Wedge Tequila Bar and Grill, which already has a location in downtown Champaign, has just opened a second location at Village at the Crossing in the old Cabo’s spot. Not your normal Mexican food fare! Wedge offers great ambience, over 100 different types of tequilas, fantastic food and outdoor seating in the warmer months! Since out Keller Williams office is just steps away from this new location, I forsee many team lunches there in the future 🙂
We have yet another food truck rolling onto the streets of Champaign Urbana–and may their tribe increase! A new custom built 20 ft trailer will serve up wood-fired pizza under the name “Dragon Fire Pizza“. Plans are for it to be out there pleasing our pizza loving taste buds by Veterans Day, 2014.
The pizza will be Neapolitan style and will feature a range of meat, veggie, spicy, and build your own options.
The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery is getting set to open in downtown Urbana. The open date is set for October 20, and this will be the first all-vegan eatery in the area. The address is 126 West Main, Urbana–downtown Urbana just keeps adding new options!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered Monday though Saturday and then brunch on Sunday. Some of the dishes on the menu are black bean burgers, eggplant parmesan lasagna, and hummus plate. Add in some crepes, super salads, and cupcakes and you have some great vegan eating.
This morning the city workers were in downtown Urbana this am assembling the new “Curbanas” (parklets) in front of Crane Alley with the one in front of Cafeteria and Co to follow pronto. The temporary structures come in a kit and extend the sidewalk into the parking places–like two parking spots will be taken in each location.
So some questions:
Will there be more of these next year?
Are they big enough to actually seat four people at a table?
Willl the loss of parking spots be no big deal for downtown Urbana?
Will they come to downtown Champaign next–and what will we call them–Chamcurbs?
Saturday June 14, 2014 is the premier of a new local festival in Champaign Urbana–and it gets rolling tomorrow in downtown Urbana. The Urbana Business Association is sponsoring the Uncork Urbana Wine Festival and it will likely become one of the most popular local summer events.
Here are some details:
It runs 1-9pm in downtown Urbana–in the Busey parking lot
Admission is only $10–you have to be 21– and includes a commemorative tasting glass and 5 tasting tickets. You can buy additional tasting tickets.
You can buy additional wine or beer –and all from local wineries and breweries
Entertainment will go on all afternoon into the evening
First reason is that while there are a half dozen or so TJs in the Windy City area, they are all at least 2.5 hours away. It is very convenient to drop into the Ohio Street location while in downtown Chicago. Or to hit one of the suburban Chicago TJs – they have free parking. But you don’t just run up there for a jar of that great $1.99 TJ peanut butter- too far!
We just don’t have a great wine source in the area. The traditional grocery stores are doing better and the prices are decent. But with the closing of Corkscrew in Urbana, we are a bit wine thirsty in the twin cites. Envision that good old Two Buck Chuck along with a nice variety of well priced wines. And they have their store brand of TJ Whisky and Trader Joes Vodka as well!
The Real Truth About Grocery Stores
Grocery store shelf space is like real estate- it is a commodity that the big chain stores sell to the likes of Nabisco and Coke. So what is on the shelf is what gets rented out. Trader Joes on the other hand puts what YOU want on the shelves–and nobody is leveraging them to advertise or push things. A better model for the consumer and the biggest threat to the big box grocers right now.
So lets start a campaign to bring TJ to Champaign Urbana. But wait- they have a model of bringing them to major markets first. So we may need to wait until this place has 750,000 population. Might be better to just head to Chicago for TJs than to wait for that!
First of all, let me say that we usually see groaner puns like this only on the sports page of The News Gazzette. But this morning this is what woke us up as we sipped coffee.
These new little “curb cafes” or “parklets” are coming to Urbana and perhaps downtown Champaign. Both downtowns- especially the Champaign side with the impending opening of the new Champaign Hyatt Place–are pulsing with life these days. The new on street dining spots will be occupying parking spots during summer months and they will expand the space for outside dining on both sides of –and perhaps ON Wright street.
Urbana city arborist Mike Brunk is credited with coming up with the term “Curbana”. Wait…is he also the one who coined the “Champaign-Nirvnana” moniker?
Anyway these little platforms will be right on the street and will change the scene greatly. I can see it along Main Street in Urbana–traffic flowing by on a summer evening. But the way the cars scream through downtown Champaign might mean they have to stay to the side streets–what do you think?
So there is good news and bad news when it comes to food trucks in CU. Godd news is we have them just like on TV. And good news is both cities have passed ordinances to welcome them. And good news is they are on the street all year around pretty much.
Bad news is that they range in quality from just good to poor. Here is a brief review of three of them–and yes there are more. So comment and give suggestions and reviews of others. Or even tell us about great ones you have experienced in Chicago or Portland or Flatville (joke).
Here we go.
This one I would classify as good. Nice array of breakfast and other goodies. The Cracked Egg menu has sandwiches, wrap (even veggie), sides and some cool drinks. Generally the food is fresh, perhaps a bit oily, but very serviceable. One cool spot they often fill is a the farmers market in Urbana– makes a good late breakfast on a Saturday morning.
I find the Mas Amigos food truck attractive but underwhelming food wise. In particular the meats are good flavored but the lettuce and other veggies on the burritos was stale. Good sized and reasonably priced but not “fresca”.
Ditto of Mas Amigos–sorry. The burritos are a smothered affair and fairly tasty. But with old lettuce they flop. Sauces and cheese are muy rica but the chips were refried refried- so tough and greasy.
So…give us your feedback on these and other food trucks in the area.
This luxury home for sale in Champaign will be open this Sunday and we welcome you to come by to see it bewteen 2 and 4pm.
This exceptional home is located near one of Champaign’s premier golf courses. It was completely remodeled in 1994 & 2nd remodel in 2005. The home features an open floor plan and this provides for plenty of space for entertaining.
There are hardwood floors throughout much of the home.