THE VIDETTE PRESENTS
EAT 路 PLAY 路 LIVE 路 SHOP
letters from the editors Hello! As the end of the semester begins to hit hard with deadlines and limited hours in the day to do everything necessary, life can be overwhelming. Seniors are still looking for jobs, and those who have already received offers are impatiently awaiting graduation. Underclassmen are also trying to crank out projects and papers amidst tests and other obligations, with summer just around the corner. The Vidette always tries to be there for its readers. Part of our mission as a newspaper is to get the news out to you, our audience. And another part of it is to provide information that might not be hardhitting news but is still important you know. That is where this guide comes in. From late February to late March, Illinois State students had the ability to vote for their favorite businesses around the Bloomington-Normal area in various categories. Now, the top three winners of each category are featured in this guide. Some of winners are places I have never been to or even heard of. Some of the winners are new businesses to the area. But whatever the case, these businesses and groups that won deserved to win. Not only do some of them put out a product that must be great, they also treat their customers with the respect and dignity they deserve. What more could you ask for? While I personally can attest to the long hours that the newspaper industry brings, I can also say that itâ€™s worth it. And this guide is no exception. This guide is essentially by the students and is definitely for the students. With the stress piling up, now is the time to eat, play, live and shop in BloNo. Wishing you all a good rest of the year, Grace V. Johnson Hello ISU! I want to thank each and every one of you who helped The Vidette in voting for the categories within the Best of Guide. I especially want to give a big shout out to Dan Ferrell, art director at The Vidette, in helping me piece this together because without his help in the few short days we had post-holiday weekend, we would not have this guide published. This being said, I hope each of you take the time to read over the winners of each category in this yearâ€™s Best of Guide. Some of these places are new and some are old, but regardless, everyone should experience each of these places at least one time. As the end of the year nears and the weather warms up, more people start coming out and enjoying the outdoors. A fantastic way to spend time with others or even individually is by taking a walk and passing by some of these places and recognizing them for their excellence. As a graduating senior, I encourage for everyone to stop by some of these places and experience every one of the Best Ofâ€™s. For those of you who are seniors, really take the time to acknowledge this campus to the best of your ability. Do not let your final month slip by without truly taking in all you could. For those of you who will continue at ISU, truly think about stopping by these places as well. While you do still have at least one more semester here, appreciating these places is what makes them the best and what will keep them at best annually. Our time in college is short and needs to be experienced to the fullest. You never know what you may be missing in your life; so read up, you Redbirds and see if there are any places that may broaden your horizons. Good luck to you all. All the best, Jennifer Novoseletsky
Best of blono 01
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Coffee, Jewelry, Brownies, Chocolates... What else do you need ? Check us out on Facebook
ISU Redbird Macaroni Monday’s:
Open 7 days a week and Free Wifi
per scoop with I.D.
108 W North St.| Normal • www.thegarlicpress.com • 309.452.8841
No Coupon Required
PAY BY THE WEIGHT! SELF SERVICE FROZEN YOGURT SHOP
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121 E. Beaufort St. Uptown Normal
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4 Best bang for your buck 5 Best breakfast food
17 Best large apartment customer service 18 Best medium apartment customer service
6 best burrito
19 best small apartment customer service
6 Best asian cuisine
21 Best place to live
7 Best date restaurant
21 Best hotel
7 Best wings
22 Best place to work out
8 Best drunk food
23 Best place to study
8 Best frozen dessert
24 Best social sorority
9 Best local coffee shop
25 Best social fraternity
9 Best sandwich 10 Best pizza 11 Best burger
27 Best specialty store 27 Best resale shop 28 best tanning salon
12 Best uptown bar
29 Best hair salon
12 best sports bar
29 Best tattoo/piercing place
12 best drinking game
30 Best local book buys/returns
13 Best downtown bar
30 Best theatre
13 Best place to bust a move
31 Best organic grocery store
13 Best place to find a hookup
31 Best grocery store
13 Best drink special
32 Best â€œiâ€™m sorryâ€? store
13 Best live music
32 Best auto care
13 best place to hook up 13 best sex position 14 best liquor store 15 Best late night transportation 15 Best live entertainment venue
Best bang for your buck 2nd place Prime time pizza 3rd Place circle k polar pop
brewe-ha’s $2 burger basket
Olivia Gilbertsen staff writer
Zack Applehans / Photographer
The infamous $2 burger basket from Brewe-Ha’s that won Best Bang for your Buck includes any single burger with fries and a non-alcoholic drink. The deal is available 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day Sunday. This burger basket is well loved not only for its college student friendly price, but also because the food is worth more than what it is sold for, said Brewe-Ha’s manager Melissa Moorman. “We are hoping that winning this award with The Vidette will give Brewe-Ha’s a better name with the University,” she said. “Students tend to think we are just a townie bar, but we are more than that. Our goal is to get more students interested in stopping by.” Aside from students, residents living around the Bloomington-Normal area drop by Brewe-Ha’s regularly and have good things to say. “I like coming to Brewe-Ha’s because of the atmosphere. It’s esthetically pleasing and I have a good time when I come,” Rob Stacks, BreweHa’s regular and philanthropist, said in the midst of the packed bar. The owner of Brewe-Ha’s is an Illinois State alumnus, so that is a large part as to why the burger basket is so affordable; he is trying to accommodate the students, Moorman said. She added that customers can order the burger as a double and still receive the fries and non-alcoholic drink for $3.50, another bang-foryour-buck deal. The bar and grill also has many other weekly deals available with drink specials including $3 Vegas bombs and $1.50 Bud Light family drafts. For more specifics on weekly specials see the restaurant’s Facebook page. Brewe-Ha’s is located at 102 S. Linden in Uptown Normal. For more information, call (309) 452-7393.
BAR & GRILL
Thank you for voting for us! Burger Baskets: $2.00 Single Basket $3.50 Double Basket Mon-Fri 5pm - 9pm Sunday 12pm - 6pm
21 & Over After 6 pm
Join the club!
$2 Imports Every Tuesday!
Change is good.
YOU SHOULD KEEP IT.
Varieties to choose from! Start today by signing up for your own Import Club Card!
NO NEED TO TIP at NORMAL 609 S. Main & Osage BLOOMINGTON 305 N. Veterans Pkwy.
best breakfast food 2nd place wild berries 3rd Place mcDonald’s
Time and time again, many people hear how breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the most popular place to find breakfast on the ISU campus is Einstein Bros. Bagels. While the bagel shop has won two awards this year, it is not the first time since opening they have received awards for the “Best of Guide.” “Einstein Bros. Bagels won second place in the best of breakfast category in 2011,” Tracy Widergren, marketing coordinator of Campus Dining Center, said. “The location opened in 2010, so the 2011 best of would have been the first time the location would have been eligible to win. Einstein Bros. Bagels won first place in Best of breakfast in 2012.” The best breakfast item is typically a bagel and cream cheese or a bacon egg and cheddar sandwich, Widergren explained. Being located in the Bone Student Center, students make it routine to stop by Einstein’s for a quick, filling and enjoyable breakfast. One student comments on how while he enjoys a bagel with cream cheese, breakfast sandwich’s stand out in flavor as well. “The asiago with cream cheese is truly my favorite,” Arty Hernandez, junior interactive media major, said. “The turkey-sausage and cheddar breakfast sandwich is also pretty good.” Aside from bagels, different cream cheese spreads and breakfast sandwiches, Einstein’s also offers other breakfast foods students may enjoy. Fresh fruit, yogurt parfait and on-the-go desserts such as muffins, cookies and coffee cakes are also among some breakfast favorites. Anyone who is looking to find a quick morning energizer can turn to Einstein Bros. Bagels.
Ashley Koenig / Photographer
Best of blono 05
Best burrito 2nd place los potrillos 3rd Place moe’s
Kellie Flaherty news editor
Ashley Koenig / Photographer
ISU students crowned Chipotle Mexican Grill as the restaurant with the best burrito in the 2013 Best of Blo-No survey. Chipotle ran the race for best burrito in the area against Los Potrillos and Moe’s Southwest Grill. The surveys results included Los Potrillos in second place while Moe’s came in third. Chipotle is located directly under the Lofts on Main Street. This is a relatively new location that was built in 2010 and opened for the 2011 school year. Meatheads and student apartments were also a part of this development. “The difference with us is all of our meats are naturally raised animals, so that’s one of the main things,” Alex Garcia, Normal’s Chipotle manager, said. Garcia said Chipotle’s staff has high standards for cooking their meats. “Chipotle’s burritos are always fresh, quick and easy,” Katie Gulino, freshman nursing major explained. “There’s so many different flavors that you can add to it, which makes it fulfilling with what you want to eat.” Chipotle makes a conscious effect to please their customers as well, Garcia added. “Although Chipotle is a very popular restaurant on campus, the staff always prepares their burritos fresh and delicious,” Ally Palhegyi, sophomore biological sciences major, said. Stephanie Curilla, senior elementary education major, said she enjoys the portion sizes that Chipotle offers to its customers. “I always like walking away feeling like I ate enough for an entire family,” Curilla added. Aside from burritos, Chipotle’s menu includes burrito bowls, hard shell and soft shell tacos, salads, and chips and guacamole.
Best asian cuisine 2nd place kobe 3rd Place imperial buffet
great wall Open 7 days/week from 11 AM to 10 PM 201 Landmark Drive, Normal 309. 862. 0824 $1.50 off a $10 purchase!
*not valid with other offers
$3 off a $20 purchase!
*not valid with other offers
BURRITOS AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD!
FRESH MEXICAN FOOD Tacos & Tortas, too. Downtown Bloomington 108 West Washington 3009.829.5096
Downtown Normal 129 East Beaufort 309.452.2243
Half of Burritos on Mondays! Not valid with any other offers. Good only at participating locations.
Open late after the bars close!
Ariana M. Taylor features editor
With all the tasty ethnic food restaurants available in Bloomington-Normal, it may be difficult to choose which one will best satisfy your hunger. Nonetheless, Great Wall, voted Best Asian Cuisine, has little competition when it comes to offering the finest chow to the ISU community. Whether it’s chicken fried rice, shrimp and broccoli, or their delicious General Tso’s chicken, Great Wall offers various food options to customers. Along with their special diet menu, they have lunch specials between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. as well as dinner combinations. Reonna Taylor, junior community health education major, explains that although Chinese food isn’t necessarily the healthiest option, the food offered at Great Wall is satisfying. Customers are able to choose whether they want to dine in, get delivery or take out, or even catering for any occasion. According to its website, Great Wall takes pride in delivering the “quickest, freshest, most delicious Chinese food in the Bloomington-Normal area.” The restaurant has been in business for over 12 years and continues to flourish as a company. Jamere Walton, senior English studies major, has had great experiences with ordering from Great Wall. He adds that their prices are reasonable and it is beneficial that they deliver on ISU’s campus. Lakeisha Price, senior broadcast journalism and political science major, agrees with Walton. “I love Great Wall’s crab ragoon. Their prices are very reasonable and they deliver your food quickly,” Price said. Great Wall is located at 1520 East College Ave.
Best date restaurant 2nd place biaggi’s 3rd Place flat top
medici Allie Maher copy editor
If you want to impress a date, you don’t have to go far. In fact, you can probably leave your car at home. The best date restaurant, according to fellow Redbirds, is Medici in Uptown Normal. Located at 120 North St. — a short two blocks from campus — Medici is known for the tree that goes through the center of the restaurant. The restaurant has atrium-style ceiling, lots of woodwork and an ambience that is both eccentric and sophisticated. Tamar Lange, junior publishing studies major, has gone on a few dates at the restaurant and likes the environment Medici has to offer. “The aesthetics of a place make a big difference to me,” Lange added. The variety of menu options makes a difference too. “It’s always been really good because the menu items are unique — it’s not stuff you can get anywhere else,” Lange said. The menu is vast and features items for all tastes including vegetarian, vegan, and gleuten-free. Of course there are plenty of dishes that incorporate meat, which draws some of the college crowd, according to Joe Slane, manager. “Our gouda mac and cheese is probably one of our most popular items with the students. We offer a lot of burgers and pizzas which are very popular with students too,” Slane said. The prices for dinner entrees range from $7 for a personal pizza to $23 for a Cajun Coffee Ribeye. Lange calls the prices reasonable for the quality of food served. However, various discounts are also available every day of the week. Mondays are Redbird Mondays, where a Redbird student I.D. can get customers 10 percent off of a purchase.
Antonio Vargas / Photographer
Best wings 2nd place hooters 3rd Place mugsy’s pub
Buffalo Wild Wings Holly Petrovich staff writer
Buffalo Wild Wings, located on 3220 East Empire St. in Bloomington, was voted to have the “Best Wings” by ISU students. Manager Casey Vogelsang was very excited to hear the news. “I think it’s fantastic! We always appreciate being recognized by ISU students,” Vogelsang said. However, this was not the first time Buffalo Wild Wings won this award. In fact, Vogelsang mentioned the restaurant has won the honor every year since its opening in 2005. Buffalo Wild Wings has several different types of wings; from hot to spicy, boneless or not, everyone will find something they like. There are quite a few specials offered, and one which seems to be a hit with the customers is the 60 cent boneless wing days. This occurs every Monday and Thursday all day long. In fact, Vogelsang stated Thursdays are the busiest day for the company, because everyone takes advantage of the cheap food. “Most people don’t know we have this special on Mondays too, because it is not very advertised or corporately known,” he explained. “However, we are happy to offer this to people twice a week rather than just on Thursdays.” There is also a special offered every Tuesday, where all traditional wings are discounted. In order to continue to be “the best,” Vogelsang said they would like to start advertising their specials more, especially around campus to students. Buffalo Wild Wings also has a great, relaxing environment where students can come in, enjoy their food and watch games on the TVs.
Best of blono 07
best drunk food 2nd place prime time 3rd Place jimmy john’s
Holly Petrovich staff writer
Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer
Tickets and DUIs
COUNTERMEASURES Alcohol & Drug Assessment, Education & Treatment • DASA Licensed • DUI / Drug & Alcohol Evaluations • Remedial & Driver’s Risk Education • Early Intervention & Treatment • Convenient Day & Evening Classes • Caring & Friendly Staff
343 Court St., Pekin (309) 347-8282 110 N. Center, Bloomington (309) 827-0818 456 Fulton Suite 271, Peoria (309) 676-7868
As students prepare to leave the bars at last call, nothing sounds better than the infamous D.P Dough. The reigning champ continues its streak of winning “Best Drunk Food” for the fifth consecutive year. D.P Dough was opened by owner Ryan Fiala in Uptown five years ago on St. Patrick’s Day. “This is the job I was suited to do in life,” Fiala said. Fiala was an ISU student for seven years before opening D.P Dough. Since its opening, they restaurant has expanded, can be found online and have found their way into many students’ contacts. The majority of the employees at D.P Dough are ISU students, but anyone is welcome to work there. Everyone enjoys their work environment and gets along well. “This is not the kind of job you dread going to,” Fiala said. This is in part because of the entertainment that comes along with the customers coming in at the end of a night at the bars. D.P Dough has had a few entertaining fights break out, catching them on camera and often watching them in person. The business also does fun things such as dying everything green on St. Patrick’s Day, and for April Fool’s Day they convinced customers they were coming out with calzone-smelling fragrances. What draws the ISU community to D.P Dough? It is their incredible calzones of course, especially the Reggiezones. Now D.P Dough has “hot and reggie”, with pre-made Reggiezones. “We learn more as we go, our ideas come from the customers,” Fiala said. The business expanded about two years ago, adding more seating and are constantly promoting their deals. “I always wanted to be that place where you don’t have to be drunk to enjoy it,” Fiala said.
Best frozen dessert 2nd place chill out 3rd Place emack & Bolio’s
Cherry berry Holly Petrovich staff writer
The new frozen yogurt place on campus, Cherry Berry, was nominated “Best Frozen Dessert” by the students at ISU. Britney House, manager of Cherry Berry, expressed her excitement for the entire staff for their success. “I am overjoyed to hear this news and very excited,” House explained. “I am happy we were selected and we hope people keep coming in to enjoy it.” Cherry Berry just opened this past winter, and clearly students are enjoying it every chance they get. The restaurant offers six different yogurt machines with interchanging flavors. Dozens of toppings are available including fruit, candy, syrups and more. A main goal of the Cherry Berry employees is to always keep the flavors and toppings fresh and new, she said. They also make sure to rotate the flavors frequently to have more of a variety. The staff is very outgoing with the customers, recognizing faces all the time. They try and learn the names of familiar faces to make the guests feel more comfortable. The store itself is painted in bright green and pink colors, which makes the environment very inviting, she added. Every Wednesday, a student may receive 15 percent off their entire order by merely showing their Redbird ID. This special is popular. Other specials include “Logo Days” and becoming a rewards member allows guests to accumulate points and eventually get money off or a free dessert. House encourages students to like their Facebook page to get first access to deals and specials.
best coffee shop 2nd place coffee hound 3rd Place fusion brew
Coffee is one of America’s favorite morning, afternoon or evening drinks to help energize people for their day or night. This year’s best local coffee shop is Einstein Bros. Bagels. Part of the appeal of the bagel shop is the convenience of being located in the Bone Student Center. “The reason I go to Einstein’s so often is because it’s right here on campus,” Arty Hernandez, junior interactive media major, said. “It’s on my way to everything, like the library, group meetings or class. I really love their vanilla hazelnut coffee for a quick pick-me-up right before a study session.” According to Tracy Widergren, marketing coordinator of Campus Dining Services, the most popular coffee is a caramel macchiato. Abby Keszei, employee of Einstein Bros. Bagels, said she sees several hundred customers per day and it is constantly busy. She also loves the coffee at Einstein’s. Her favorite is the iced white chocolate mocha. “I’m a coffee addict,” she said. “I drink coffee every day so I can relate to every person that comes in and needs coffee. Plus I love the smell and the atmosphere of a coffee house.” “I have a major sweet tooth and it tastes great,” she added. “It also goes perfectly with a bagel, muffin or breakfast sandwich.” Frequent customers can be found not only buying coffee here, but also studying in the cozy environment. People can also sip on hot drinks and study right outside of the bagel shop. “The environment including the fireplace, windows, booths and furniture, the long hours and the large selection of menu items: we are a deli, bagel shop, and coffee house all rolled into one,” Widergren said.
best sandwich 2nd place mcalisters 3rd Place potbelly
jimmy john’s Caitlin Perry
Jimmy John’s is not only freaky fast, but it’s also the best place to get a sandwich in the Bloomington-Normal area as voted on by students for another consecutive year. With more than 17 sandwiches to choose from that include both vegetarian and meat-lover options, Jimmy John’s can fulfill any hungry customer. And for those who do not have the time or money to stop in for a bite to eat can always enjoy Jimmy John’s advertised “free smells.” Two locations in Normal keep ISU students satisfied, as dedicated employees craft delicious sandwiches and offer delivery and carry out until 2 a.m. Students appreciate the late-night hours and speedy delivery service of Jimmy John’s. Dayna Schlenker, sophomore early childhood education major at Heartland Community College, says she cannot get enough of Jimmy John’s sandwiches. “Last summer, I ate Jimmy John’s practically every day, and I still didn’t get sick of it,” Schlenker said. Jimmy John’s menu caters to picky eaters with their Plain Slims such as ham and cheese with no vegetables or sauce, and to the hungriest of eaters with Giant Club Sandwiches that have twice the meat or cheese. Sandwiches are made to order and completely customizable. Meat is also freshly sliced in store every day. Jimmy John’s can be found at 207 W. North St. and 305 S. Main St. in Normal. Both locations are open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. For more information or to place an order, visit jimmyjohns.com.
Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer
Best of blono 09
Best pizza 2nd place prime time pizza 3rd Place Papa john’s pizza
HAS GONE MOBILE!
Antonio Vargas / Photographer
BloNo residents and ISU students looking for a great place for drinks, pizza and entertainment need look no further — Firehouse Pizza and Pub in Uptown Normal offers customers an array of options to satisfy their cravings. Patrons of Firehouse can accompany their thin and crispy, New York style hand-tossed, deep dish or gluten free pizzas with pasta, salads, “jumbo” hot wings, and appetizers including the popular “bosco sticks” — breadsticks filled with cheese. The pizza-pub uses only the freshest meats and vegetables, and makes its dough from scratch every day in its store. Nick Paccoti, ISU student and junior mass media major, said his favorite aspect of Firehouse is either its sweet sauce or the cheesy bread that is “really good.” “They have the ‘cheesy bread’ where they just have the cheese on the top and that’s really good – really greasy – but you know that’s not always a bad thing,” he added. If he has the money Paccoti said he eats at Firehouse every week or two. The restaurant continually receive positive feedback for its food quality and service, Chad Young, co-owner of Firehouse in Normal, said. Firehouse always has the mind-set to continually improve in order to remain successful. He opened the store in February, 2010, because a couple of his friends started the Firehouse in Peoria, and he thought BloomingtonNormal would be a good fit for the pizza-pub, Young said. “The Uptown development was attractive, as it seemed to be positioned nicely for future growth,” he added. In addition to the great food, Firehouse offers nightlife options too. It has a full service bar with a large variety of domestic brews and craft beers. And it hosts a variety of events that range from comedy open-mic nights to local bands. “I go to a lot of the shows,” Paccoti said. “They bring in a good crowd, and they also bring in some good music too.”
Best burger 2nd place pub II 3rd Place brewe-ha’s
Ashley Koenig / Photographer
Delicious food and fresh ingredients have put Meatheads in the top spot again this year as students have voted the Meatheads burger the best burger in the Bloomington-Normal area. With 100 percent Certified Angus Beef burgers, more than 17 toppings, 10 sauces and five types of cheese to choose from, you can create the burger that you’re craving. Joe Sanders, the marketing and press contact for Meatheads, said high-quality ingredients and community involvement is the key to being successful. “We have the best burgers. We serve fresh, all natural food,” Sanders said. According to its website, “Meatheads starts with the good stuff — fresh, all-natural, made-to-order food. Nothing ever frozen (except ice cream for our hand-dipped shakes).” Meatheads currently has two locations in the Bloomington-Normal area. Its first location at 305 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington opened in 2007. “We’re in a neighborhood spot. We grew up in Bloomington and are part of the community. We’re really committed to caring for everyone who comes into our restaurant, and we support the community as best we can,” Sanders added. In 2011, Meatheads opened another restaurant at 701 S. Main St. in Normal. Both locations have been popular among ISU students and other community members. Katie Line, a senior health information management major at ISU, was not surprised to hear that Meatheads was voted as having the best burger in the area again. “I think students chose Meatheads for the best burger because they make a delicious burger for a reasonable price,” Line said. If you’re feeling hungry, in addition to burgers, Meatheads also offers grilled chicken sandwiches; plain, Cajun or chili cheese fries; hot dogs and chili cheese dogs; milkshakes; and other options.
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Every day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Best of blono 11
best uptown bar 2nd place maggie’s 3rd Place brewe-ha’s
Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer
Nellie Romanowski senior staff
Craving that delicious hangover food that is one of a kind? Possibly a large tray of cheese balls for a Friday night out with friends? Every ISU student’s first choice came through in this year’s survey when it came to best sports bar, voting in the Pub II as the best in the town of Normal. Since its original opening in 1974, the Pub II has been serving college students and town members with great times, delicious food, and a whole lot of sweet music. Not only does it offer a unique hang out that is packed with ISU memorabilia but also promotes student workers and a friendly environment. Store owner Terry Stralow is thankful to still be serving students for as many years as they have been opened. “We have about 80 percent of our staff that is ISU students and since they know a lot of friends we always have students coming in,” Stalow
best sports bar 2nd place Buffalo Wild Wings 3rd Place elroy’s
best drinking game 2nd place Beer Pong 3rd Place Slap Cup & Circle of death
said. Pub II bouncer Tim Michels loves working for the bar and enjoys the atmosphere. “I like working here because of the people; I work for a greater employer and my co-workers are a lot of fun,” Michels said. Michels recognizes the importance of creating a unique atmosphere that is inviting for both sports lovers and regular customers alike. The Pub II offers a more unique sports bar environment in how they focus on big game days through promotional events or activities hosted by the bar. “Since we are on campus and a little bit bigger and have more room, game days make the atmosphere really electric,” Gary said. The Pub II offers a variety of drink specials and opportunities for fun whenever a big game rolls around. ISU students are always coming out for games with their friends and enjoying the atmosphere and food, along with enjoying the company of others.
The Best of
Thanks for 39 Years!
$4.00 Pitchers $4.00 Vodka Red Bull $4.00 Bombs
Lunch Special from 11-2
Best downtown bar 2nd place six strings 3rd Place elroy’s
Tim Rosenberger reporter
Chasers, a downtown bar in Bloomington aims to give people a good, safe time and has won this year’s best downtown Bloomington bar and best place to bust a move. Chasers has been located in downtown Bloomington on W. Washington Street for seven years. It has good prices and has the biggest dance floor of any bar in the city, Ron Nurceski, Chasers owner, said. Customer service is also a big part of Chasers, Nurceski said. It is one of its best aspects and it is one of the things that helps Chasers standout from other businesses in the area. “We know each and every one of our customers that walks through the door, we try to take care of them, we’re friendly people, [and] we have fun with them and stuff,” he added. “I think people keep coming back because they can go to a place [where] they know somebody and they don’t feel out of place,” he said.
best place to bust a move 2nd place daddios 3rd Place drifters
Best Sex position 2nd place girl on top 3rd Place missionary
Best drink special 2nd place Drifters $0.75 Well Drinks 3rd Place Elroy’s $3 pitchers on Fridays Best live music 2nd place Brushfire 3rd Place 16 candles
Chasers $2 U Call It
best place to find a hook up 2nd place Milner Basement 3rd Place the bowl by stevenson
The dance bar is open from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Thursdays and 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. One reason they are open at those times is to cater to the college crowd, who Nurceski thinks makes up 100 percent of Chasers’s business. It is common for them to reach full capacity, 500 people, during the weekend. While you may find 30 to 40 people in line waiting to get into Chasers on any given night, the line moves pretty fast, Nurceski said. The dance floor is open all three days of Chasers’ business week and live DJs are always present to provide music, usually remixes and dance music. Big name DJs have been brought in from the Chicago B96 radio station. Upcoming DJs include Topher Jones and DJ Flipside from the Jump Smokers. Beyond having a spacious dance floor, the downtown business has two bars in order to deal with large crowds. One of their most popular drinks among college students is Vodka Red Bulls.
Mike & Joe
Best place find a hook-up 2nd place Party bus ride home 3rd Place Pub II
Best of blono 13
best liquor store 2nd place university Liquors 3rd Place binny’s
Kristi Demonbreun sports editor
Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer
With over 20,000 undergraduates attending Illinois State University, about 2,000 attending Illinois Wesleyan University and over 5,000 attending Heartland Community College it is not uncommon to see lots of students on a Friday night around Beaufort and Main Street in Normal. These two streets specifically are populated with students because of 707 Liquors. 707 Liquors, shortened to just 707 by most shoppers, was voted this year’s best liquor store by Illinois State students. The honor came with no surprise from Surgit Sing, owner of 707 Liquors. “It’s the biggest store on campus. The most selection with all kinds of beers — imported beers, hard liquors and wine. People love to come here shopping,” Sing said. One ISU student and frequent 707 customer was happy to hear the business was voted as best liquor store because she has always been happy with the business’ convenience. “It’s convenient because it’s close to campus and I’ve been there multiple times because everyone goes there, so I know exactly where everything is,” Kate O’Connor, junior nursing major, said. Sing owned 707 since 2006, opening the Beaufort St. store first followed by the Main St. store. The 707 Liquors FaceBook page is the newest addition to the business, amassing 869 likes and 134 check-ins. The page includes several pictures of customers in Halloween costumes, featured alcohol like ‘Adult Chocolate Milk’ and drink promos. The page also informs customers of deals and taste testing’s going on. The 2013 best liquor store is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Best late night transportation 2nd place checker cab 3rd Place Bob’s Blue Night Limo
magic bus Cade Boland reporter
The people have spoken and The Vidette’s Best of BloNo survey has again named Magic Bus as the best late night transportation, followed by Checker Cab in second and Bob’s Blue Nite Limo in third. Hearing about the Magic Bus makes it easy to understand why they have come in first place for the second year running. Magic Bus is known for having music and lights to keep a festive feeling going on while still transporting its passengers to Chasers, Elroy’s or wherever they are looking to get in downtown Bloomington. “The Magic Bus was the transportation my friends and I used for my 22nd birthday this past year. They were very accommodating to the times we needed to be picked up, dropped off and returned home safely,” Jordan Bradley, senior technology and engineering education major, said. “It’s always a fun ride to wherever when you choose the Magic Bus,” he added. Checker Cab is also a local favorite by students in the town, which offers service from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and also provides service for house parties and other events in the local area. “I used Checker Cab a couple times, it’s cool for when you have a smaller group where a bus wouldn’t be worth it,” Chris Faxel, sophomore physical education major, said. “The prices are pretty standard for any taxi service, but the taxi’s are cleaner and safer than the ones you will find in a lot of other places,” he continued. To book the Magic Bus for your weekend, call (309) 838-4933, (309) 828-0123 for the Checker Cab or 309-663-0373 for Bob’s Blue Nite Limo.
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Best live entertainment venue 2nd place Castle Theatre 3rd Place Laugh Comedy Club
US Cellular Coliseum
The U.S. Cellular Coliseum — home to sporting events, musical concerts, stand-up comedy acts and more — has won this year’s best place for live entertainment venue. The Coliseum, located at 101 S. Madison St. in Bloomington has been around since April 2006 and is capable of holding 5,600 people for a sporting event and 8,000 for a concert. While the Coliseum holds year-round events of all genres, country music tends to be a big hit and those concerts sell out pretty quickly, Jenna Fecht, the Coliseum’s marketing manager, said. Shows have sold out many times at the Coliseum. In some cases, second shows have even been added to accommodate everyone. While student attendance can be high, how many students go to the Coliseum depends on the show, Fecht said. “We have had Bassnectar [a free form electric music producer and DJ] in our building a few times which draws a lot of students,” Fecht said. “Both times Bassnectar has been in the building it has been a sold out show,” she added. Fecht could not say whether or not students could afford most shows or not since prices fluctuate according to the event. A variety of concessions are available during events. The food and drinks range from hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, nachos, soda and beer. Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches and popcorn chicken are also served. There is also the Smokehouse restaurant located in the Coliseum, which is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Archive Photo
Best of blono 15
THE PREMIER PROVIDER OF STUDENT HOUSING
"From the moment I walked in the door, the leasing agents were extremely helpful and friendly. I immediately knew that I didn't want to live anywhere other than Young America." - Beth K.
Best in Customer Service 5 years running
311 s. Main st. | 309.454.2338 | www.yarealty.com 16 Live
Best large apartment customer service 2nd place sami 3rd Place redbird PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
editor in chief
With Bloomington-Normal being a college town, there is no shortage of apartment realty companies in the area. One of the most daunting tasks as someone looks into finding an apartment is determining which company to use. Young America is a name that almost everyone on Illinois State’s campus recognizes. They advertise heavily through various avenues and it pays off. But just having name recognition isn’t enough to keep customers returning. The service has to be good — and it obviously is. Jackie Gaytan, a junior fashion merchandising major, is a leasing agent for Young America. As someone who not only works for the realty company but also leases with it, Gaytan believes that the consistency in winning this award is attributed to how they deal with problems. “If our customers have problems, we make that our focus. We really try to care about the customers and so we have Tenant Appreciation Week and different offers,” Gaytan said. Gaytan went on to say that the environment is “professional but fun” and that makes Young America stand out from other realty companies. “I think a lot of that is because the leasing agents are in the same shoes as the tenants. We’re younger and we understand since we’re going through the same thing. We try to get to know our tenants and think about what we would like in order to help them figure it out,” Gaytan explained. With over 3,000 units, it’s difficult to imagine that their can be such personalized customer service, but Gayton insists that the tenants are always top priority, and winning this category multiple years is proof of that. Young America Realty’s office is located at 311 S. Main St. in Normal. For more information, visit yarealty.com.
Andrew S. Avitt / Photographer
(309) 888-2599 WWW.JSMAPTS.COM/NORMAL
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Best medium apartment customer service 2nd place college station 3rd Place campus point
Melanie Lowe reporter
First Site is an apartment-leasing company that provides on campus and off campus housing for students in the BloomingtonNormal area. Known for their customer service, First Site takes pride in offering quality locations with the upmost care. “We have a variety of different apartments that are very close to campus with different amenities and features. We are known as the property management company with the most communities, such as fitness centers and high tech security,” Ulises Napoles, leasing and marketing manager at First Site, said. In comparison to other leasing companies on campus, First Site offers a close-knitted community feel that students often desire. “We like to feature more of the community feel. We have a lot of new construction with new, fun features, and we offer locations that are near to campus. It’s very important to be close,” Napoles said. But above all other features lies First Site’s obligation to remain a company that specializes in quality customer service. First Site’s maintenance service is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. “Our maintenance service is very important to us. Student can contact maintenance for help and receive it within twenty-four hours,” Napoles said. According to Napoles, First Site is always looking to aid students in finding the right apartment for them. “Students can contact us at any time, or they can hop on our website and schedule an appointment online,” Napoles said. Antonio Vargas / Photographer
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