The Epic Story of GoodTime Docs

GOODTIME DOCS opened in the month of October, 1985. The bar was named after my father “Doc Springer” who died shortly before it opened. That is his caracature in one of my Logos. At that time it was known as “Goodtime Doc’s Bar & Grill” “Jacksonville’s ..1 Sports Bar”. We were open 7 days a week 11 am till 1 am. We served lunch and focused mostly on sports and food.

At that time, there was no dance floor. We eventually added Breakfast and Dinner and pizza. We were definately known for our huge burgers, horseshoes, and homemade soups. We sponsored approximately 9 sports teams and Tuesdays back then are like the weekends are now. Our mens and womens softball teams both went to state more than once, and our dart and pool teams went to Vegas more than once.

Back in those days “Happy Hour” was legal in Illinois and Wednesday through Friday we had free food buffets, 50 cent drafts, $1 B.O.B.S.(Big Old Beers)(thanks Kevin Travis), and DOUBLE BOUBLES. There would be a line to get in at 5 pm on Fridays! WOW, times do change. **UPDATE** JULY 15TH, 2015, HAPPY HOUR LAW HAS BEEN APPEALED** It was around 1987 when we put in the first of the 3 dance floors. It was where the pool tables are now and the “whole” DJ booth fit where the landing is heading up to the balcony.

I think in 1989 I remodeled the 3rd floor (which is above the ceiling that you see now. There was a whole other bar (and still is) and a HUGE dance floor that had a huge banner (the one that is on the south wall) that raised up into the ceiling and dissappeared out of site! Pretty cool. The door to go upstairs is behind where the dart machine is now. 27 steps straight up!! Going up sucked, but coming down was a blast. People used to slide down on their stomachs. There would be a line to go up there starting around 8 pm (the upstairs opened at 9) and it would wind all the way around the bar to the girls restroom. Back then I had 2 sets of identical twins, guys and girls. One of each worked up and down. Imagine what the drunks thought that had never been there before! HILARIOUS! I also opened a comedy club up there on Fridays, and that lasted about a year.

I sold out in ’91. It went through a couple of name changes over the next two years, the new owners defaulted on the loan, and I got it back in ’93. Two years to the day. I reopened under the name “Springers” so everyone would know it was me, and also because I “sold” the name, and wasn’t quite sure if I could use it again. In 2000 I changed the name back to “GoodTime Docs” and the funny thing is 15 out of the almost 32 years that I’ve been open, the bar has been named “GoodTime docs”. Not one employee that works for me has “ever” worked at “Springers”, 50% of my crowd were not even 21 yet when the bar was named “Springers” and the majority of my customers have never even walked into the bar that was called “Springers”, YET the majority of people and employees still call it “Springers”! haha

2017….times have been tough over the last 2 years and most of the bars in Jacksonville have lost 70% of their business and GoodTime Docs has been hit extremely hard so I had some difficult decisions to make,  make payments and pay bills and face bankruptcy or pour what money I had left into a remodel and build a gaming parlor and face foreclosure.  I went with the latter and as of 05-10-17 I went into foreclosure.  I remodeled the bar, added a gaming parlor and increased my hours to over 100 per week with me working 80 of them.  Business has doubled and we will see how the foreclosure works out.  after 33 years, I’m not going down without a fight!

I hope you enjoy browsing through my site, looking back to the old days, and looking forward to the new ones. Here are some facts that you might think about as you look.  Please leave a comment if you’d like.

GoodTime Docs has employed over 500 people

Nearly 1,000,000 people have been served

Over 7000 1/2 barrels of beer +

Over 50,000 cases +

Over 1,500,00 Bottles +

Over 700,000 Cocktails have been served!!

Over 45,000 lbs. of hamburger was used

Over 4,000,000 cocktail napkins were used

Over 700 people have “thrown up” in the bar

The toilets have been flushed over 2,000,000 times

Over 800,000 hangovers were created

And 1 woman broke water and went into labor 4 feet inside the front door.