New Wedge location is now open!



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 🙂


Sun-Tues: 11am – 11pm   |   Wed-Sat: 11am – 2am


 415 North Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820   |   217  398  2869


2411 Village Green Crossing, Champaign, IL 6182 2  |   217  355 3855



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Dragon Fire Pizza

Champaign Food Truck
Dave and Christy Saam are the owners of this new food truck soon to hit Champaign Urbana called “Dragon Fire Pizza”- photo from the News Gazette

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.


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Dancing Dog- New Vegan Option in Urbana

vegan in urbana
The new Dancing Dog in Urbana is set to open October 20 with vegan entrees. From the News Gazette

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.

Drinks will include coffee from Columbia Street Roastery as well as teas, soda, beer and wine…all organic.




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Curbanas Are Here!

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.

Curbanas are here
The first of the new Curbanas took shape this morning in front of Crane Alley in downtown Urbana

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?

Enlighten me!


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Uncork Urbana Wine Festival

Wine Urbana
The first ever wine festival in downtown Urbana is unveiled tomorrow!

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
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Three reasons why we need a Trader Joes in CU

There are some good reasons we don't have a TJ in Champaign Urbana.
There are some good reasons we don’t have a TJs in Champaign Urbana.

Chicago Traders Joes

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!

There is two buck chuck - and then those TJ labelled ones--a great wine at bargain prices.
There is two buck chuck – and then those TJ labelled ones–a great wine at bargain prices.

Two Buck Chuck

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!

We probably wont see a TJ in CU soon--not enough people here!
We probably wont see a TJ in CU soon–not enough people here!

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!

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Curbanas in Urbana

The News Gazette front page March 11, 2014.
The News Gazette front page March 11, 2014.

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?

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Food Trucks in Champaign Urbana

Champaign Foodies

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.

Cracked Egg

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.

Food truck in Champaign
Cracked Egg selling it on the street in downtown Champaign
Food truck in Urbana
This one wins the prize for artwork.

Mas Amigos

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”.

Burrito King

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.

Food truck in Urbana
This food truck in Champaign is fairly basic.
Food truck Champaign
The actual burritos are not bad–good cheese and sauce.

So…give us your feedback on these and other food trucks in the area.

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Real Estate Open House in Champaign

1407 Waverly Drive, Champaign, Illinois

This home on Waverly will be open this Sunday, 2-4pm.
This home on Waverly will be open this Sunday, 2-4pm.

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.

Come by to experience this lovely home.

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Biggby Coffee on Mattis

There is a new coffee house out west in Champaign. Its another Biggby- the first was at MarketPlace Mall.

Bigby Ext

They had guys out on the street the past few days waving placards (a job I always wanted to try like for a day or so.

Bigby sign

I ventured in to try the brew and it is decent. Also the space inside is not at all crowded- a welcome change from some of the other java places around CU.

Anyone been there? Your opinion?

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