Reader Guide: Kraig on Ottawa, IL
My name: Kraig
My age: 29
My profession: Shipping Superisor/Petsmart Distribution Center
City/town: Ottawa, IL
Relationship status: Single
Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out there (or isn't there one)?
There is a park recreation area down by the river on the other side of the main bridge. It has a view of the town and the river. Its nice actually at night with the city lit up. I would not recommend making out in public because there is small town minds in Ottawa. Some may frown and others don't care.
What's the nearest city to "let loose" in, and on what occasion do you go there?
Bloomington, IL. There are a couple gay bars featured there and I usually let loose on the weekends down there on no special occasion.
How "out" are you where you live?
Other than bars or clubs, where to people cruise in your town? Or don't they?
Usually on weekends people cruise down main street doing the "drive by".
Are there enough guys to date in your town? Where do you meet men?
NOT AT ALL. It is pretty much slim to no choices here in Ottawa.
If you had the money to open up a gay business or establishment in your town, what would it be, and why?
Well the funny thing is we had one open here not long ago and it was shot down in a heart beat. I think mostly because guys (even straight) were afraid to go in there due to being seen or rumors starting. I've been in there a few times when it lasted but nothing like you would see in the bigger cities.
When you think of meeting and falling in love with "the one," do you envision the two of you settling down where you currently live? Or does that fantasy involve another town?
If I was to meet the one I would not want to settle here. I think mostly down in St. Augustine FL. Here in Ottawa there really isn't that much to offer for the gay life.
What do you consider the "most romantic" part of where you live? Why?
Not really here in Ottawa but Starved Rock Lodge in Utica would be a nice romantic get away for a gay couple. It features log cabins, hiking trails, out door activities and is a perfect spot for the gays to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
If you could be Mayor of your town for one day, what would be the very first thing you'd want to accomplish or do?
Well a funny tid bit but the Mayor of Ottawa is actually gay! I'm not sure what the first thing I would do if I was mayor. I think the one we have now is doing a fine job. He's even visited the gay bar we had open!
If you could move, would you? If so, where would you want to move, and why?
I'm a very laid back guy and have always loved the beach life. I would move to St. Augustine FL. I love the atmosphere there and the people are great. I also have family there and its a nice vacation spot.
Do gay men and lesbians hang out together in your town or is that just unheard of?
The ones that I do know, yes we hang out all the time. I think it brings us closer together because of the town being so small. We have our own little "gay community". Its nice.
Has your town ever had a "gay scandal?" If so, describe it -- but don't use names!
Nothing major. It would be the typical "I've found out that so and so is gay!!" kinda scandals.
Do you have a hometown crush? If so, describe.
Yes and we hang out all the time. I've known him for a long time. He is country, drives a big truck and has that all american look. I find that attractive. I'm not a fan of the "pretty boy" type.
What are some of the things you love most about your town?
The unique restaurants, shops.
What are some great restaurants for a romantic gay date?
Row House Cafe, Annie's Hideaway.
What was the last vacation you took? Where did you go? Where do you most want to go?
I went to Port Lucaya in the Bahamas which was great!. My dream vacation which I am looking forward to is Rome, Italy.
What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs? I am a fan of Side Tracs in Chicago, IL.
What is the gay community like there? Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene?"
The gay community here is low key. Its more or less seek out the gays. I'm not part of any scene. I'm a very straight acting gay guy so I fit in well with the straight community here.
If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "must-dos" you'd recommend?
Dinner and Martinis at the Row House Cafe. Going to J.J's pub to socialize and drink. Take a drive to Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL and hike or enjoy the scenery.
Where do the hot boys in your town tend to hang out?
J.J's Pub hands down! Very attractive!
What bar has the cutest/hottest bartenders?
I would say The Shark Bar in Bloomington, IL. and Side Tracs in Chicago, IL.
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