic tables outside the store.  However, my favorite time to go to the Moonshine store is during the winter months for there is no dinning outside and the interior atmosphere of the store as well as the sincere country hospitality of Helen, the store workers, and many locals that you will dine with on church pew benches inside the store is what makes eating a Moonburger or fried bologna extra special.

For more insight into the Moonshine store, check out Bill Geist’s CBS video story about Moonshine, IL which aired on CBS’s Sunday Morning program back in 1997.  Not much has changed from 1997 as far as I can tell.

For more information and pictures of Moonshine store, visit the Moonshine store facebook page

One last thing
If this article has sparked your interest in going to the Moonshine store, I have a few suggestions.  The best way to get to there is to type Moonshine, IL into your GPS device and let it lead you there for there aren’t many road signs pointing the direction. Trust your GPS as you wind around and zigzag on the roads which will take you through the country side.  Allow plenty of time to arrive in advance of 12:30 for if you arrive any later, you will be eating cold bologna instead of the famous Moonburger or fried bologna.  One last detail, take cash for to my knowledge, checks and credit cards are not accepted.

Coming from the west, I am only aware of one sign pointing the direction to Moonshine.  This particular sign at the intersection of Rt 49, is about 15 feet up the telephone pool.  I assume it was placed at that height to prevent it being taken for a souvenir



Watched the youtube video - now thats a pretty cool place - city people don’t know what their missing!

Posted by BIGPOND on August 06

Grew up in Robinson for the first 24 years of my life. Used to go all the time with my Dad just about every Saturday as we hunted a farm close to there.  I try and make it out there at least once a year now when I do come home. One of the best burgers you will put in your mouth!

Posted by JWeaver on August 06

Kevin, I actually live about 6 miles southeast of Moonshine, and go there often. For all you other HO’ers, the atmosphere of Moonshine alone is enough, the burgers are just icing on the cake.  Another thing to mention, they go on the trust policy.  You order your food, go eat your meal, and can pay just before you leave. Just tell em what you had and they’ll ring it up.  There are more signs coming from the east, but most “non-locals” on here would be coming from the West. Thanks for posting this article, made my day a little better seeing “Moonburger” on the HO.com page!

Another tip, if you don’t like big crowds, avoid Fridays and Saturdays during the summer, as there are ALOT of motorcycle poker runs that have moonshine as a stop.  There are pictures on their Facebook page to give you an idea how Moonshine looks with 500 bikes there!

Posted by backwoodshntr on August 07

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