Check out the growing wall of framed photographs that pays tribute to the country's heroes at this Kelleys Island restaurant.
A living organism is how G Hemminger describes the Wall of Honor on the north side of the bar at Peeper’s on Kelleys Island. It started with a few framed photographs and American pride.
“My husband, Jason, and I have always shared a passion for America, down-home roots and small towns,” Hemminger says.
The Wall of Honor celebrates patriots of yesterday and today who serve the country. It’s all about “people who are the roots of the U.S.,” Hemminger says.
The first photographs were of the Hemmingers’ fathers and grandfathers. The wall piqued interest, and now there are about a dozen photographs on display. “Our goal is in 20 years to have every ounce of our walls plastered,” she says.
Peeper’s is the only island spot to Hemminger’s knowledge that offers a 10% military discount.
The couple bought Peeper’s, formerly Bag the Moon, four years ago and established a smoked meats and signature cocktails concept.
“We use woodland lump charcoal, which means we have to man our smoker,” Hemminger describes. The Lolli Pops, which are five smoked chicken drumsticks, are a top pick. Peeper’s also is known for its brisket, which is served up as a Burnt Ends meal glazed in house barbecue au jus or as a sandwich with creative combinations like a brisket philly. Americana sides include smokey beans, tater tots and cornbread.
But, don’t ask for fish. Or, if you do, accept Hemminger’s and the staff’s recommendations for other island spots. “We try to never do what anyone else is doing,” she says, adding that supporting other small businesses is also a passion.
“We love the diversity of Kelleys — if you want to go barhopping or camping, fishing, hunting or just take your dog for a walk, you can do that,” Hemminger says. “We have something for everyone.”
The Hemmingers encourage anyone to send in photographs for the wall. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via the restaurant’s Facebook page. Hard copies can be mailed to Peeper’s, Kelleys Island.