September 2021 Spotlight
Serving Patrons for over 70 years!
Canton Main Street is pleased to announce Billy’s Tap as the September Spotlight of the Month! Billy’s Tap is located at 172 East Elm Street, and has been serving patrons for over 70 years!
The original Billy’s Tap was named after its first owner, Billy Brotz. It was located on Chestnut Street, and served for years as a local watering hole. In 1948, Claredine Carruthers, and a partner, Matt Sepich purchased the bar. Claredine moved it to its current location at 172 East Elm Street in the 1970s and it has remained in the family ever since. After Clarendine, his son and his wife, Beau and Diane Carruthers, ran the operation. Early on, it catered mostly to International Harvester employees, but eventually a tiny kitchen was added in 2008 and the bar began offering food items, as well as beer, wine and spirits.
Ashley Harper, Claredine’s granddaughter, now operates the business with her husband, BJ. Over the past twenty years, her vision for the establishment, and her background in marketing and design, has created a warm, eclectic interior that includes a bar that runs nearly the length of the building. She has added a beer garden to the east side, created a stylish exterior, and expanded the kitchen to accommodate a varied menu and their signature burgers. Most recently, she has overseen the construction of a 2,400 sq. ft. event space addition to the property, appropriately named “Bash,” to host private parties, gatherings and meetings. The space can be configured to a customer’s needs, and local caterers can provide food service for the events. The dream of hosting larger gatherings has been in the works for over two years, says Harper, with her husband pitching in to complete a majority of the work.
Harper is excited about the expansion of the business, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a different way. They currently host the CF Red Dog Pre-Party celebration, and support Big Brothers/Big Sisters, among other contributions to give back. The community, Harper says, has responded in amazing fashion, especially over the last 18 months during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I cannot say enough about our community,” says Harper, “We, along with so many businesses, struggled to get through 2020. Our community [and our customers were}] extremely supportive, along with Canton Main Street and the Chamber. We could turn to both organizations for answers and support. We here at Billy’s appreciate all your hard work and support.”
172 East Elm Street
Canton, IL 61520
For information, or to inquire about event space: (309) 647-9639
Opens 11:00am, Monday – Sunday.
Monday – Saturday 11:00am – 2:00pm
Wednesday – Thursday 5:00pm – 8:00pm (Special Limited Menu)