Pontoon Beach IL, Smokey Joe’s has a long history in Madison County and is believed to have been a family residence when built in the early 1940’s. Then the Village of Pontoon Beach was known as Silver City a community of club houses and residents located along Long and Horseshoe Lakes. The structure at some point was converted from a house to a bar called Zamarioni’s. Zamarioni’s thrived for years as the local watering hole and a weigh station for weary travelers along Hwy 111.
Zamarioni’s was sold in the 1970’s and with the new owners the name was changed to Ray’s and then Ray & Joe’s. This lasted a short time until it was purchased by a Granite City firefighter who later became Fire Chief, Joe of Ray & Joe’s. The name was changed to Smokey Joe’s as it still remains today. In the late 1970’s the tavern was sold again to a group of partners who added the sports bar atmosphere to the tavern. With the new ownership came the occasional barbecues, fish fries, and weekend turkey shoots. Over the years the group of partners dwindled to a sole owner who remained until his passing in 2004.
After his passing Smokey Joe’s remained open but was in limbo until May of 2005 when it was purchased by the current owner. Over the years the Smokey Joe’s name has become an institution in area and remains one today. The Riverfront Times named Smokey Joe’s the best bar on the East Side back in 2007, and we just keep getting better. Known for its neighborly or local atmosphere, ice cold beer, community events, and of course Football Sundays. You’ll find a mix of seasoned regulars and twenty-somethings making the rounds any day or night of the week. Come watch the games on our many TVs or challenge someone to a game of shuffleboard, on our free table, and try our selection of bottle and draft beers (13 beers on tap), at outstanding prices. At Smokey Joe’s, by the way we have the best customers in the world, the beer keeps getting colder and the laughs keep getting louder. So, if you are in the area, whether you live here, you are staying at a nearby hotel, or just passing thru, stop in for a drink and join our family!