The summer of 2015 was a summer of change…not only in my life, but in my city. The sound of community, hope, and promising opportunity rang throughout Downtown Danville through events like Summer Sounds and Culture Shock. Home base (for myself, many of the bands, volunteers, and patrons who attend events like these) is a little place tucked into the alley – Fatman’s Warehouse. Fatman’s serves as a favorite spot for music, fun, great people, and is owned and ran by Vermilion County native – Heather Pierce.
Heather grew up and has lived in the same five mile radius her entire life. While she was involved in several things including dance and baton twirling, she describes her childhood as “amazing.” In 1999, Heather ran for Miss Georgetown Fair and won. “Winning was a huge shocker!” She had done other pageants in the past, but never placed – although, not surprisingly, she did snag the Miss Congeniality title a few times. That year was “a good year” for Heather and it opened up many doors and opportunities for her to get involved in her community. After turning 21, she began to bartend at The Friendly and wait tables at Garfields. She made some great friends including her husband who had a “bad ass motorcycle” that caught her eye. Garrett and Heather were married after not even a year of dating and Heather left the bar scene to have their son – Tucker. After Tucker turned two, Heather decided it was time to go back to work to obtain the skills it would take for her to own her own bar someday. So she went to the Halfway and worked there for 6 years soaking up as much information as possible.
After taking another short break to have her daughter, Jett, Heather and Garrett finally got the opportunity to purchase Fatman’s and run a bar doing it their way. “I never wanted to buy Fatman’s because it’s never going to be big enough for a dance floor!” But time and her patrons have proven that theory to be wrong. From several bands, to karaoke, to trivia night – Fatman’s is the perfect spot to have a party. The Villens even filmed their first music video there! During the summer months, Fatman’s hosts bands outside in the alley. With stringed lights hung from building to building, the booze flowing, and the incredible artists who surround the place, the atmosphere is unlike anywhere else in the area.
On top of being the bar owner, Heather is also on the board for Downtown Danville, Inc. She has really enjoyed getting more involved in Downtown Danville and educating herself more on what goes on. She likes that she is part of bringing a new generation and a young, fun flair to the area. “Owning a bar that is in the thick of things is great – but being on the board gives me a voice.” Heather is also involved with the David S. Palmer Arena, dances two nights a week at Roselawn, and dabbles in community theatre. She did The Rocky Horror Show with me last October. In her down time, Heather likes to ride her motorcycle, do several activities with her kids, skate at Illini Skateland, read, and “ride around with my hair in the wind” in her Jeep.
“Garrett and I’s personalities and reasoning are completely different, but that is why we make such a great team. Everything we do is the both of us.” With all of their involvements, their kids have began to catch on. Tucker, who is now 13, has gotten involved in Rock Camp, music and theatre. Jett dances at Roselawn. Heather is also very thankful for her extended family – her bartenders. “I am just so proud of Fatman’s and of the fact that no matter who you are, you are welcome. My bartenders are the best ones around – they see my vision. That is why Fatman’s is the way it is. I hope 20 years from now whoever owns this bar is having as much fun as I am.”
Go and visit Heather and the gang here for more info on upcoming events.
- Every Monday night is Trivia Night.
- Every Wednesday/Saturday is Karaoke.
- This summer there will be a band every Friday night.
- Live Band Karaoke is the first Wednesday of every month.
Peace & Love,
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