This week, I took my kids to AJ Bombers for the first time and they were absolutely enthralled by the free peanuts and how it was customary to toss the shells on the floor.
There are thousands of peanut shells on the floor at Bombers, so when you walk around, it makes a delightful crunching sound.
My kids were dramatic with their shell tossing. At one point I had to remind them that shells were not confetti and they could not be thrown in the air. After that, they mastered a system that involved eating peanuts until they had a pile of shells, and then casting them by the handful onto the ground, always with big smiles and at times with sound effects.
This experience reminded me of being a kid and going to the Ground Round on Port Washington Road. I wondered what happened to the Ground Round, and so I did a little research.
Turns out, the chain still exists – there are 30 locations in 13 states – but there were more than 300 locations in the '80s. At that time, the Ground Round was known for playing silent movies, having a mascot named Bingo the Clown, a pay-what-you-weigh night and, of course, the peanut-shelled floors.
Today, the remaining Ground Rounds have a slightly more upscale atmosphere and are not as kid-focused. They no longer serve free peanuts.
Does this mean Bombers is one of the only eateries in the country that encourages shell tossing? Of course, people discard shells on the ground at stadiums, but what about restaurants?
In an age when so many parents are teaching kids not to litter and stressing the importance of recycling, the act of throwing shells on the ground is particularly refreshing – even freeing – for kids from the usual rules. I'm all for it.
As long as it's clear that the behavior starts and ends at Bombers.
The former Gay bar, THE WRECK ROOM, building in the Third Ward that recently had a fire (and currently MATC"S studient union) always had plates of peanuts. Of course, there were shells every where on the floor. One night i arrived at the bar shortly before closing and 3 guys grabbed me and took off my clothes! There i was laying on peanut shells stark naked. Will never forget that!
Texas Roadhouse gives you the little tins for peanuts, but plenty throw them on the ground, it's perfectly fine. Five Guys also lets you do it.
There are plenty of bars that have peanuts on the floor; they say the peanut oil is good for hardwood floors.
Loved the Ground Round. Used to go to the one in Brown Deer as a kid. Pay-what-you-weigh was always a good time. When I was "of age", I was going to the one on Hwy 100 and Bluemound, where Mo's Irish now sits. Their reverse happy hour from 10pm-close was even more fun than pay-what-you-weigh was as a 8 year old.
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published Sept. 23, 2014
10 years in the making, "Hamlet ADD" will debut at the Milwaukee Film Festival. The feature-length film - created by Milwaukee's Andrew Swant and Bobby Ciraldo of "What What (In the Butt)" fame - includes many Milwaukee locations and people, including Mark Borchardt from "American Movie," Dustin "Screech" Diamond and Mark Metcalf from "Seinfeld."
Published Sept. 21, 2014
The ditching of commercial shampoo has become popular enough to gain the moniker "no poo." Could you do it? We found Milwaukeeans who did and and others who simply cannot.
Published Sept. 20, 2014
Sixteen years ago, Marina Lee sculpted and painted a group of whimsical public art "creatures" for Cass Street Park, 1647 N. Cass St. Lee is currently repainting five of the colorful animal hybrids.
Published Sept. 20, 2014
This summer, Gary Johnson celebrated two decades of owning his pet and pet supply store, Gary's Pet Jungle, 2857 S. Howell Ave. During that, says Johnson, "I've been bitten way less by gerbils than hamsters."
Published Sept. 19, 2014
Milwaukee Blacksmith is a finalist for The 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Now's the time to vote for this local, family-owned company.
Published Sept. 19, 2014
The Uptowner - aka "home of the beautiful people" - turns 130 this month and will celebrate with a free bash on Saturday, Sept. 20. Recently, we spent a Thursday afternoon listening to owner Steve Johnson's stories - as well as his wife Shawnette Smart's myriad tales. Some of the yarns were funny, some sad, some unfit to print, but all of them were told with the heart and wit that explain why the Uptowner has been frequented by so many people - from the uber glamorous to the down-and-out.
Published Sept. 18, 2014
Shorewood hosts its second Plein Air Festival through Saturday, Sept. 20. The event features more than 60 artists painting outdoors throughout the village.
Published Sept. 17, 2014
After less than a year in business, Dan Fitzgibbons was asked to close The Curve by mid-October.
Published Sept. 14, 2014
Dear Kate is a relatively new line of undergarments with a built-in lining made to protect like a panty liner. OnMilwaukee.com recently took a pair on a test drive to Period Town.
Published Sept. 13, 2014
District 14, located next door to Cafe Lulu, will have a soft opening tonight, starting at 7 p.m. OnMilwaukee.com stopped by three hours early to get a sneak peek.