Last summer we moved to a tiny town in Illinois. Population 1000. As you can imagine there are not too many attractions in my town so I do a lot of exploring in nearby areas. One day I drove past this diner with a train railcar sitting literally RIGHT off the road. There is a sidewalk separating the edge of this rail car and the street. I HAD to know more about this little diner and WOW was I in for a treat! You HAVE to be sitting down to hear this story.
The Bull Moose Bar & Grille in Sandwich, Illinois has a surprising presidential history behind it. Sandwich – a funny name for a town isn’t it? Population 7358. And nestled right in this little town sits the railcar once commissioned for the president of the United States. It was used by President Teddy Roosevelt from 1900-1913. This beautiful railcar lined with mahogany wood and stained glass windows was affectionately named Isabella. As President Roosevelt was giving a speech one day an assassination attempt was made on his life and he was shot. Shot right in the chest!
Despite a bullet lodged in his chest Teddy Roosevelt finished his speech before heading to the hospital. At the hospital he declared “I am tough as a bull moose! I will continue this campaign.”. And this is how the Bull Moose Bar & Grille got it’s name! This gives me chills every time! What an INCREDIBLE story! You can read the full history here.
The Isabella eventually was retired and sold at a government auction in 1931 to Henry Tattersol for just $75! He had dreamed of opening a diner using the train car No. 4438 so he had it moved to Sandwich, Illinois right on Route 34 and it’s been sitting there ever since!
After finding out all of this history I was determined to visit the Bull Moose Bar & Grille as soon as possible regardless of what the food tasted like. I just wanted to sit in the same rail car as Teddy Roosevelt. But HOLY SMOKES – their food is AMAZING! I’m salivating just thinking of it! I’d eat here every week if I could! If you’re ever anywhere near Sandwich, Illinois this is an absolutely MUST GO restaurant!!! Not only will you be dining in history but you’ll have a fabulous meal to go with it.
You can find the Bull Moose Bar & Grille at: 202 SOUTH MAIN STREET, SANDWICH, IL