Drinking in Champaign

This page is an attempt to document in as complete a way possible the drinking culture in Champaign/Urbana Illinois. Although I can claim that I am going to be impartial and fair, that would of course be a lie. Obviously this page is more than a little bit based on my opinion. If you are annoyed or otherwise offended by something that I have written here, please let me know. Leave a comment, or email gin@ginandtacos.com. If I really think that I have been unfair I will do my best to correct the problem.

Of course, considering that I probably drink more than you, my opinion is no doubt right.

To understand drinking in these towns, you have to have a rudimentary knowledge of how this whole place is laid out. Basically, you have a huge big ten university located where the two towns meet. As you head out toward the eastern (Urbana) apogee, you will find a Solo cup factory. As you head west (Champaign) you run into a Kraft cheese factory. (I hear that they actually make non-dairy creamer- not cheese). The fact that this is pretty much all our town has in the way of industry creates a rather intriguing drinking dynamic. The university is basically set equidistant between the two factories. Naturally next to the university there are many of your typical campus type establishments. You probably know what I am talking about, a vast sea of bars that have a different name outside but is basically the same on the interior. As you head outward from the university in either direction, the bars begin getting seedy in a completely different way. Before too long you will find yourself in someplace more than willing to sell you Hamms in a can, and offering several types of cheap whiskey or gin, but the bartenders look at you angrily if you ask to mix it with anything. My preference is to find somewhere in between. Luckily, there is someplace specifically in between. Both Urbana and Champaign have a downtown area a couple miles from campus that provides a bit of a drinking oasis.

So here it is, no doubt one of the most complete bar inventories of the Champaign/Urbana metro area. I would like to preface this by saying that all of these photos were taken on one night. That night of course being March the 17th 2004 by one Mr. Tim Johnson Let it also be said that all bars pictured were also patronized that evening.


Champaign Bar Categories

|Bars you shouldn't bother with even for irony |Bars that are decent if you are really drunk |Campus bars that don't make you want to shoot yourself |The odd and random |Bars owned by Carlos Nieto |Bars you might find me patronizing |Downtown Champaign bars I don’t really go to |

The Bars

|Barfly |Boltini |The Brass Rail |It's Brothers |The Canopy Club |The Clybourne |C.O. Daniels |Cowboy Monkey |Crane Alley |The Embassy |The Esquire |Guido's |The Highdive |The Icehouse |The Iron Post |Kams |Jupiters |Legends |Mike and Molly’s |Murphy's |Nargile |The Office |The Office Two |The Phoenix |The Shamrock Tavern |The White Horse |


What's New:

6/17 I felt that it was time to seperate the reviews of The Iron Post and The Embassy. They still say basically the same things, but there is some updated information, and a little bit of discussion about how they are in fact different. Not much unfortunately, I still think they are mostly the same bar.

To start off with, I have done some editing based on comments I have gotten, and reviews that I did not think were that accurate to begin with.

I have also added a new bar category to cover some places that didn’t get reviewed in the first run.
|Downtown Champaign bars I don’t really go to |

and also another new review of The Phoenix

Finally, I have not written it into the reviews yet because I don’t really know what is going on, but I hear the musical masturbation known as “Writers in the round” has moved to Cowboy Monkey from the Iron Post. I will be sure to change this when I know specifically what is going on.


Bars you shouldn't bother with even for irony

These bars are generally located very close to the campus, and are frequented primarily by individuals under the age of 21. The total IQ of the bar on any given night with the place packed would unlikely break 1000.

* note, for most of these bars no pictures are present because:
1. I will not get near enough to them to take one
2. I would not want to subject you to the horrible imagery


Kams

Rating: there is no reason to bother rating this bar.

This is quite possibly the worst bar in all of Champaign. I am not kidding about this. Nevermind the fact that it frequently smells of urine and their floor is covered in some kind of filth that resembles tar and could only be the byproduct of never washing it (the only time I went there this mysterious substance got onto a pair of my pants and could not be removed by even the strongest industrial solvents), this bar has the audacity to frequently charge you upwards of 5 dollars to get in. I suppose if you are an 18 year old fratboy trying to find somewhere that the women are so incredibly stupid and intoxicated that you don't even need to bother with your ruffies then this is the place for you. Everyone else, stay away….really. Not only will you not enjoy yourself, but you will more than likely get your ass kicked for being a homosexual.
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C.O. Daniels


Rating: 0.5 suburban Dave Mathews Band Fans.

At this point I think it is appropriate to admit to the fact that the three authors of Ginandtacos.com used to about once a year go to this bar assuming it would be amusing for ironic reasons…or maybe just a good time, I can't remember. As a result of this fact I am justified in saying that this bar is not fun for any reason. The second time this occurred Ed was wearing a System of a Down t-shirt and silver vinyl trousers while I was sporting a Black Flag t-shirt and black vinyl pants. Although theoretically this should have added to our plan, it just seemed to fall flat. Generally this bar is a tad bit cleaner than Kam's, but is nearly as bad.
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It's Brothers

Rating: 3 suburban Dave Mathews Band fans

This establishment is nearly the archetype of the suburban DMB fan bar. If you can believe it, it is a chain bar. This actually describes the interior quite well. It is a lot like the bar that you would expect to find in an Applebee's except you know….without the Applebee's. There is really not much to say about a place this bland. To its credit, they do have $1.50 drafts of anything on tap on Tuesdays. This does not make up for its horrific character. What is more offensive is the fact that the location used to be home to a bar called Mable's which was, in the heyday of Hum and the Poster Children, arguably the best music venue in town. I hate this bar.
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The Clybourne

Rating: Two suburban DMB fans, and one Clay Aiken

This bar essentially has the same crowd as It's Brother's. The interior is really mostly the same neverminding the layout and the fact that this bar is a fair bit older. What makes this bar so offensive is the fact that it advertises itself as: "The class in Champaign." I wish I were joking about this but I am not. In fact when you purchase a pitcher of beer from them along with the plastic cups they give you a plastic pitcher with this slogan printed on it. Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this? On some night, I think monday or wednesday or something it is "Wine Night" at The Clybourne. This is the event where all the fraternities dress in their finest Abercrombie apparel and take their girlfriends to drink 5 dollar magnums of wine or champagne out of somewhat smaller plastic cups. This is really a frightening sight to behold….yet somehow oddly intriguing. I really could not go on long enough about all the things wrong with this bar.
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The Canopy Club

Rating: Two suburban DMB fans, and two flocks of exceptionally dirty hippies

I would like to say that this bar is simply a gathering place for exceptionally dirty hippies, which it is. However there are even greater depths to its crappiness. To start with lets examine its horrible hippy characteristics. Anytime a band like MOE or String Cheese Incident comes to town this is invariably the place they play. The establishment has a huge quantity of Phish and Greatful Dead on its jukebox. To make matters even worse it claims to also be a vegetarian restaurant….I am not kidding about this. A bar should never under any circumstances serve exclusively vegetables. The only context in which vegetables are at all appropriate is when they are breaded and deep fried served as a compliment to your chicken wings or cheeseburger. This is more than enough to condemn this establishment….but

It is also the only theater sized bar venue in town. As a result all of the craptastic college radio bands (think lucky boys confusion) end up playing there. This means that the place is alternately filled with hippies or backwards baseball cap wearing fucks with no musical taste. Say what you will about hippies, they are at least persistent about their genre enjoying it despite all evidence that Phish truly sucks. This bar is such a great testament to shit that it is a pass time of local rock bands that don't suck to get shows there then get banned…..I am not joking. This really happens. To be fair, I could go on for pages about how much I hate this place, but I will leave it off with one anecdote that will hopefully bring the point home. Over a year ago patron ginandtacos.com saint Scott Lucas brought his band Local H to Champaign for a concert. Despite having once driven to Minnesota in a blizzard to see this band, I chose to not go to the concert at this when it was about 10 blocks from my house.

*note, if ever driving by the canopy club on a Wednesday night, look and see how many members of Urbana's finest show up to hang out outside after "hip-hop night"
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Bars that are decent if you are really drunk

We all know what kind of places these are. You end up at them because some vague friend of yours convinced you to go to their birthday party or your department is having some kind of shady social function. They are almost never the sort of establishment you would personally choose to go to, but being there does not make you want to lobotomize yourself with a straw.


The Office

Rating: One suburban DMB fan, One flock of dirty hippies, and One Charles Bukowski

This bar is a bit of an enigma. In principle, it has a lot of features of a place that would truly suck. They do feature a "Jam band night." Truth be told, in the last several years this bar has been going more and more hippy. About 5 years ago, this was largely a hangout for employees of the Solo cup factory, times have since changed. It is now primarily patronized by long hairs using alternative deodorants, vagrants, and graduate students with little to no taste. However, I can't fully turn my back on this bar. You see, this was the primary location for much of my underage drinking. I did on multiple occasions bribe waitresses to serve me. Friends of mine and I did once rack up a 250 dollar bar tab while only one of us was of legal drinking age. On top of these things, this is also the bar that served me so much booze on St. Patrick's day 2001 that I removed my shirt at the bar, tossed a glass over my shoulder, and was generally offensive to all around me…..after all of this I was not kicked out. This is a mark of quality for a bar. Nevermind the fact that later that evening I apparently just fell down breaking my front tooth, forever having a mark of excessive drinking. So, as you can see, although it would take extraordinary circumstances for me to set foot in there in the evening (they do make a good hamburger) I can't write them off entirely.
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Crane Alley

Rating: one Bukowski

I don't really know much about this bar. I have only gone there once on a Thursday night. They have an exceptionally shitty jukebox (unless you are the sort that wants to play Pink Floyd or songs off the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack). I used to go to this bar because Champaign bartending legend Rob Mccolley worked there. However, he has since left town and I have not been back. That said, on the whole I think this place is all right, but nothing special. They serve food, but I can’t tell you if it’s any good. They have pay by the hour pool, which generally I approve of. To put it simply, the place is nice, clean, but nothing special. I would not really suggest going there, because I can’t really think any reason why you would want to.Back to the top


The Iron Post

Rating: One Iron Worker, one Clay Aiken, and ond Bukowski

The Iron Post is a bar. By that I mean that it is not really much else. To the best of my knowledge there is no theme, or really no particular element of style or atmosphere that would cause you to want to go here as opposed to anywhere else. The tables seem similar to that which you would find in a small town diner, and there is only one beer on draft. However, lets skip the fact that this place is tragically dull- there are are some positives.

First and foremost, the beer is relatively cheap. Budweiser is $2.25 while their draft is only $1.75. They also serve a damn fine Bloody Mary. They advertise it as the best in town. I am not sure if I would go that far. Places like the Brass Rail are also obsessive about this beverage and do a fantastic job. The best I have had in town was made by Pat at Mike and Molly's using Wasabi…although, the drink there is somewhat inconsistant. These places have the most bizarre clientele you will find anywhere. Iron Post did host an exceptionally gay "writers in the round" musical shit fest with aging Champaign local musicians. I am not sure whether or not they still do, but dear lord it was bad. The Iron Post is now lending its stage occasionally to local rock bands. You can't complain about that. The only problem is that the place is set up with tables by the stage and seems more suited to an "exceptionally gay musical shitfest" or the Jazz they have often than rock music. I don't really see myself ever frequenting this bar. It is not terrible, it is just a really really long way from my house and doesn't offer a single reason for me to drive across town to go there. Unless there is a show there you want to see, I can't with a good conscience recommend this place to anyone. The only reason I could see to go there is if you live a block away and intend to get too inebriated to drive.
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The Embassy

Rating: One Iron Worker, and one Clay Aiken

I should start this with a disclaimer, I have not been to the Embassy in a long time. I do walk past on occasion and look it, it doesn't seem like anything has changed. This place had the most bizarre clientele you would find anywhere. Their staple is the derelict and deadbeat crowd coupled with a decent factory worker contingent. However, often The Embassy is home to theater department gatherings. The Embassy could be the Iron Post's twin. I think that they, generally speaking, share regulars. The only real difference is that the Embassy has been in Urbana for much longer. This leads to a feeling that their generic bar decor is more worn in and makes you feel a bit more comfortable. The truth is that my favorite type of bar is the "just a bar" bar. The problem is that to find a place like this that you like you have to rely on what the regular clientelle is and how well it seems like you fit in. Let it be said, that I never go to these places. Not really because they are the worst bars in Champaign, but because they are a long way from my house and a loser of an ex-landlord of mine that still thinks I owe him money drinks heavily there. I am sure if circumstances were different I would love drinking here. Unfortunately, they are not. So, I suppose it is possible that you will think that this is your favorite place in town, but bare in mind that I probably hate you.
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Campus bars that don't make you want to shoot yourself

Campus is a truly despicable place for most social interaction, but sometimes you have no choice but to find yourself there. Usually it occurs because you are on campus and need a drink a 5 in the pm. Or well, god I don't know. I can't think of any other reason you would need to drink there. Let it be said though, if you are forced into it these places are slightly less painful then being burned slowly by the stomach acid of a goat.


Murphy's

Rating: Two suburban DMB fans and a Bukowski

In all fairness, this is probably the most passable campus bar. It still gets two Dave Mathews Band fans, but honestly that can't be helped. It is too close to campus for anything else to happen. The truly sad thing about this bar is that there was a time when it was decent. Someplace that would actually make you want to drink on campus. It was a small dingy hole in the wall sort of establishment that frightened most of the fratboy's away. Seeing as that this was over 4 years ago now, there are probably few people on campus that remember those good old days. Now, it merged with the place next door, has become huge and well lit. It is mostly clean now. I don't know. The place just lost all character and became just another campus type bar. You do have to give them credit for removing "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan, and "Little Green Bag" from their jukebox. My hats off to Murphy's for taking a stand against shitty music selection.

*an endorsed St. Patrick Day bar crawl bar

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Legends

Rating: An even one DMB fan, one Clay Aiken, and one Bukowski

I have to say that Legends used to hold a place in my heart as one bar I had never had a good time at, but had often found myself at. Then several things happened. First, I went to a happy hour there with some fellow biophysicists and got to hear a drunken professor utter the phrase: "This is where the real science happens." Second, on the 2002 St. Patrick’s day bar crawl Tim Johnson vomited under a table, at which point we stood up, moved one table over and kept drinking. This bar is odd. I am pretty sure it is a franchise that bought the space from an established bar that I guess served a fantastic fish sandwich. To prove that the franchise was hip to campus tradition they decided to also serve a fish sandwich…..all right. I am sure if Chili's bought your favorite diner but dedicated its cheeseburger to the past place everything would be okay right?

That said, it is still a pretty dodgy place. Their Budweiser is the most expensive in town, and they tend to expose you to music by bands like Third Eye Blind. The place gets really packed at night and you are stuck smelling body odor all night. Before I leave this I have one final comment. When mike was 19, he showed up at the door with his ID, gave it to the man who proceeded to claim it was fake. Mike was only allowed in when a group of individuals, including one of the other door men began laughing at the absurdity of Mike finding someone else's ID that looked like him and didn't even fucking say he was old enough to drink.

*an endorsed St. Patrick Day bar crawl bar
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The White Horse

Rating: One Clay Aiken and one Bukowski

Well, the White Horse is about as far from campus as you can get and still be considered a campus bar. Never the less, it is. I used to go to this bar a fair amount several years ago for reasons I would prefer not discuss in a public forum. Otherwise, the only context that I have known people to go to the White Horse for is karaoke and 5 dollar pitchers of rum and coke. I went to that a few times, but to be quite honest I can't stand rum and coke, even if it is only 5 dollars. Of course I am fairly certain that they used something like Mongolian rum and royal crown cola…. This bar also occasionally convinced us to go with promises of things like "all you can eat buffalo chicken tacos." They were bad, all you can eat is only appealing if you actually want to eat something. So the moral is, this bar is not terrible, however I would not recommend you go there after 11 pm….it is small gets packed and has only 1 one toilet bathroom.

*an endorsed St. Patrick Day bar crawl bar
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The odd and random

These are not really actually odd bars in and off themselves, but they are more the random far out places that are frequented by absolutely no one you ever want to talk to. If you do happen to be one of these people perhaps you would find these places to be perfect. However, from my brief time at each of these places I am fairly certain none of the individuals at any of these places have computers or use the internet.

*I don't think that I will ever have pictures of these bars, I would probably be beaten if I walked near.


The Shamrock Tavern

Rating: Two iron workers and a garth brooks album

I don't have a very good memory of this bar. mike and I walked to it once when I was getting my car worked on down the street. I don't know what we expected to find, but whatever it was did not prepare us for what was actually there. Despite the invocation of a shamrock in the name, the only thing remotely Irish about this bar was that clientele was clearly drunk and surly. Now to set the scene, mike and I were clearly college students, almost a stereotype thereof. I was wearing a large black scarf at the time. Now on the other side, the parking lot was entirely full of pickup trucks (not that there is anything wrong with that) but the patrons of this place clearly thought we were gay. That is aside from the one man who was fairly certain Mike was hitting on his white trash nascar watching wife/girlfriend/cousin…who knows. The moral is that we escaped with our lives, but not necessarily our dignity.
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The Ice House

Rating: I am not sure, maybe one iron worker?

I say that I am not sure what to rate this bar because I have only been there once for about 5 minutes. Let me justify that for a second. In the spring of 2001 (I think) mike and I purloined a scooter from Mr. Andrew Steve Schneider. I think Mike told him he was going to take it to get ice cream or some shit like that. Anyway the two of us decided that we were going to ride it across town on some kind of perverse bar crawl. We decided to only go to bars where they would be offended by two men showing up riding a scooter. Enter the Ice House. We walked in there and they informed us that they were closing at 11, which was in about 5 minutes. Normally a bar closing at 11 would make me promptly think of all the patrons as little tiny bitches. However, the bar crowd there stared at us like they left the factory at 5 and had been drinking ever since. I think that there were about 5 people in there. There might have been 6 earlier and one had to “go meet the missus”
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The Office Two

Rating: I have no fucking idea, hell lets say a package of non-dairy creamer.

I rate this bar one creamer because it is one of the closest bars to the Kraft factory, and I am pretty sure that is what they make there. Who knows. It has been years since I have been there, and even then I was not there for very long. As its name implies, it is the “sequel” of the bar The Office. Much like any true sequel, this bar is dirtier and more shameless. It also, I believe shares a parking lot with a Big Lots and a Off Track Betting facility (bar review pending). I don’t know what else to say about this place, although I assume the OTB would be more fun.
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The Phoenix

Rating: I give this bar two Bukowskis and a Harley Davidson.

From a distance, The Phoenix looks like it would be a biker bar. In fact, when you get inside and are greeted by large American flags decorating the walls, you feel as though your first impression might have been correct. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have a soft spot for dive bars, but I thought this place was all right. The unfortunate thing was that it looked as though it might have been taking itself a little bit more seriously that other dive bars in town. To start with the positives, they have cans of Budweiser, I think this is fantastic. They have these huge hexagon tables that can fit a rather large group, and keep them close enough to talk to one another. Yes, this is all good. It would be quite possible to have an alright time here if you were able to ignore all the exceptionally patriotic artwork- as of right now, no, I don’t think they are kidding.
* an endorsed St. Patrick's Day bar crawl bar

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Bars that are owned by Carlos Nieto

These bars are all owned by one man, Champaign bar mogul Carlos, in fairness they are owned by Carlos, his brother Marco, and a woman named Tiffany. However, everyone in town just kind of gives Carlos the credit. He currently owns four, maybe five bars, and in the next year is planning on opening two more. They are all kind of variations on a theme, yet oddly enough are intended to have their own individual flair. The man is really a bar opening machine.

I don’t really have a problem with Carlos making a lot of money. I just wish that he would spread out a little bit. I wish that to get to anywhere downtown you did not have to walk past several places he owned. On top of that, what I really think that downtown Champaign is desperately crying for is a decent music venue for local bands to play. He has had the opportunity to give this town just that twice now and has failed both times- seemingly because it is not the most profitable thing to do. What this town needs is someone as interested in seeing it grow for personal satisfaction as for what it will put into their pockets. With every new bar Carlos opens downtown, it will become exponentially harder for someone who is honestly interested in seeing the area grow culturally to open someplace that will serve that purpose.


Jupiter’s

Rating: One suburban DMB fan,and one iron worker

This was the first bar that Carlos opened and as a result actually has some of its own character. All empirical evidence would point to this being an all right place, and really it is. They have a fairly good jukebox that, more importantly, you can actually play songs on every night. They have several pool tables that are pay by the hour, this is good. They also make fantastic pizza, served until bar time, this is very good. They serve PBR on tap for a dollar fifty and, despite the fact that 99% of that dollar and a half is going right into Carlos’s pocket, its still a good deal. It is also interesting to note that Jupiters was one of the first of a new generation of places to open up in the kind of failing downtown Champaign and can, at least to some degree, be credited with helping rejuvenate the area which is now a very nice place to be.

Unfortunately this bar seems to have a rather odd vibe about it, it is hard to put your finger on, but I will try. Here are some possibilities for why I am always kind of uncomfortable when I am there.

  • The tables are too large to actually have a conversation with someone across from you. It looks like the turned the tables the wrong way or something.

  • The bartenders all seem like aging fratboys that never got a real job. When asked about this by a bartender from Jupiters, I had to clarify. When I say this I am really referring to 3 or 4 people specifically. Whether or not they still work there, you know who you are. Apparently, your coworkers know who you are as well.
  • They seem to look down on you for wanting PBR even though they sell it
  • Often it seems like they give pool tables to their friends before you.

I don’t really know what to say, if you like this place you aren’t a complete cretin, but I personally think there is something a bit off about it.

*an endorsed St. Patrick’s day bar crawl bar
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The Highdive

Rating: One Bukowski and a Clay Aiken

I am sorry Highdive, but yes you do get a Clay Aiken. Let me explain this to you. The Highdive used to be my favorite place in town to hang out. I am not joking about this. From the spring of 2000 until fairly recently, I went there every Tuesday for their dollar pints of PBR. For periods of my life it was actually scheduled into my week. They would have no band, no DJ, just dollar beer and the Jukebox. Now since this time, they turned it into a dance music night, and even more disturbingly a goth night currently (they don’t even have a jukebox anymore). To the best of my knowledge, they still serve dollar beers, you just have to be a goth to be able to stomach drinking it. However, this is not the worst of it. The Highdive was (and empirically speaking still is) probably one of the best mid-sized music venues in the Midwest. This is not just my personal opinion, a number of bands touring the area would write on their websites that the Highdive is one of the best places to play. Now you would think that if you did one thing so incredibly well. You would continue doing it correct? Well, the Highdive in the last year or so went primarily to Dance club format. I am sure all these people walked in there and thought to themselves: “Wow, what is this raised area in the front of the room, it sure makes a great platform for me to showcase my hot dance moves to the whole bar….but wait, I don’t understand, why are the speakers IN FRONT of it.” Fuck that!

In fairness, all along they had dancing on most weekend nights, it paid the bills, I can respect that. But to largely get rid of live music altogether and never show local music, this is hard to excuse.

Now it is time for me to give the Highdive some credit again. It is a great place (notice it got no games of monopoly it is really the only place like it in town). Recently they have been having some live shows there again. Still with some dubious qualities (opening local band choices that I would prefer not get into) . Despite the fact that at the moment this only happens on Wednesdays, I am happy to see that the effort is being made. There is honestly no place in town with better sound and atmosphere. It is a perfect combination of great music venue on one half, with another half where you can sit in booths or at the bar and escape from the noise if you need to. As a general rule, the staff at the Highdive seem like they are having fun, which is kind of unique for Carlos's bars. I think he did something right with this place.

*an endorsed St. Patrick’s day bar crawl bar
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Cowboy Monkey

Rating: Two games of monopoly, and a Clay Aiken

I am not sure where to begin with this place. This was the first of the modern rash of Carlos openings. The Highdive and Jupiters were both established for a while before this place came into being. Well, to start with, the name is stupid, in fact, so stupid that I can’t remember the last time I actually remember it being called by its real name. Of course this is just trivial. I guess I will ask if you remember the old Blind Pig? That is where this place is now. It went through a few other incarnations before becoming Cowboy Monkey. This said, it is a smaller music venue. When this place first opened, I believe it was the primary reason there were no more shows at the Highdive. Carlos of course would not have wanted to split business between his two bars. The problem is, Cowboy Monkey sucks as a venue. It is fairly small, and they overspent on the sound system. I don’t typically complain about loud music, but regularly when I see a show there I leave and think my ears must be bleeding. This alone is not really a bad thing. I think Champaign probably needed a venue of this size to feature more local music. However, they did it all wrong. First of all, the place is exceptionally clean with pretentious artwork on the walls. Who wants to see rock music surrounded by that? Second, they have similar tables to Jupiters turned seemingly the wrong way around, minimizing the standing area to actually watch a show, and making it next to impossible to say anything to anyone you are sitting with. Third, they serve appetizers…..appetizers that look like someone went through a cookbook and created a pretense versus ease of preparation quotient to choose what they would serve. I am not joking about this, as far as I can tell that is the only logical theme to the food served there.

I am thrilled to be able to amend this review. The Cowboy Monkey has started having regular FREE! local live shows on thursday nights. I really hope that this works out for them. Despite the Cowboy Monkey's shortcomings as a venue, it is still without any question the best small stage for local bands to play on. It has always been my opinion that this town has a fantastic music scene with little to no support. I hope that this newest venture gives some exposure to some of the fantastic music that is out there in this town.
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Guido’s

Rating: Three games of Monopoly….

This bar makes me unhappy. You might notice in the picture the words “02 east main” written. This was the bar that Guido’s used to be. The previous bar was some vaguely pretentious/ hip-hop bar. Now, I am not saying I liked that place. For a couple of reasons I hated it possibly more than Guido’s (mostly personal, they tended to charge me at least a dollar more cover than anyone else I went with. I have no idea why). Carlos kind of came in and bought this place out of the blue closed it and completely redid the whole interior.

Inside, it looks like a larger version of Cowboy Monkey, with some minor alterations. First one has to understand the Carlos theme. It consists mostly of dark paint and hardwood along with art on the walls. His bars seem to exhibit some minor, idiosyncratic departure which distinguishes the individual “concept.” Guido’s, is meant to be a sports bar. Okay, so the differences. There are dart boards, a pool table and some flat panel televisions playing the sports. They serve food. Your basic bar type fare (hamburgers ect.) except pretensized. You might wonder how you could make a hamburger that posh, go there and you will find out. To Guido’s credit, the hamburger was pretty damned good. The fries were disgusting and kind of made me sick….oh well win some and lose some.

*an endorsed St. Patrick’s day bar crawl bar
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As an endnote: Carlos, Marco, and Tiffany are constantly opening new bars, as I said there are at least two more definitely in the works, and rumors are constantly floating around about various projects he might or might not be about to undertake. I am sure this category will soon be expanding.


Bars that you might find me patronizing

As the name of this category implies, these are primarily places that I like. Although no establishment is flawless, some of these bars come as close as anyplace in Champaign. Of course this is only my opinion, and regardless of the fact that I am fairly serious about my bar attendance, you might have a different opinion from me. If that is the case, leave this site now, and please email your IP address to tacos@ginandtacos.com so that we can ban you from this site.


The Brass Rail

Rating: Two Bukowskis and an iron worker

The Brass Rail is what you can refer to as a drinking man’s bar. The fanciest beer served there is Leinies on draft. Speaking of their draft beer, they also have High Life, Pabst, Bud Lite (maybe) and that’s about it. It is kind of dubious that they serve your beer in a 10oz glass and charge a dollar twenty-five for it, however the atmosphere more than makes up for this indiscretion. (that and seemingly none of their patrons seem to have any problem getting wasted despite the small beer size) Other than that you are stepping to the can, Shlitz and Hamms are popular choices. I would strongly recommend supplementing your beer intake with shots of whiskey. It will help you fit in with the locals, the Wild Turkey and Tullemore Dew are both good choices. If you don’t feel in the mood for beer, or if it is early in the day and you are hung over, I would strongly suggest trying one of their Bloody Marys. They are honestly some of the finest in town.

On the surface, it would seem like this bar is just another shady hole in the wall where you might get your ass kicked, to the best of my knowledge this is not true, not much anyway (sometimes the natives are restless, watch out for a man named Mark Peaslee). I don’t know why but its dirty exterior (and interior) do not at all do justice for how friendly and accommodating the staff there is. Perhaps it is its location downtown, or the people that go there, but this is not your average shady bar. First of all, it has been there for ages. My grandfather remembers the place from when he went to school here in the 40’s. (also a man that knows a thing or two about bars). Second, they host live music there, this is probably the single most friendly location for a local band to play in. Third, I am fairly certain that if you are so drunk that you have been asked to leave everywhere else in town the Brass Rail will probably still serve you. Finally, it is the last refuge for the serious drinker on a weekend night. If everywhere else is packed on a Saturday, you can probably rest assured that this establishment will be quiet, and have a seat for you at the bar.

The Brass Rail gets credit for being a even if you are drinking alone, you are not really drinking alone bar.

*an endorsed St. Patrick’s day bar crawl bar
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The Esquire

Rating: Two Bukowskis and an one Winston Churchill

The Esquire is a noble, and damn fine place. Although, they are not typically the place where I will end the evening, they are always there for me when I need some cheap food late at night coupled with an Old Style or two. While there you will be drinking with a cadre of old gentlemen who have clearly been drinking heavily for the entirety of their lives.

As for the bar food, it is possibly some of the best in town. The burgers are good, the chicken sandwich is fantastic and the Esquire seems to be one of the few places in town that has figured out the proper way to serve vegetables in a bar. Breaded, deep fried until devoid of nutritional content, and served with large amounts of ranch dressing. The fried Broccoli is amazing. As an added bonus they provide you with free peanuts and the ability to dispose of the shells by tossing them on the ground.

One large downside to the Esquire is the fact that it does frequently get quite busy. It is hard to eat your sandwich when you are standing. There is also a very good chance that you will be propositioned by an aging alcoholic woman or man. Otherwise though, this is a top notch establishment

*an endorsed St. Patrick’s day bar crawl bar
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Mike and Molly’s

Rating: Two Bukowskis two Winston Churchills and an unprecedented Sir Robert Burnett

Mike and Molly’s is the bar I go to when I want to go where everybody knows my name. I love this place. This is evident to anyone who knows me based entirely on my frequency of attendance. This is a bar where you can order a pint of Old Style (only 1 dollar two nights of the week) and hold your head up high. According to Mike and Ed, their Tom Collins is quite good. They offer one of the finest selections of Irish Whiskey anywhere. (if you don’t drink it now you must start if you go to this bar, it complements your Old Style perfectly). If you are there often enough, the bartenders will know your name, and they will get your drink without you even having to ask.

To break it down for you

  • Their beer is cheap, and they have pretty much any drink you could want. (sorry, no cream or milk)
  • The staff is the perfect combination of friendly and surly, if you are a drinker you know what I mean.
  • They let you bring food from the Esquire in.
  • The owner, Mike Murphy, is in drinking with you most every night of the week.
  • The place is full of “professionals.” Because of this you never see the kind of drunken debacle that you hate seeing at weaker bars, and only the kind of debacle you want to see.
  • Their rail gin is Hannah and Hogg (see ginandtacos.com official gin review) *Mike Murphy informs me that this is not actually true. I suppose he is in a position to know. I simply know that every time I have order a rail gin drink there is has been made with H&H. It is the finest of the cheap gins.

    I think I will stop here for now, I think you get the point

  • *most certainly an endorsed St. Patrick’s day bar crawl bar
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    Downtown Champaign bars that I don’t really go to

    Although it seems to be constantly expanding, downtown Champaign can empirically be considered to be bound by University Ave. (to some degree a couple blocks further) on the South, Main St. aka REO Speedwagon Way (to some degree Washington St.) on the North depending on where you are, Randolph St on the west, and the train tracks on the east. This is a somewhat fluid definition, and I am sure other people will contradict this. My basis for defining downtown in this way is simply due to the fact that this is where the downtown businesses are mostly concentrated.

    So more to the point, I have already reviewed a fair number of downtown Champaign bars. In fact, the entirety of the “Bars owned by Carlos Nieto” and “Bars you might find me patronizing” sections are located in downtown. However, there are a few others that I have not yet mentioned. This section is basically meant to clean up for what those other two catagories missed.


    Boltini

    Rating: One Clay Aiken and one Dragon Shirt

    Its been a while since I have been to Boltini. In fact, I have not been there since the “Great Staff Firing of 2003.” I guess the bar needed a new attitude or something, I don’t remember what exactly the sign said. However, since I have already named Carlos earlier, it is only fair that I continue in that tradition. One of the owners of Boltini, Cody, is arguably the most hated man in town due to this. In fairness, I don’t really know what happened. If you talk to some people he is Scrooge, or the Spawn of Satan or something else tantamount to being the largest bastard to have ever graced this town. However, I have also heard some pretty bad things about the employees. I think it is probably safe to say that this is one of those bad situations that only got worse. Basically, I am sure Cody was probably not up for Boss of the Year- honestly, he fired his whole staff one sunday morning by phone. I am sure the staff at times acted inappropriately. And yes, I am sure they do hate him. I am sure that no amount of not being jackassesque by any of the involved parties would have brought about a happy ending. Being as that I have heard a number of very different angles to this, I thing it is safe to say that no one except for those involved really know what happened. Oh well. That said, lets talk about what the bar is actually like.

    It was always my impression that when this bar opened it was supposed to be sort of Goth/Punk or something. Their staff had a rather alternative look about them. The décor involved things like decapitated dolls and the like. However, it seemed to me like this style became very trendy soon after the bar opened. It went, in about two months from being a fairly cool place to a place where young urban professionals and desperate men hung out. It was sitting at Boltini that brought about the “Dragon Shirt Hypothesis.” Essentially this is the theory where a marginally attractive man has a long-term girlfriend. Getting laid regularly has given him unhealthily inflated confidence. He decides he should be dating supermodels, and in a whirlwind of stupidity leaves his girlfriend and starts trying to get something new. This story ends with the man looking pathetic, dateless, sitting in Boltini, and wearing a shirt with a dragon on it. I don’t know why, or where they find them, but they all seem to get a dragon shirt at some point in time.

    So, as of right now, the decapitated dolls have largely been replaced by sticks in frames? The booze is expensive, the tables are kind of cramped. To be best of my knowledge they still need to replace the couches. That said. If I ever want to go somewhere that no one is going to know me, and that I can actually have a conversation with someone, this place fits the bill. The booths provide a lot of privacy, and it is rarely to loud to talk. Although they are not the cheapest in town, they have a decent selection.


    Barfly

    Rating: Maybe a Clay Aiken? Maybe a Bukowski? I am really not sure what to do with this place.

    I have been to this bar a few times now. I have had a different impression of it every time I have been there. This is the source of my confusion. The first time I walked in it was fairly crowded. I couldn’t help thinking that it looked kind of like a bad Boltini knockoff with an exceptionally claustrophobic atmosphere. It has that long narrow bar feeling that makes it kind of feel like the walls are closing in on you. While you can lessen this effect by having your bar well lit, they instead chose to be a lounge. However, last St. Patrick’s day I went in there completely wasted and had an alright time. Part of this might have been due to my amusement associated with their serving a cheaper version of Jim Beam. I had no idea that there was anything cheaper than Jim Beam, but yes, sure enough, there is Beam Eight Star. This has to be literally the cheapest and worst whiskey in existence- this of course did not stop me from drinking it. Other times I have sat in tables that have made me feel like I am in some kind of bad hipster lounge production of Alice in Wonderland right after becoming 10 feet tall.

    If you add to the strange atmosphere the fact that they do odd things like serve pit barbeque on Saturdays (I think) you just end up feeling confused. I know some people really like this place, but I am always kind of suspicious that it is because they get a discount, or that they serve them prior to their 21st birthday. I don’t know. To me, this seems like a bar for worthless bastards who want to feel pretentious but have not yet read Also Spracht Zarathustra.


    Nargile

    Rating: One John Hughes Movie, one Old Turkish Man, and one Bukowski.

    This bar is like a teenager in a 1980’s John Hughes movie. Everyone watches this awkward beast of an establishment really hoping that it finds itself. Deep down, most of us know that even if Nargile buys a Camero and gets the girl that it will still be that confused child at heart. Let me explain. They are essentially trying to be three bars at once. All three are intrinsically conflicting with each other. In the basement they do a DJ and dancing thing. In the back there is a stage with live rock music and most bizarre, the front is… Hookah themed? Yes, you read that right. The front is a Hookah bar. If you are asking yourself, “What kind of idiot would think that was a good idea?” The answer is quite simple- the same people who actually believe that The Clybourne is a classy place. Really what this environment does is make everyone feel like they are just about to get their ass kicked by someone else in the bar.

    When you combine this odd schizophrenic atmosphere with the fact that the prices at this place are generally so expensive that your money pulls the amazing bar disappearing trick at record speed (trust me, you will be sober, and have no idea where 40 dollars went), this place seems to fall a bit short.

    I used to have some complaint about the service at this place as well. However, I am happy to say that the last time I went there everything has gotten much smoother. It would seem that they hired an inexperienced staff to begin with, but they have, for the most part settled into their jobs.

    That said, I really, really hope this place comes of age. Why? Simply because it hosts live local music and is not owned by Carlos. This town really needs that. I honestly believe that they are trying. I think things are getting better there. I just hope that they are making enough money to stay in business long enough for it to turn into a decent venue. I think the first step would be to stop trying to do so many things simultaneously. I don’t care if they have DJs in the whole place sometimes to pay the bills. I never held it against the Highdive when that was their plan.

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    53 Responses to “Drinking in Champaign”

    1. Sylvia Says:

      Erik-

      Your bar reviews rule! Your rating system is on par with review system of James Ward (the "flamboyant" food critic on Channel 7 in Chicago). Most of all, I am glad that you are spreading the word about Jupiter's $1.50 PBR.

      I would like to see an Erik Martin Bar Review of Fat City Saloon.

    2. amanda Says:

      I think you've forgotten to mention the supremacy of the Brass Rail's bloody mary. sheesh.

    3. Valerie Says:

      Fear not, beer drinkers — the Cowboy Monkey's PBR still runs $1.50 a pint.

    4. neville chamberlain Says:

      even if PBR is $1.50 at that carlos bar, do you really want $1.17 (after cost of beer, electricity, and what he pays his employees) going into carlos's pocket? seriously, that pocket is already the size of a 70's impala. if you're not part of the solution…

    5. Murph Says:

      Hey Mike N Molly's does not use Hannah and Hagg Gin (not that there's anything wrong with that)as our rail. We use only the finest and mostly cheapest we can find(usually McCormick, or Pupov, or whatever the distributor sends free for buying something good by the case), but not H & H.

    6. Tim Says:

      1) yes, i agree with sylvia, a review of fat city would be nice. their food is great and their ambience is somewhere between esquire, ice house, and stumble inn.

      2) speaking of … where's the stumble inn review?

      3) how about those hexagonal tables at the phoenix?

      4) how many birthday parties have you had at jillians?

      5) a bartender at Brothers was traitorous enough to make challenge you for being drunk, when in fact you weren't visibly intoxicated (while being incredibly intoxicated). this is not kosher on the first drink order placed with a bartender you have no rapport with. especially not kosher for the (underage-looking) bartender to attempt to quiz the patron with a simple addition problem. "if you're so smart, whats seven plus eight?!"

      6) the office two is reportedly a good place to either (a) sell crack to a prostitute or (b) solicit sex acts from one. possibly in exchange for crack.

      7) a red-bearded man is one of the cooks at crane alley. they do now serve food.

      8) <— look i'm smiling and wearing glasses

      9) if expansion is going to ruin the esquire's atmosphere, then sorry, it's already been ruined: the esquire used to be half the size it is now.

      10) thanks for the photo credit.

      11) cheers — drink up

    7. Anonymous Says:

      You butt rammers are way too obsessed with Dave Matthews. Just let him fuck you in your stinkholes and get it over with…. douchebags.

    8. Dave Says:

      I probably have no real need to comment, having spent precisely 2 weeks of my entire life in Champaign, but the folks at the Highdive were good enough to serve me underage that whole time, for a mere $1 a pint, and let me listen to the Flaming Lips while doing it.

      If they have fallen, who the hell can you trust these days?

      Also, didn't you once go into the Office and put a whole Sting album on? Don't need to tell you that was wrong.

    9. Erik Says:

      Yes, I know it was wrong of me to play the whole sting album. If I remember correctly, I was drunk and beligerent, and feeling as though the patrons there deserved to listen to an entire sting album.

    10. casablanca Says:

      Ok it is just the most hilarious thing to stumble across your website. And do you know how I found it? I googled Sweet Sue Chicken.
      Hahahahaha. Rock on. Caw Caw.

    11. Anonymous Says:

      It's complete bullshit for you to rate bars that you have either never been to or only visited a few times. You make ridiculous judgments about the "type" of people who frequent certain bars. I, as well as all my friends, went to Kams, CO's and Gully's. As far as paying $5 to get in- not if you knew someone…

      You bet you can drink "one more than us." That, as well, is probably bullshit. Unless you stand at the bar of CO's and do Jagerbombs all night long, I doubt this is true. Drinking $1.50 pints of High Life for three hours is not the true definition of getting fucked up.

      Coincidentally, the only campus bars that don't make you want to shoot yourself are the ones that make me want to shoot myself.

      Possibly the only true thing you have said in your entire posting of useless drivel is that you would get your ass kicked at Kams.

      Peace, bitch.

    12. tremblin'BG Says:

      Hey, knowing someone that works at Kam's would probably cost me more in the long run than just paying to get in (which I will never do). And eh, if it was more light inside of Barfly, then you could see how dirty it really is.

    13. Ed Says:

      Is this person actually bragging about knowing someone who can get him into Kam's without cover?

      If you're a day over 19 and bragging about something like that, stick your head in the oven and do us all a favor.

    14. ryan Says:

      i've heard a rumor (good sources, but as yet unsubstantiated) that the basement of Nargile has been transformed back to Ruby's. has anyone else heard this, or perhaps seen any indication of this being / not being the case?

    15. peter Says:

      Phish rules. So far this is the only thing you're wrong about.

    16. Anonymous Says:

      "even if PBR is $1.50 at that carlos bar, do you really want $1.17 (after cost of beer, electricity, and what he pays his employees) going into carlos's pocket? seriously, that pocket is already the size of a 70's impala. if you're not part of the solution…"

      i think you've got it ASS-backwards smartguy… roughly $0.33 cents goes in the nieto inc pocket on a $1.50 PBR. that's a pretty fuckin' pathetic "profit margin". And what do you think it is for $1.00 drafts… UMM, next to nothing. so PLEASE shut your pie-hole unless you can back up your BS posts with empirical evidence.

      You're definitely NOT part of the solution… cuz you're part of the problem! Spouting off about shit you know nothing about…

    17. does wine count? Says:

      I think bacaro is worth a mention, especially on otherwise quiet Sundays when they serve half price glasses of wine and they have great wines…180 and counting apparently. It's a good way to figure out what wines to pick when you need to pay full price! I know it is small and closes at 11 but it is definitely good for a gentle warm up (a date?) and is one of these places with 'beautiful people' staff so it can't be all bad.

    18. Jerky Says:

      good site, what about hubers though?

    19. nat cat Says:

      How about Pia's? It would be on par with some of the other bars that you have reviewed. The staff is pretty darn good, specials are ok, and the owner frequents his bar (see Chad Pitcher). I'd love to see your review!

    20. click here Says:

      Good Point. Anyways, this was where i met her. You can join for free as well http://www.redtricircle.com

    21. Kate Says:

      You know, I kind of like CO's and Clybourne and Brother's. CO's is one of those places where you go and don't expect to have a good time and end up having a really fun time. However, it's very accurate what you said about Legends, "one bar I had never had a good time at, but had often found myself at." That's so true! Why do people insist on going to Legends when it sucks so bad?
      Brother's is a fairly nice bar, too; they have a balcony you can watch people from, and I'd say it's the best of the campus bars.
      Finally, there can be no dissing Wine Night.

    22. I Burned Your Frat House Down BITCHEZZZ Says:

      Great reviews of most of the CU bars. This is a
      great guide for anyone wanting to drink that cant
      stand being around the scumfuck student filth that
      infests Champaign Urbana like the maggots that
      they are. LOCALS HATE STUDENTS…ya bunch of
      fuckin' materialistic cock licking fakes!!

    23. m Says:

      Wow, some of you people really take the comments about local bars too seriously. I frequent quite a few bars, and I don't even drink. I go for the atmosphere and occasionally, music.

      It really suprises me how stupid some of the students around here are. Especially considering the U of I is one of the top schools in the country. Maybe they are all horticulture or LAS majors.

      I personally would never step foot into a bar like KAMS or CO's even though I could have gotten served there when I was 12. I don't want to know people who work there, and if I did, I would be proud of it. I don't need to know anyone to go bar hopping all over downtown Champaign for free.

      btw, mr gin and mr taco, I love the site.

    24. seth Says:

      erik -
      best internet read in months… (read it awhile ago really drunk i think) but time to update yr shit man…
      soma…kofusion…bentley's…new blind pig…esquire addition…and – canopy is changing massively… just a note… good work!

    25. seth Says:

      erik -
      best internet read in months… (read it awhile ago really drunk i think) but time to update yr shit man…
      soma…kofusion…bentley's…new blind pig…esquire addition…and – canopy is changing massively… just a note… good work!

    26. john Says:

      just a few points…

      the only people who like going to kams, co's, clyborne, gully's, and station are dumbass disease spreading sluts and faggot fuckin frat boys. both make me sick. both deserve to be shit on.

      if you think wine nite at clybourne is cool, you are nothing but an ignorant slut or a guy waiting to take advantage of an ignorant slut. and if you try to stick up for it (kate) , how embarrassing (slut).

      if you couldn't tell, i hate sorority sluts and frat fucks. they're nothing but waste.

    27. Kirsten Says:

      I was googling for champaign-urbana new mom's groups and your webpage came up, how funny is that? Good website, pretty damn accurate from what I've seen from living here for the past eight years. Ever been to the Philo Tavern? It's owned by the Esquire people and has really good food.

    28. ben Says:

      Well, john, you sound like a college reject who never got an ass in his whole life…. that's what I think, but since you probably don't care, fuck you anyway.

      I stumbled on this site, and on the whole I'd say it's accurate, except for Clybourne. Maybe it's been a while since these reviews were written, but Clybourne is by far my favorite bar on campus. It doesn't have the dirtiness of Kam's and C.O.'s, nor the frat bullshit of Gully's and Station, but a generally chill atmosphere that I've yet to not have a fun night in. Would I rather spend a night at Clybourne over Highdive? No, probably not, but since we college students who you spend all this time trashing actually do NOT have an unlimited supply of time, money, or transportation, it's nice to be able to take a quick walk from where we live and have a fun night.

      If you still think there's something wrong with that, then I'm sorry you had such a sad college experience.

    29. Aruna Duarrani Says:

      My daughter checked her coat in at the coat check at Clybournes in Champaign…..and they lost it…..just like that. now they are not taking any responsibility or helping her in any way. what kind of establishment is that??? her $200 coat is gone thanks to the irresponsibilty at that club. WE WILL NEVER GO THERE AGAIN.

    30. Aruna Duarrani Says:

      My daughter checked her coat in at the coat check at Clybournes in Champaign…..and they lost it…..just like that. now they are not taking any responsibility or helping her in any way. what kind of establishment is that??? her $200 coat is gone thanks to the irresponsibilty at that club. WE WILL NEVER GO THERE AGAIN.

    31. Anonymous Says:

      Wow, can you be any gayer? Sorry you dont like the hott bitches at the campus bars, and Clys is one of the funnest times on wine night, can you beat a big ass bottle of wine/champaign for 5 bucks? And Kams is one of the oldest bars on campus and is always a fun time, and as long as your there before 9/9:30ish its no cover, so why dont you go jerk your little fag friends off.

    32. Sage Waters Says:

      Hey, we all know that champaign-urbana is stuck in the middle of central illinois and lacks the culture that you are looking for but why didn't you look into your rating scale before you decided to go to school there? i think you suck. first, you forgot the illini inn which is a great non-judging establishment. second, i found the canopy club to be a bonus to the champaign music scene. i am sorry that we were not in chicago, but i didn't see any other big ten venues bringing in the flaming lips and the smashing pumpkins. finally, if it was so awful and that there were only a few bars that we "may find you patronizing in," why didn't you pack your salty ass up and go home or better yet….to ISU or Eastern. Great blog, see ya in Mattoon.

    33. Anonymous Says:

      John…..is a dumb cunt. 99% of all "frat fucks" could beat your ass. Guaranteed! CO's is the worst bar on campus, follwed by Cly, then Gully's, Station…so forth and so on

    34. FormerTownieWhoKnowsMurph Says:

      I second the thought that you do a review of the Illini Inn. Otherwise, nice job.

    35. Anonymous Says:

      If I was thirty years old and living in a college town, I would know better than to go to the campus bars. They were obviously not created with you in mind.

    36. Jared Ruyle Says:

      Has anyone ever been to the Green Street Cafe? It is on Green Street in Champaign, just east of Fat City, and west of 1st Street. Very quiet place, except for during the school year. Great Drink Specials….Great Drinks in whole. Pretty good service. It is also a hookah bar. I am not much in to Hookahs, but I tried it. Pretty good (for as far as I can tell). Let me know what you think? BTW, great website here. I like all the info.

    37. Max Ballstein Says:

      You can't be 75058 serious?!?

    38. Derek Says:

      I think these ratings are pretty dead on. Honestly, anyone who knows anything about bars in general knows that the campustown bars (C.O,'s, Kams, Station, Gully's, Cly's) are pretty shitty. The reason I go there? Cheap to free drinks, depending on the night. Obviously being a student going to the downtown bars is a waste of cash and a pain in the ass to get to, and all Campustown bars are within walking distance. Do I have a good time going to campustown bars? Yes. Do I know they're shitty? Yes. However, this is the best I'm gonna get right now.

      Another thing… Clybourne's floor after wine night is one of the most disgusting floors you'll ever see in your life, period. A long night of puking freshmen and shit for wine spilled on the floor will do that

    39. Person with a future in life Says:

      People need to seriously relax. Students go to bars, no matter how shitty they are, just to have fun and experience college life. And stop making generalizations about the student body. If you were not smart enough to get a post-secondary education do not be mad at others. Finally, for you locals who hate students, nobody wants to be in your shitty ass town when it

    40. Anonymous Says:

      Forrest!Manuel.grounding menu?stream henchmen inhabit

    41. Kev Says:

      Hey, what about the Blind Pig?!

    42. Brian Says:

      I don't think you have any idea how the structure of campus bars work. Especially with the Cochranes owning Firehaus, CO's (Cochrane On Daniel St.), The Clybourne, Station, The Office, The Office 2, and soon to be FuBar (The Old Gullys). There is a big variety in between those bars and I think anyone can enjoy every single one of them depending on their mood and age. I do like your reviews on downtown bars though. And being a townie myself (and a student at the U of I), and having worked at Guido's and campus bars both I can say i've had way more fun on campus. So pretty much you shouldn't judge campus bars if your not a student, its the only thing to do in this piece of shit town during the night. With a study in my class we calculated that among the white and black population 80% of the students are alcoholics (technically).

    43. Kate Colias Says:

      Haha, so I came back here after looking for information about the smoking ban. I had completely forgotten that I had commented here, but I was surprised to find remarks from John disparaging me as a slut.

      "just a few points…
      the only people who like going to kams, co's, clyborne, gully's, and station are dumbass disease spreading sluts and faggot fuckin frat boys. both make me sick. both deserve to be shit on.
      if you think wine nite at clybourne is cool, you are nothing but an ignorant slut or a guy waiting to take advantage of an ignorant slut. and if you try to stick up for it (kate) , how embarrassing (slut).
      if you couldn't tell, i hate sorority sluts and frat fucks. they're nothing but waste.
      Posted by john at July 10, 2005 08:51 PM."

      Why the hate?
      Lame.

    44. eman Says:

      "hate its all the world has seen lately"

    45. John M Says:

      The Tumble In probably has the nicest smoking facility that's been built since we we told how we should live our social lives by the Urbana, er I mean, Champaign city council. And BTW, there are still bars in Champaign where you can openly smoke cigarettes. I ain't tellin' where.

    46. Fuck You Says:

      you are retarded,

    47. Joel Says:

      I mean, everything on this page is ignorant. What makes a bar is not the bar itself, but your friends. Kams has been around for decades so they're doing something right. Some people obviously have a great time there.

      What this opinion page tells me is that the writer was picked on in high school and he thought he was sweet when he turned 21 and could go to "super nice" downtown bars.

    48. carlos the jackal Says:

      I see that Carlos Nieto is under investigation by the FBI. Uh-oh, amigo.

    49. Laurence Dinovi Says:

      you could be right on this ive found a youtube video about it check for your self http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv1axMDj4tY

    50. Zara Robertson Says:

      body odor is nasty that is why i always take a bath twice a day.;-*

    51. Minh Tuitt Says:

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