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Champaign-Urbana’s community magazine FREE

NOVEMBER 8-14, 2013





VOL 11 NO 36

NOVEMBER 8, 2013

B E S T of





New Business 6 Green Business 7 New Clothes 8 Vintage Clothes Library 9 Park 10 Place to Buy a Bike Regional Store Nail Salon 11 Hair Salon Place to Get a Tattoo Smoke Shop 12

Place to See a Movie 14 Performance Theater Comedy Venue 15 Art Gallery 16 Live Music Venue Place to Buy Music 18 Beer Garden CU Personality 19 Worst of CU Regional Attraction 20 Gay-Friendly Nightlife Editors' Picks: CU Festivals Local Band 21 Editors' Picks: Music

Bakery 24 Breakfast 25 Coffee Shop Burgers 26 Barbecue 27 Mexican 28 Delivery Food Editor's Picks: Dishes of CU 29 Liquor Store 30 Beer Selection/Bar Selection 31 Place to Take A Date Vegetarian Restaurant 32 Pizza 33 Editors' Favorite Slices




Two and Four bedrooms with a TV in EVERY bedroom


112 E. Green 217-351-8900 2 buzz November 8≠14, 2013


Welcome to the DANGER ZONE!


Every issue of buzz is made with care and with the help of the members of the Champaign-Urbana community. None, however, is made with as much of CU embedded in every page as this one, Best of CU. This issue is all about you, the reader. You sent in your votes, told us your favorites in a multitude of categories in the fields of community, entertainment and dining. We tallied them up, ranked them, tracked down the winners and wrote about them. Now they’re all compiled here, in what we hope is an aesthetically pleasing and fun-to-read package that showcases the best stuff our towns have to offer. We also added some of our own input through our own picks, in order to include even more of what we think makes these cities so great. Some of the best parts of Champaign-Urbana don’t always lend themselves to a reader’s poll for whatever reason, and our editor’s picks hopefully shined a light on some things that flew under the radar. This issue is a culmination of a great deal of work and collected effort. As you can probably tell, Best of CU is several times larger than the average issue of buzz. The designs and layouts are atypical. We’ve been planning this thing for several weeks, months even, and after hours upon hours, I’ve seen it come together into something to be proud of. Our staff put in a whole lot of extra time to get it together, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their dedication. Moving to Champaign as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school is a fun, weird, disorienting experience. Just learning the names of the dorms and the locations of your classes can take a while. If you want, it’s pretty easy to stay in your comfort zone and just hang out with people you know from back home. You could probably get through school without befriending someone who grew up more than 20 minutes away from you. It’s dangerously easy to fall in line and just stick to the same old friends going to the same old places on campus. When I joined buzz, I was looking for something more than that. It opened my eyes to all kinds of new experiences, places to go, people to meet and things to do. I really started to see just how great the arts and entertainment community is in CU. I can’t tell you how many people that I have met through buzz, whether they are fellow staff members, sources or just people I see out and about at different events, who have become important parts of my life. Best of CU is a testament to the incredible spirit of interconnectedness here. You really can make a difference if you get out there. Whether you're a student looking to branch out off of campus or just a local resident looking for new places to check out over the weekend, I hope that this issue helps you find whatever you’re looking for.

m eet t h e



Need a little

In your




Downtown Urbana

FEATURING Birkenstock & New Balance


Rudy, Animah Boakye, Liz Brinckerhoff, Megan Swiertz, Folake Osibodu, Alyssa Abay, Diana Diggs, Allison Macey, Alissa Wertz, Johanna Tesfaye DESIGNERS Bella Reinhofer, Katie Geary MUSIC EDITOR Maddie Rehayem FOOD & DRINK EDITOR Carrie McMenamin MOVIES & TV EDITOR Kaitlin Penn ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Andrea Baumgartner COMMUNITY EDITOR Karolina Zapal STUDENT SALES MANAGER Nick Langlois CLASSIFIED SALES MANAGER Deb Sosnowski AD DIRECTOR Travis Truitt PUBLISHER Lilyan J. Levant

Top Row Community Editor Karolina Zapal, Arts & Entertainment Editor Andrea Baumgartner, Assistant Food & Drink Editor Melissa España. Second Row Managing Editor Dan Durley, Designer Katie Geary, Assistant A & E Editor Imani Brooks. Third Row Copy Chief Lauren Cox, Movies & TV Editor Kaitlin Penn, Food & Drink Editor Carrie McMenamin. Fourth Row Designer Bella Reinhofer, Online Editor Tyler Durgan, Art Director Dane Georges. Fifth Row Photo Editor Animah Boakye, Music Editor Maddie Rehayem

TALK TO BUZZ ON THE WEB EMAIL WRITE 512 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 CALL 217-337-3801 We reserve the right to edit submissions. buzz will not publish a letter without the verbal consent of the writer prior to publication date. buzz Magazine is a student-run publication of Illini Media Company and does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of the University of Illinois administration, faculty or students.


Saving the World

Two Feet at a Time

106 W. Main St. | Urbana, IL 217-367-2880 M-Th 9:30AM-5:30PM Friday 9:30AM-7:00PM Saturday 9:30AM-5:00PM November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 3

4 buzz November 8-14, 2013

McDonald's actually does serve breakfast after 10:30 if you bring a weapon.



' . " & - &, " # +* ! &' ( 0 $ , /" $ & " & +2

) &2 2 & &'$ ' 3* " 11 % ( & * 2 &'( 0 $ , %'


These sponsors make good stuff happen:



Krannert Uncorked with Don’t Ask, klezmer // Marquee


Clybourne Park


Irish Chamber Orchestra featuring JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Sir James Galway, flute; and Lady Jeanne Galway, flute // Marquee

// Illinois Theatre

Irish Chamber Orchestra featuring JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Sir James Galway, flute; and Lady Jeanne Galway, flute Helen & James Farmer Carole & Jerry Ringer Helen & Daniel Richards



Clybourne Park


Chip McNeill, jazz saxophone

Beth L. Armsey

// Illinois Theatre // School of Music

Susan & Michael Haney Maxine & Jim Kaler


Lisa & Mark Klinger


Clybourne Park


Ricardo Flores and William Moersch, percussion

// Illinois Theatre

// School of Music

Lois & Robert Resek Selma Richardson Shirley & Arthur Traugott




Clybourne Park


UI Percussion Ensemble

// Illinois Theatre // School of Music



Clybourne Park


UI Trombone Choir

// Illinois Theatre // School of Music

Falstaff Gay Roberts



Krannert Uncorked


Clybourne Park




November Dance: Big Tiny Little Dance

// Marquee

// Illinois Theatre

// School of Music Opera Program

// Dance at Illinois


UI Chamber Orchestra

HAVE THE LAST WORD. // School of Music

Learn Yiddish or speak geek. Write like Poe or find inner peace. Share a haiku on your filing cabinet. Dig into a Magnetic Poetry box for motivation—or just plain fun. T H E E XC E P T IONA L LY EC L EC T IC A N D A RT F U L LY A F FOR DA BL E STOR E

C A L L 3 3 3 . 6 2 8 0 • 1. 8 0 0 . K C P A T I X

Corporate Power Train Team Engine

Marquee performances are supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council—a state agency which recognizes Krannert Center in its Partners in Excellence Program.

40 North and Krannert Center—working together to put Champaign County’s culture on the map.

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 5



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Revolt Tattoo Studio Flying Machine Coffee


Pinky's Piercings

Allison Macey

2520 Village Green Place, Champaign

wasn’t sure what to expect when I made my first trip to a piercing shop. To my pleasant surprise, my excursion to Pinky’s Piercings, winner of CU’s Best New Business, was the least intimidating experience I could’ve asked for. In fact, going to the new shop, located within the Rod Sickler Salon and Spa, feels more like you’re getting your nails done than getting a piercing. Having a location within a salon was a “godsend” to owner and pro-piercer, Karla Pinky Grimes. Formerly of No Regrets Tattoos, Pinky said she is thrilled to have her own shop on her own terms. “I have my own business which I can control, and still I get all the benefits of having these other businesses here in a professional environment,” she said. Professionalism and safety is present in everything Pinky does. The main idea behind Pinky’s Piercings was a shop that could meet APP (Association for Professional Piercers) standards. This means that all the jewelry is implant-grade quality, and the shop has the best hygiene methods possible. “One of the first things I did was get rid of the junk jewelry,” she said. “I know what’s in my metal. I know how it’s polished. Long story short, it makes everybody happy.” Not only is her jewelry high quality, it’s also low priced. Pinky was annoyed by huge disparity

between the cost and value of a piece of jewelry at most shops and wanted to change that at her own place. “At most piercing shops, if you’re paying $15 for piercing, it’s mostly likely only worth $0.30," she said. "I saw there was a tremendous markup on cheap jewelry, so I wanted to offer really nice jewelry to people at a decent price. I don’t mark my stuff up much.” Pinky offers a standard $25 fee plus the cost of jewelry on any, and I mean any, type of piercing. Many may not realize there are piercing trends, but whatever the hot, new piercing is, Pinky can do it and has great jewelry to match. “Last year was the trend of the triple forward helix, that’s the three itty bitty gems at the top of the ear and it goes small, medium, large," she said. "Pinterest started it. It went gangbuster ... and septum piercings are really hot right now on girls and guys.” Of all the great things Pinky’s Piercings has to offer, the biggest asset is Pinky herself. From the environment to the pricing to the styles, everything she does at her shop has her customers in mind. She even has a “no pressure piercing” policy where she won’t pierce anyone, especially young kids, without proof of desire for a piercing. She has new markdowns every month and even offers discounts to people with good grades.

Danielle Janota


If I ever feel the need to get a piercing, I will most definitely go to Pinky’s Piercings. She’s experienced, sweet, and fashion-forward. Pinky is the cool aunt I always wanted.

Pinky's Piercings is run by Karla Pinky Grimes in Champaign.She is dedicated to having a clean, comfortable and professional shop.

Your Champaign-Urbana location for hair, skin and nails! Best Place on Campus for Your Full Body Waxing!

6 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Pros and cons of making food: pros = food ... cons = making.


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(Green) IDEA Store/(Organic) Strawberry Fields (Green) Ippatsu/(Organic) Farmer's Market



Common Ground Food Co≠o p

Alyssa Abay

Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana.

small store found in Urbana, Common Ground Food Co-op, is a hidden treasure that is filled with healthy food, friendly staff and a passion for sustainability.

300 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana

Founded in 1974, this place is one of the few in the area that is devoted to providing healthy, organic food to the community. Many of the items sold there come from local suppliers, in addition to being organic. “Purchasing local foods strengthens our local economy, supports sustainable farming and uses less fuel, since they are not transported as far as non-local products,” said Joy Rust, Common Ground’s marketing manager. “When considering a new supplier, we take all of these things into account and also consider the overall quality of the products they offer and consumer demand.” After an expansion to the store last year, there are more choices for customers, especially for premade food. Soups, sandwiches, salads and croissants are only a few of the options available at the deli counter for a quick, healthy lunch on the go. Common Ground also makes it easy to be sustainable. Customers can bring their own reusable bags to carry their groceries in or use the paper bags made from 100-percent recycled paper. In addition, there is a bag tree where customers can leave their reusable bags for others who have forgotten theirs. In the bulk food section, customers

could bring their own container to fill up with certain items that are priced by their weight, reducing the environmental threats caused by waste from unnecessary packaging. In addition to the great food options, Common Ground also supplies eco-friendly cleaning and paper products, helping people in the community be more sustainable in their homes. Common Ground composts its produce and prepared food waste, and starting sometime in the near future, the store will begin composting food scraps, paper plates, cups and napkins from meals eaten by customers at Common Ground.

This is part of a program called Round up for Good. According to Common Ground’s website, “the Round Up for Good program began in February 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti. Customers had expressed a desire to donate to the humanitarian efforts in Haiti through the Co-op. After a month of doing so, customers expressed interest in continuing to donate, and so the Round Up program was born.” Whether you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle or desiring to be inspired to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, Common Ground Food Co-op is the perfect place to check, every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Nails Salon

Elegant and Affordable Complete Professional Nail Care and Spa for Men & Women

217-954-0500 1711 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, IL 61821

Mon-Sat 9:00am-7:00pm Closed Sunday

(inside Old Farm Shoppes next to Subway)

Gift Certificates Available

appointment & walk-ins welcome




November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 7



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Circles Boutique Urban Outfitters

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Ragstock Carrie's Antiques and Jewelry


Teresa Anderson


charming little boutique sits on the corner of Green and Wright streets. The new shop, opening only a couple of months ago, is filled with trendy clothes and customers. Apricot Lane Boutique received this years Best of CU’s award for Best Place to Buy New Clothes, and many of their shoppers would attest to that. Apricot Lane is a family-run clothing franchise opened by mother and daughter Jena Green and Renee Dixon. The two are from Peoria and opened their first store in Peoria's Shoppes at Grand Prairie mall. They have opened other locations in the past five years, including boutiques in Normal, Ill., and Nashville, Tenn. The store has the best of both worlds in being a boutique and a franchise. Franchises have flexibility in the merchandise that they bring in and the set up of the store itself. Store manager Lindsey Flessner said they have the ability to bring items to the store


Anwen Parrott

Allison Macey

627 S. Wright St., suite 101, Champaign that they want. She also said that if a lot of people are asking for the same thing, they can get it in the store to cater to their shoppers' needs. “I think the owners really know what to stock in their stores,” Flessner said. “Their daughter, Jena, works with a buyer in LA to bring in merchandise that’s right for each demographic.” This store and the one in Normal are both geared toward the college student, especially with the affordability. However, the store, though in Campustown, also works to cater to more than just students; the store has clothes for women from their teens to older women as well. Even though it’s a franchise, the store works hard to keep the feel of a boutique, Flessner said. Unlike in big chain stores, shoppers don't need to be hesitant to buy clothes because they think they will be one of many wearing the same thing. Apricot Lane only keeps six of each item, which helps with the uniqueness of the store. Keeping the stock to a minimum helps each shopper who makes a purchase know that she won’t be one of many wearing the same outfit. That’s hard to find these days. Apricot Lane is also big on customer service. They greet every single customer walking through the door, and they recognize that some customers may have a hard time putting together an outfit and help them. The store has everything from outfits to shoes to accessories and nail polishes. It’s a one-stop shop for their customers. Flessner said the customers keep coming back because of the affordability of the items. The clothes in the shop are of good quality and aren’t going to break the bank just to put together one outfit.

Apricot Lane Boutique in Champaign was voted best new clothing store for Best of CU 2013.

Dandelion 9 Taylor St., Champaign

Store owner of Dandelion, Sara Hudson, brings in vintage, used and new goods into the store in Champaign on a regular basis.


estled in the heart of downtown Champaign, Dandelion Retro, Vintage & Used Clothing has been providing the wardrobes of CU residents with pops of color and charm for nearly 20 years. The successful vintage store was opened by Sara Hudson in the early ’90s as an experiment. “I didn’t know if my customer base would be more students or more regular folks, so I did the experiment where I had clothes on campus and ... at a more antiquey store where everyone walked in,” Hudson said. “What happened was they were both successful, so I decided to meld my two ideas and do one store, Dandelion, which is a mix of clothes for younger people and everyday people, as well as costumes. We do vintage, we do recycled, we do retro and we do some new stuff.” If it sounds like Dandelion carries a bit of everything, that’s because, frankly, it does. There are huge displays of hats with fun, feathered details; brightly colored sweaters from the ’50s and ’60s; and racks of those classy vintage suit jackets that will undoubtedly make any person sporting one look incredibly cool. There are sunglasses, earrings, motorcycle jackets, petticoats and prom dresses. There seems to be no limit to what can be found in this lively store; the one requirement for merchandise appears to be spirit. This, Hudson explains, is entirely intentional. “I’ve incorporated everything so you can mix it up

Fun, Fearless, Fashionable

and smush it together and make it your own style,” she said. “Instead of going to the mall and having them dictate what fashion you’re supposed to wear and where all the stores kind of look the same ... wear what you want to wear and what makes you who you are. Make it a statement about your personality. ... My husband is an artist, and we share a lot of common theories. He takes a blank canvas every time he starts a painting and he makes it his own thing. He paints whatever he wants. I think your body is your own canvas, and you can put whatever clothes on it you want to make it your painting.” The amount of thought, care and heart that Hudson has put into her store does not go unnoticed. Dandelion has been a local favorite since it first opened its doors, and customers have nothing but kind words for the store and its upkeep. Patrons rave about the large men’s section, which is all too often absent from stores of this nature. The meticulous organization of the shop is also greatly appreciated; the store is packed with items, yet everything is clean and perfectly spaced, with racks that are not overly stuffed but instead allow for easy and enjoyable browsing. Dandelion is a labor of love. Whether it’s traveling around the Midwest in search of vintage pieces or spending hours carefully arranging each handpicked item, Hudson puts a part of herself into every aspect of the store. Dandelion is her masterpiece.

Find us on Facebook

206 W. North Street, Normal, IL 61761 | 309.858.2337 Fun, Fearless, Fashionable


206 W. North Street, Normal, IL 6

www.ApricotLaneBloomi 8 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013



Congrats to all - winners or LIBRARY: Champaign Public Library otherwise - who make Champaign, Animah Boakye Rebecca Jacobs 200 W. Green St., Champaign Illinois the best darn small city in America!


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Urbana Free Public Library

Grainger Engineering Library

library is more than books. It’s a meeting point for readers, a place for adventure, a source of information and a community of friends — both fictional and real. The Champaign Public Library was voted as the Best Library, being home to the world of books for the Champaign-Urbana community. Large concrete letters spell out “library” in front of the building, which is covered in huge windows. Walking inside, patrons see that the space is open and clean. Shelves of children’s books are vibrant, and the information desk is lit up with bright colors. The stacks for adults are neatly lined. The Latte Da! Cafe fuels visitors in the lower level. Natural light fills the open space, making everything vivacious and welcoming. The Champaign Public Library receives around 3,000 visitors daily, with around 6,300 items checked out per day. Visitors experience an award-winning setting, as the library was named a four-star library by Library Journal and is one of the top 100 public libraries in the U.S., according to Hennen’s Public Library Ratings. All ages visit the library, and programs are designed to accommodate the various generations. The most popular programs are story times for younger children, including Toddler Tales and Babies Love Books. Caregivers and children come together to introduce pre-reading skills through songs, rhymes and stories. Families of preschoolers are provided literacy kits for their early stages of reading through Ready, Set, Read! This was made possible by individual donors, a grant from Target and Champaign Unit #4 Schools. Ready, Set, Read! meets weekly at the University’s Main Library to continue reading development skills. Adults are attracted to events like Cover to Cover and BYOB (Bring Your Own Book). Book discussions allow readers to dig deeper into the books while interacting with fellow reading enthusiasts.

Library services encourage readers outside of traditional books. Digital magazines and more than 30,000 e-books are available for the tech savvy. Visitors can purchase books in the FriendShop. The shop is run by volunteers in the lower level of the library. Books, along with CDs and DVDs, are sold at low prices, with most books costing less than $1. The store is open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Free Wi-Fi is available at the Douglass and Main Library branches. The free high-speed Internet accommodates around 400 computer users every day. Students from the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science provide one-on-one computer help at the library. The computers are available for everyone. Users can get help creating resumes, filling out job applications, learning how to use and download e-books, searching the library catalog for materials and using mobile apps for Mango languages and My Media Mall. Computers and other spaces are used for homework help and study areas. Students use the library as a quiet atmosphere for schoolwork. Conference and study rooms are also available. Anyone who lives in Champaign can get a free library card, allowing them to take advantage of these services. Using the library’s resources and managing books is easy with an online service to check fees and due dates. The bright, open space of the Champaign Public Library reflects the world opened to readers by opening the cover of a book.

Mayor Don Gerard

Meet your newest neighbor ó a real tough act with a soft spot for the environment. And an appetite for all things recyclable. Glass. Aluminum. Paper. It doesní t matter. Just toss it in and stand back. Way back. Because this is The Thing. And no matter how much you feed it, ití s always hungry for more.

To learn more about Champaigní s new multi-family, non-sort recycling program, please call 217-403-4700 or visit Champaign Public Library, winner of Best of CU 2013: Best Library Award.

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 9



PARK: Ricardo Plaza

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West Side Park Hessel Park

Meadowbrook Park 2808 S. Race St., Urbana

Dani Rudy


ver needed the surroundings of a peaceful, scenic location when your life gets to be too much? Perhaps the frantic, bustling streets of CU can make one long for a quiet, relaxing place to pass the time. Sometimes a simple visit to a park is the best remedy for a stressful and eventful day. Meadowbrook Park was crowned Best Park of CU this year partly because of that. Located at 2808 S. Race St. in Urbana, a multitude of long trails encompass the park. From trails made for walking to ones designed to let you take in the gorgeous scenery, each one always houses at least one lucky guest. The park has some of the most beautiful autumncolored trees at the moment that would leave a lasting impression for many. The grove given by the Timpone family is one of the few groves in the park that makes sure the wildlife around it thrives. The trails and benches around the trees have the fall leaves begging to be crunched with feet. Not only that, but there are several sculptures and

Champaign Cycle The Bike Project of Champaign≠ Urbana

BIKE SHOP: Emily Dejka

Dani Rudy

Durst Cycle 1201 S. Mattis Ave., Champaign

Meadowbrook Park, Urbana.

landmarks that lend flare to the atmosphere and will help you find your surroundings if you get lost. There are also many maps around the park that can guide you along your way. If you wanted to have a nice day with your children or younger siblings, Meadowbrook is home to a few jungle gyms that would surely attract youngsters at play. Having more options than just walking the trails really sets this park apart from others close to it. There are prairie fields in the park that build up the soothing sense of peacefulness the park contains. You also do not have to worry about seeking shelter if rain or weather gets nasty, as there are buildings spread out that have vending machines and bathrooms. A park staff member said that most people like the park because of the mingling of forest and prairie life and the tranquility they bring, which many other local parks are not fortunate enough to have. It is plain to see why CU has picked Meadowbrook Park as the best one out of so many others.

Want to know where you can park, ow when you can park, and when payment is due? Visit our websites today for answers to these questions and more. 10 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013


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or 78 years, Durst Cycle has been filling the bicycle needs of students and families in Champaign-Urbana. However, their expertise does not begin and end with cycling. Store manager Jared Durst said: “We have sold everything.” This is no exaggeration. Throughout the years, Durst has sold wheelchairs, motorbikes and lawn mowers. Currently, Durst Cycle mainly sells bicycles and fitness equipment but will still service items that are not sold in the store, such as skateboards and wheelchairs. If you already own a bike, Durst Cycle is still the place to go. The store services all brands of bikes and can also get older bikes, which may have been forgotten, into working order. The motto at Durst Cycle is: “We only sell what we can service.” Durst Cycle is also aware of the increase in bicycle thefts this year and does its part to help. The store has a strict policy for buying back or trading in bicycles in order to prevent stolen bi-

Durst Cycle, Urbana.

cycles from being sold. Often, people who have had their bike stolen will call Durst Cycle and ask the store to keep an eye out for it. But why choose Durst? “Students should come to Durst Cycle because of our service, location, and array of brands, parts and accessories,” Durst said. Additionally, location is extremely important to Durst Cycle. Since opening, Durst has moved its Urbana location twice in order to be more convenient and accessible to students. They also have an impressive selection of goods. Lining the walls of Durst Cycle is everything from helmets and cycling apparel to locks and patch kits. Moreover, the employees at Durst Cycle are extremely knowledgeable and can give advice and answer any questions you may have. “The best piece of advice I can give to people who own a bicycle is to service it regularly and to always lock their bike,” Durst said.

Rod Sickler? I hardly knew her!


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Rod Sickler Salon & Spa H2O Salon & Spa

NAIL SALON: Eren Franco

Modern Nails

Johanna Tesfaye

1711 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign


ith an abundance of nail salons in the CU area to treat your tootsies, only one has the distinction of winning Best Nail Salon: Modern Nails. Salon owner Michael Nguyen said it’s his mission that Modern Nails provides the very best experience for all of his customers. “We strive to set the highest standards in manicure and pedicure services while providing our clients with the best in customer services, quality products and sanitation with exemplary care,” Nguyen said. Modern Nails provides clients with an assortment of nail colors and products that would strike anyone’s fancy. “We offer the best in no-chip gel color products with over 200 color choices available from OPI, Essie, CND and Gelish as well as many others, with a variety of color choices,” he said. “We stand by our no-chip services and products with twoweek quality control standards.” Nguyen added that Modern Nails also prides itself on its distinction from other nail salons. He said the business is proud to be different from other salons by paying great attention to details and offering more services than any other nail salon in the area. “We offer an LED curing light system for our no-chip gel color that cures each color coat in 30 seconds, rather than the traditional UV light that cures colors in three minutes, therefore reducing by six times the amount of exposure to UV rays, as well as time spent on services,


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Revolt Tattoo Escape Artist Tattoo


Alissa Wertz


Modern Nails, winner of Best of CU 2013 Best Nail Salon award.

making it quick to catch up on times even in between classes,” Nguyen said. In addition to the salon’s innovative services, customers will also be pleased to know that Modern Nails is fully staffed and prepared to accommodate groups of varying sizes. “We have a large salon with 16 pedicure chairs, so we can provide services for large groups and for gatherings for sororities or family visits to the UIUC campus,” Nguyen said. “Even though we are not located on campus, we strive to be the salon when it comes to the beauty needs of students.”

hen Danville native Matt Stines — a tattoo artist and proponent of tattoo culture — came to Champaign, he only expected his tattoo shop, No Regrets Tattoo, to support himself and one piercer. Since it opened in 2006, however, the shop has grown into a staple of the downtown area that supports an energetic group of local artists. When you walk into No Regrets, you are greeted with a clean and modern facility and a welcoming “What’s up?” There is no shortage of inspiration here. The walls and tables are filled with original artwork by the shop’s artists that, upon browsing, should ease the tensions of many first-timers. The original pieces are unique, varied and undeniably artful. “We are set up to deliver a great tattoo for everyone that wants one," Stines said. "It’s not like we will throw out someone’s idea just because it is something small like other tattoo shops. Anyone can come in and not be intimidated. You can work creatively with your artist to get

No Regrets Tattoo

117 W. Church St., Champaign

a good custom tattoo and have it be quality, no matter who you are.” Stines' original vision for No Regrets has been realized, but the owner has not tuned out. He looks forward to finding ways to make his shop become more integrated with the downtown art scene. “I want to give back to the community now that we have gotten so much,” he said.

No Regrets Tattoo & Body Piercing.

Ippatsu Salon Allure Salon



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Rod Sickler Salon & Spa

Megan Swiertz

tep through the door to be greeted by the fashionable staff and a wall full of top-of-the-line-hair products. Move through the back and pass professional staff cutting, styling and coloring hair. Walk farther and see the cleanest tattoo and piercing parlors, a makeup bar, a spa, a fitness area, and dentist and chiropractor offices. No, this is not the newest hip salon in LA; it’s the Rod Sickler Salon & Spa right here in Champaign. Rod Sickler Salon & Spa has been part of the community for eight years and has proven itself not only to be a key asset to central Illinois, but to the development of salons and spas across the country. The owner, Rod Sickler, has been a member of the beauty industry for 34 years. He is an international stage artist for Sexy Hair Concepts, worked alongside two world hair champions, trained with one of the top 50 hairdressers of all time and has been featured in national magazines including Allure, Style and Elle. “One of the things that makes me really proud about Champaign-Urbana is that they’ve em-

braced something like this," Sickler said. "I’ve been blessed enough to travel the world. I’ve done hair shows for hundreds and thousands of people in 20-some different countries, and I’ve never seen a salon anywhere that offers as many services under one roof as we do here.” Employees at Rod Sickler Salon & Spa go through extensive training in order to work there. Once they have graduated and received their diplomas from beauty school, they still have about a year left of training before they can work with clients. They begin by working with Sickler’s top-level staff for the first three months, then move on to work with Sickler as his assistant for the next six to nine months. Throughout this process, they also take extra classes about cutting, coloring, perms, updos, product knowledge and more. “Our motto is very simple: art, service and passion,” Sickler said. “So until they’re ready to give art at 100 percent and only if they’re passionate enough to last that extra year of training can they work with our clients. For me, it’s about customer service.”

2520 Village Green Place, Champaign After opening in 2005, the salon went through a major expansion in 2011, adding the spa, medical services and body art and workout areas. Now, the salon is being remodeled again, starting by putting in a new makeup bar and continuing by creating a state-of-the-art, firstof-its-kind blow-out bar designed to manage and style any specific type of hair. “I think this is the future," Sickler said. "I think this is where our world is coming to, and I think it is about doing the best work and being the most convenient. I want to be here for everybody, all under one roof. Let's do it all."

Best of CU 2013 Best Hair Salon: Rod Sickler Salon & Spa.

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 11



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Evergreen Tobacco Joní s Pipe Shop


The Smoke Shack

Teresa Anderson

208 E. Green St., Champaign

hat’s your flavor? Patrons of the Smoke Shack are greeted by a colorful variety of hookah flavors; there is no shortage of possibilities for fitting your next smoke session’s specific taste. With flavors ranging from strawberry to French vanilla, there is something for everyone. After eyeing the variety of hookah flavors upon entering the Smoke Shack, shoppers will lock eyes with an assortment of glittering pieces. Displayed in an easy-to-access manner, the front section of the store consists of glass cases filled with a range pipes, varying from finger-sizes to bigger spectacles. Additionally, the shopkeepers are casual but helpful with questions. Customers will next spy a multifarious exhibition of water pipes and accessories attractively lining the walls. Another aspect that sets the Smoke Shop apart from competitors is its case of snacks and individual beers. Not only can customers stock up for their next smoke gathering, but they can grab some light munchies, too. Patrons will notice that the store, which is separated into two sections, is divided by a giant fish tank in the connecting doorway. The tank is home to four fish — one koi, two pleco, and one giant

goldfish — and there’s a story behind one of them in particular. The nearly foot-long goldfish, Fred, is most notable for his astonishing old-fart-status age: 12 years old. Blind in one eye and lacking in some scales, Fred moseys about his bubbling tank, the sound of which is audible throughout the store beneath a low-level of calming overhead music. Passing the tank, customers will find the Smoke Shack’s selection of other miscellaneous items on display. From hordes of incense that can be smelled pleasantly wafting throughout the store to a looming wall chalkboard covered in colorful markings, the decor makes for quite a relaxing experience. Between racks of band Tshirts, Baja hoodies and tie-dye, there’s something for everyone. In addition to the clothes displayed, there are numerous types of facial jewelry and tapestries available for purchase. With walls covered in tapestries (including prints of Jimi Hendrix, butterflies, tie-dye, dragons, suns and fairies), concert posters and a bounty of beautiful tobacco pipes, patrons can find the perfect pieces for their collections at the Smoke Shack. With a quiet, relaxed atmosphere, the shack makes for a pleasurable shopping adventure.

Kaitlin Penn


Best of CU 2013 winner for Best Smoke Shop: The Smoke Shack in Champaign.

Craft League of Champaign-Urbana

31st Annual

Art Fair free admission!

saturday, november 16 10 a.m.-5 p.m. sunday, november 17 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Urbana Civic Center 108 East Water Street ceramics • woodworking • fiber • jewelry basketry • painting • printmaking • glass • photography 12 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Happy Holidays from Allerton Park & Retreat Center, your cure for cabin fever this winter! Come out for the day or enjoy a relaxing overnight stay at the Allerton Mansion. For a complete list of events or to make reservations, call 217≠ 333≠ 3287 or visit us at

November 8-14, 2013 buzz 13



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Goodrich Savoy 16 IMAX Theater The Virginia Theatre

PLACE TO SEE A MOVIE:The Art Theater Co≠Op Kaitlin Penn

Alyssa Abay

126 W. Church St., Champaign


has been three years, and the Art Theater is still worthy of winning CU’s Best Place to See a Movie. With an unmistakable, oneof-a-kind atmosphere, the theater offers a variety of experiences for viewers who attend the showings. From special programs like “Shocktober,” with the whole month of October dedicated to special scary flicks, to interactive viewings of classics like Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or The Room, there’s something for everyone at this cinematic melting pot. Besides being the first cooperatively owned art movie house in the country, the Art Theater offers something much more than a movie. “There’s different ways of engaging with the films, but we are really trying to not have it be that kind of passive commodity experience,” said general manger Austin McCann. “We want there to be a high level of engagement with what we’re showing.” McCann said that during the past few months at the theater, political films have been shown with Q&A sessions afterwards. One of most essential ingredients to the theater’s success though, is caring. “(The Art Theater wants) to preserve the classic movie-going experience," McCann said. "There is a sense in which, when people come into this 100-year-


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The Art Theater on West Church Street in Champaign, IL.

old theater, they want to feel themselves as part of a very, very old tradition of sitting in the dark with friends and strangers, being in the church of cinema.” With films introduced beforehand, the atmosphere is charged with the likes of a formal theater. In fact, in some instances – much like events to occur at the theaters’s impending centennial anniversary


The Virginia Theatre

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Folake Osibodu

the 1960s, Herman and Ellnora Krannert decided to make a generous contribution to the University in order to build a performance arts center because they believed that to experience the arts was “one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences people can enjoy and ... a most needed one.” Since opening in spring of 1969, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts remains firmly dedicated to honoring the Krannerts’ vision of

14 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

most about his job, McCann said, “Seeing the Art is making an impact on peoples’ lives is always great.” McCann also said he loves talking with customers. “Just hearing the way that this was valuable to people as it was to me before I worked here, you know, it really makes a difference as an institution,” he said.

The Station Theatre


– live music is performed during some films. “The experience is still something I can tell that people really value, so to extent whatever we can, we try to have it be a clean, professional but very characteristic presentation,” said McCann. Unlike giant multiplexes or Netflix, the theater offers something of a dying art – impacting customers. When asked what he loves

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

“education through participation in culture” and continuing to build on it. The center’s performance spaces can host up to around 4,000 people on any given night; in a year, those audience members fill the seats of over 300 productions. Every production contributes to an incredibly diverse spectrum, but they all hold one common idea: to create connections between various art forms and make them accessible to all sorts of people.

500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana Krannert’s distinguishing quality is that it inspires innovation and recreation while emphasizing the audience’s interaction with those processes. There’s something for everyone. Its individual spaces offer unique ways of immersing visitors in a creative atmosphere. Consider checking out a performance space you haven’t visited before — try a totally new genre or tap into some of their traditions. Foellinger Great Hall is the largest venue with 2,066 seats. Designed by Cyril Harris, its acoustics provide world-class support for orchestras, dance performances, operas and all sorts of theatrical ventures. Famous acts like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have performed and recorded here, but the University’s School of Music also hosts many performances by students, faculty, the Sinfonia da Camera and the Illinois Wind Symphony. Tryon Festival Theatre has 979 seats and is home to the School of Music’s opera program. Though it is primarily intended for vocal performances, the theater also hosts ballet, dances, musicals and plays. Each December, the ChampaignUrbana Ballet and Sinfonia da Camera perform The Nutcracker to ring in the holiday spirit.

Colwell Playhouse seats 674, serving primarily as the main performing space for productions by the University’s theater and dance departments. Its acoustics are perfect for dramas and productions that focus on the spoken word. Studio Theatre seats up to 200 people and serves as a black box theatre for experimental productions. Flexible seating configurations and an intimate space creates an open workshop for students and performers to explore and educate. The center’s amphitheatre and Stage 5 are open to the public, but these spaces are also bridge the gap between audience and performer. The amphitheatre outside is a perfect space to relax or study, and it has also hosted student productions and the summer music festival. Stage 5’s space has been used for two specific music festival traditions: Ellnora Guitar Festival, held every two years since 2005, and Pygmalion Music Festival, held every September since 2005. What makes the center such a great part of Champaign-Urbana is that it can take all these spaces, all these expressions of art and culture, and invite them into a single home. The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is inclusive — it wants you to come on in and experience anything and everything it has to offer.

It's a bit disconcerting when a bathroom always smells like Froot Loops and weed.


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Clark Bar Mike ë Ní Mollyí s

COMEDY VENUE: Memphis on Main Christina Nowicki


Animah Boakye

side from having a killer deal on beer, Memphis on Main is also a stellar comedy venue to visit at the end of a long day to get a good drink and a hardy chuckle. Nestled in the heart of downtown Champaign, Memphis on Main is a classic Mason jar bar where there’s a bit of entertainment for everyone. Aside from comedy night, Memphis on Main has a theme for each night of the week.

55 E. Main Street, Champaign

Whether it’s poetry, trivia, simply music or, of course, comedy, there’s a night of the week for anyone in the community. But the night of interest is naturally Wednesday, comedy night. Hosted by Champaign-Urbana’s own comedic talent, Jesse and Justin Tuttle, comedy night is open to laugh-snatching veterans and newbies alike. Performer experience ranges from three months to three years, making

comedy Wednesdays pleasantly unpredictable. But when comedy night first started five years ago, anyone was allowed to perform. “It was like comedy in the Old West,” said Richard Wentz, who is in charge of running comedy night. While it is not an open mike night, the performers range from traveling featured comics to newer comics in the area. During each show, there is a variety of comics, with about 8 to 10 that perform throughout the course of it, Justin and Jesse Tuttle and Wentz included. This brotherly duo began showing off their brand of comedy about four years ago after ending their aspiring wrestling career, realizing that they could use their twin relationship to play jokes off each other and grab the attention of a laugh-seeking audience. Their show is a series of back and forth comments, made up of personal attacks and never-ending arguments. But that’s what makes their show so dynamic and amusing to viewers. They began running shows in 2009, to which audiences reacted with enthusiasm. Following this came the launch of CU Comedy in April of 2010, giving local comics a chance to show what they’ve got up on stage. They continued to run the show up until only a few weeks ago, when comedian Wentz took over organizing the show. To Wentz, the best part of the entire show is the audience. “They’re just so respectful and ready for a good laugh,” he said. The show, rated R and for only those 19 and older, has what some could call raunchy content, but it’s all in the name of a good laugh, and regulars say that you get used to it. And clearly,

that doesn’t affect the show attendance, with shows constantly being packed. Additionally, there is no cover charge for the show, meaning the show is free to the public. So the next time you’re having a bad day and looking for a good laugh, make sure to check out comedy night at Memphis on Main every Wednesday. Being the number-one venue for stand up comedy in Champaign-Urbana and the winner of Best Comedy Venue, they’ll be sure to give you a chuckle and a tall Mason jar filled with brew to go along with it.

Memphis On Main, winner of Best of CU's Best Comedy Venue award.


DRUM SHOP 29 E. Main Street. Champaign, IL 61820 217. 352. 3876


ALL Drum Sets

Overstock & Discontinued Hardware

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 15




All Is Lost (PG-13)

Krannert Art Musem

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Cinema Gallery

Art Gallery: indi go Artist Co≠Op

Acclaimed new Robert Redford film

Fri: 5:00, 7:30 · Sat & Sun: 2:30, 5:00, 7:30 Mon: 6:00, 8:30 · Tue: 2:30 · Wed: 3:30, 6:00 Thu: 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Julianne Micoleta

Freaks (1932) (NR)

Allison Macey

Featuring pre-movie cult shorts

Fri & Sat:10:00PM · Sun:11:30AM · Thu:10:00PM


With live music by the Andrew Alden Ensemble

Wed: 8:30PM


Part One: From Nickel to Pixel Documentary premiere, book premiere, costume contest food & drinks

Tue: 6:00PM


Live music from the Andrew Alden Ensemble and short films!

Tue: 8:00PM

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SHOWTIMES 11/8 - 11/13

No passes


THOR: THE DARK WORLD (PG-13) 11:00, 12:45, 1:15, 1:45, 3:30, 4:00, 4:30, 6:15, 6:45, 7:15, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00 FRI/SAT LS 11:40, 12:10 3D THOR: THE DARK WORLD (PG-13) $2.50 PREMIUM PER 3D TICKET

11:15, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 3:45, 4:15, 4:45, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 9:15, 9:45, 10:15 FRI/SAT LS 11:55 D-BOX ADDS MOTION SEATING MAGIC TO MOVIES: D-BOX LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE: 1:00, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15 FRI/SAT LS 11:55 12 YEARS A SLAVE (R) 12:30, 3:20, 6:10, 9:00 FRI/SAT LS 11:50 ENDER’S GAME (PG-13) 11:00, 11:30, 1:35, 2:05, 4:10, 4:40, 6:40, 7:15, 9:20, 9:50 FRI/SAT LS 11:55 FREE BIRDS (PG) FRI, SUN-TUE 11:55, 12:25, 2:05, 2:35, 4:45, 6:25, 6:55, 9:05 SAT 11:55, 2:05, 4:45, 6:25, 6:55, 9:05 WED 11:55, 12:25, 2:05, 2:35, 6:25 3D FREE BIRDS (PG) $2.50 PREMIUM PER 3D TICKET 4:15, 8:35 FRI/SAT LS 11:00 LAST VEGAS (PG-13) 11:20, 1:50, 4:20, 6:45, 9:10 FRI/SAT LS 11:45 BAD GRANDPA (R) 12:55, 3:10, 5:25, 7:40, 9:55 FRI/SAT LS 11:20, 12:05 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (PG-13) 12:40, 3:35, 6:30, 9:25 GRAVITY (PG-13) 4:50 3D GRAVITY (PG-13) $2.50 PREMIUM PER 3D TICKET 12:20, 2:35, 7:05, 9:20 FRI/SAT LS 11:35


11:30, 2:15, 10:10


5:00, 7:35

16 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Indi go Artist Co-op focuses on providing a space for up-and-coming artists and established artists in the CU community.


hen indi go Artist Co-Op in Champaign opened in April 2009, gallery director Caroline Baljon said that the community simply did not understand its purpose. “We had a very slow start,” Baljon said. “Not a lot of people understood the concept of this gallery and how we would rent space out to artists at basically no cost to them.” However, four years later, indi go has now become a staple in the Champaign-Urbana community and is voted as this year’s Best Art Gallery. “It took a while to catch on,” Baljon said. “But these past couple of years, we have been booked solid. The community really has taken (indi go) under its wings, and they have really began to understand how to make use of this space.” James Barham, owner of indi go and Barham



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Benefit Group in Champaign, founded the gallery as a way to support local artists by giving them a gallery space that is basically free. “Indi go is essentially James’ gift to the community,” Baljon said. Artists can go on and fill out an online application for an exhibit. Artists can then get to use to space for the low cost of $50 ($25 for students), promotion that includes publicity in their newsletter and social media accounts, and staff help with anything they need. “For many of these artists, this is their first or second step out in to the light, and what we are doing is kind of holding their hands and helping them to be a bigger artist,” Baljon said. Recently, indi go held a dance exhibit, Orange You, by University student Jessie Young. The

9 E. University Ave., Champaign

gallery also hosted 4000 Years For Choice, a solo show by Heather Ault and a fundraiser for the NARAL Illinois Choice Action Team, from November 1 to 3. Though the gallery had a slow start to booking exhibits in the beginning, it has developed and continues to, Baljon said. “It took about two years for us to get a solid basis,” Baljon said. “After that, we started selling out. It really has turned out to be something incredible. We have built up our fan base and artists started to build up everything that they have. We have also picked up a clientele, and we have had artists come back to do multiple shows with us.” Indi go’s reputation as a first step for local artists in the community to showcase their work is also what separates indi go from other galleries around the area, Baljon said. “It’s a gallery given to the artist,” Baljon said. “It’s not based on us and what we want. It’s what the artists want. We’re here to cater to them to create a space that they want to project with their dreams. We don’t tell them what to put in their art. We don’t have a price point. We want them to make it theirs.”

Cowboy Monkey The Highdive

LIVE MUSIC VENUE: Canopy Club 1 X 5.417 corp note...keep this same size always

Danny Stankus


1/8th page

Alissa Wertz

is no surprise the venue to be honored as the greatest in CU is the Canopy Club. The venue has had many massive acts such as Neutral Milk Hotel, Dropkick Murphys, Big Gigantic, Aaron Carter and Gogol Bordello grace their stage over the past year, as well as many more before that and surely more to come. In addition to recognition by these artists, the venue hosts weekly events such as the locally famous Piano Man on Tuesday nights, among others. They’ve also provided many local bands an opportunity to play on a professional stage and spread their music. Director of operations Mike Armintrout said of the Canopy Club’s goal, “We live for live music. Our primary mission is to bring shows to town and stay on the forefront of what’s popular, whether it’s a country show, a rock show or an electronic show, and bring people in and sell tickets.” This mission is evident at every show. The atmosphere that the venue has created allows fans to feel a connection with the bands playing. The intimacy provides for the much-needed interaction between the performers and the crowd. I found myself standing within 10 feet of Titus Andronicus front man Patrick Stickles when his band played on the venue’s Void Room stage.

708 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana

Dropkick Murphys are well known for their rowdy encores in which the fans take to the stage to join in and at the Canopy Club, the whole venue was singing loud and proud together, the room becoming one, leaving all attendees with the feeling that they got to participate. Whether you’re a fan of country, rock, electronic music or anything else, the Canopy Club is seeking out and hosting artists for everyone. Many great performances have already taken place and many more are to come. The Canopy Club makes it easy to join the fun and take part in live music.

Best of CU 2013 winner of Best Venue For Live Music: the Canopy Club in Urbana.

I shall become a bat.

Best Mom and Pop Ice Cream Shop in C-U! Stop in and give us a try 309 W. Kirby, Champaign 217-352-2273

Closing for the 2013 Season December 1st

“Like” us on Facebook Visit us at

isní t enough to engage your brain...

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 17



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Error Records Record Swap


Alyssa Abay


here are good reasons Exile on Main St. has won Best Place to Buy Music three years running now. Some might say it's their selection of new music: shelves of shiny new LPs still in their plastic wrapping line the walls, and their new CD offerings are the biggest of any local retailer. Whatever hot new record you're looking for, Exile is almost always sure to have it in stock. Or maybe you prefer to browse the used vinyl bins, perpetually on sale, but always great quality. At Exile, you can exponentially expand your personal record collection without threatening your bank account. But the true power behind Exile's expanding popularity seems to be its connection to the local community. Owner Jeff Brandt was born and raised in Champaign, so after working at record stores all around downtown throughout the '90s, it was only natural that Exile on Main St. would set up shop in the heart of it all. "Having it downtown, it's a nice area for people who don't want to go to campus," Brandt


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1 Main St., #108, Champaign

said. "In addition to all the nightlife and restaurants, there are way more students coming downtown than there were even nine years ago, when we first opened. Even if we had to move out of this specific location, I would definitely look for another place downtown before I would even consider putting it anywhere else." Conveniently tucked into the heart of downtown Champaign, it's as easily accessed by students coming from campus as local residents coming from the other side of First Street. Being downtown, it's also super close to the action, especially during Pygmalion Music Festival and Record Store Day, when Exile hosts special in-store or outdoor performances. Those special performances are only a tiny part of Exile's dedication to the local music scene. "Since the very beginning when we first opened, we've always carried local music, and I've always made a point to tell any and all local musicians to tell other musicians who may not know my store or haven't been in here yet that I want to carry as

Exile on Main St. in Champaign.

much of their stuff as possible," Brandt said. The size of Exile's collection of local LPs and CDs spans an entire section of the wall, and features the latest releases from buzz favorites including Hank., Elsinore, Grandkids and more. All things considered, Exile's local popularity is not at all surprising — the store manages to attract customers of all ages and musical tastes. With the addition of various gaming merchandise, the typical Exile customer is hard to pin down. "Our demographic is pretty wide just because of the things we sell," Brandt said. "Real little kids come in because they love video games or because their parents are getting them into music. We have

several customers in their 70s and even 80s who come in and order stuff, either because they don't want to order things online or they liked coming into records stores still. Since we sell so many different kinds of records now, we have more and more kids and students coming in and buying records. Teenagers are buying lots more vinyl records now, where they didn't really do that in the past." With no foreseeable decline hitting Exile's popularity anytime soon, it's no wonder Brandt rejects the idea of a typical Exile customer. As he said: "It's a pretty broad stroke." Exile is not just for music-lovers; it has become an integral part of Champaign itself.

The Blind Pig Cowboy Monkey

BEER GARDEN: Maddie Rehayem

Exile on Main St.

Diana Diggs

Mike 'N' Molly's

105 N. Market St., Champaign


he lovely outdoor atmosphere of a music festival is often paired with such things as mud, obnoxious people and high liquor prices. In CU’s Best Beer Garden, however, these things are not an issue. Mike ‘N’ Molly’s beer garden is an outdoor area of the bar that, in the warmer months, is graced by some fantastic musical performers. This summer it was host to local math-punks Hank.’s record release show, and in the fall, several Pygmalion Music Festival shows like Potty Mouth and Saturday Looks Good To Me took place there.

In this beer garden, there are tables and chairs to sit on, a fountain, and a wall covered in ivy within which warm summer wind creates beautiful waves. And if there is a show, PBR tallboys are only $2. It’s also a sort of community hub, especially for music-lovers who can, more often than not, find some good tunes there on any given weekend. Although in the winter, the garden become nothing more than a smoker’s exile, it will always recall fond memories of summers past and anticipation of good times and good music to come.

Mike 'N' Molly's, winner of Best of CU 2013: Best Beer Garden Award.

18 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013


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Rod Sickler Quizmaster Chris, Tom Grassman, Heather Roberts


Folake Osibodu

Don Gerard


Worst social media campaign

Don Gerard, mayor of Champaign and winner of Best of CU 2013: Best CU Personality.


on Gerard sat outside of the Illini Union, discussing his political and economic goals for Champaign, when a yellow ladybug crashed into his face and then landed on his crotch, forcing him to awkwardly brush it off. “Glad this isn’t on video,” he said with a laugh. Gerard, 48, isn’t your everyday mayor. He used to work at record stores, write columns and play in bands, even dropping out of school twice. But now he’s a father and the mayor of one of the largest cities in Illinois. “I got a C in rock ‘n’ roll,” Gerard joked, referring to a music class he regularly missed in college because he was busy touring with Husker Du. Gerard also currently works at the University as a facilities manager, remodeling laboratories and classrooms. The first-term mayor, who was elected in 2011, said he tries to embrace the student population in Champaign. Gerard can often be seen at University sporting events and local concerts or as an active promoter of fundraisers, such as the Illini 4000’s fight against cancer. This year will be remembered for Gerard’s help

in constructing a micro-urban dynamic for University students and Champaign citizens, including a Hyatt Place hotel in downtown Champaign and multiple buildings along Green Street. “To have a part in something that’s going to stand the test of a century is really cool,” Gerard said. “I’m really pretty lucky to have stumbled into all these great things.” Gerard referred to himself as a cheerleader in office, rather than a coach. “A lot of it is just reflecting that which people are already doing and promoting it,” Gerard said. “My goal isn’t to have a statue of me downtown. My goal is to look around, when I’ve hopefully lived to be an old man, and say, ‘Yeah, I remember I was part of that.’” While Gerard may be seen as the best personality in Champaign-Urbana, the mayor simply sees himself as a reflection of the community around him. “I feel like every time I step out of my office, I’m representing the city of Champaign,” Gerard said. “What people really see when they see me is themselves.”

#titsforpizza, Drew's Pizzeria Right next to the Illini Media Building sits Drew's Pizzeria, the now-infamous pizza joint that went on a pretty awful Twitter campaign in order to boost exposure. I don't know what about it is more ridiculous: the sheer lack of business savvy or political correctness, the childish wording of the tweets ("WE WANT MORE TITS!!! #showusyourtits #uiuc FREE PIZZA" and the affinity for the word "nips" come to mind) or maybe the fact that Drew's had the nerve to think posting all this to Twitter wouldn't backfire. Either way, the backlash was strong enough to get picked up by The Huffington Post and Deadspin, making it a surefire front-runner for Worst of CU. —Evan Lyman, Editor-in-Chief

Worst bike path

Between Lincoln Avenue and CRCE, and campus beside Bevier Hall I’ve had a rather frustrating time recently with flat tires on my bike, and I think I have pinpointed the culprits. One would be the road going past Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall by the Jimmy John’s parking lot that might as well be made of gravel. The other is a giant crack in the cement path past Bevier Hall. CU boasts its status as a bike friendly city, and it definitely is, but the condition of some of the bike paths only suits mountain bikes. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor

Worst rodent

Squirrels Don’t get me wrong – I used to love those furry little bastards. I found their beady eyes and bushy tails adorable. I’d even bribe them with french fries in the hopes of becoming some


kind of embittered, less-orphaned, modern-day Disney princess with a legion of devoted rodent helpers to fetch me coffee and type my papers. But then my (admittedly stubborn) dog came to live on campus with me, and now every time we’re walking and she sees one of ChampaignUrbana’s 18 million squirrels, my arm is nearly ripped out of its tender, weary socket as she lunges at it with all the force her 30 pounds can muster. Then, to add insult to injury, the little dickheads make this angry clucking sound at me, as if I were involved in the decision. I hate those furry little bastards. —Lauren Cox, Copy Chief

Worst driving street

The stretch of street on First Street between Peabody Drive and Armory Avenue I swear I am going to blow a tire every time I drive down this road, or I’m going to get in an accident because I’m swerving so much trying to avoid the giant holes and mountainous bumps. Riding a bike down this street is also not fun, especially when you have boobs and an uncomfortable seat. —Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Worst pizza

Papa D’s There is probably nothing more sacred than good pizza. As a devout follower of the Del’s, I am outraged at the blasphemy supposed by this name change. How dare you try to enter this church and disrespect the most exalted pie this side of Interstate 80. I am pizza Jesus, coming into this temple and casting out the money changers. Not in my Papa’s house! As for anyone who falls for D’s tricks: forgive them, Papa. They know not what they do. —Tyler Durgan, Online Editor November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 19


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2 Allerton Park

(Tied) Downtown Champaign, Hardyí s Reindeer Ranch, Krannert Center

REGIONAL ATTRACTION: Maggie Su and Joel Godard

Megan Swiertz

Curtis Orchard

3902 S. Duncan Road, Champaign




Great festivals in CU

Boneyard Arts Festival Days upon days (four, to be exact) of art beautifully scattered around the community, bringing joy to all! I love this festival. The festival features a lot of venues, including cafes, galleries and bookstores, which gives me the opportunity to delve into my poetic loner side and visit them all at once, sometimes alone, like a sudden burst of flavor. It is also open to all art genres and media, adding flavor to the burst of flavor. —Karolina Zapal, Community Editor Curtis Orchard, winner of Best of CU 2013: Best Regional Attraction award.


here’s no place like Curtis Orchard. Since the orchard opened, visitors have flooded through their yellow brick road in search of the best apples, pumpkins and cider in Champaign-Urbana. Yet, the family-owned farm began modestly in 1977, when Paul Curtis began planting apple trees. “Curtis Orchard has grown and taken on a life of its own,” said Chris Curtis, the office manager and son of Paul Curtis. “It’s bigger and much more involved than what we thought it would be when my dad first planted.” Curtis Orchard now attracts visitors beyond CU with many traveling from Danville, Bloomington and even Chicago to get a taste of their number-one-selling apple donuts and cider slushes. Located on Duncan Road in Cham-


paign, just off of Interstate 57, Curtis Orchard brings together local families, Illini alums and out-of-towners alike. “The old saying, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ is true,” Curtis said. Because of the orchard’s popularity, the family does their best to make even busy and crowded days feel special. “We don’t really have an apple fest or a pumpkin fest,” Curtis said. “Instead, we try to make each weekend a festival.” This means face painting, pony rides, kettle corn and live bands, as well as other kid-friendly options. Visitors can also pick from 30 different types of apples, enjoy a hearty lunch at the Flying Monkey Cafe or take a wagon ride tour of the orchard.

Despite the orchard’s growing regional appeal, the Curtis family will always have a special relationship with CU. “It’s not just about an out-of-state visitor who sees a billboard on I-57. We depend a lot on local customers who come in once a week,” Curtis said. “We’re thankful for Champaign-Urbana and those who live close to us.” Curtis Orchard also works closely with the University to develop different ways to make their farm more sustainable and environmentally friendly. With sometimes several thousand visitors coming in a day, there’s no doubt that Curtis Orchard has come a long way from a few apple trees. “Sometimes we just shake our heads and think, ‘Dad, what did you start?’” Curtis said.

2 nd Emerald City Lounge 3r d The Clark Bar



Animah Boakye

hester Street Bar has yet again been voted CU’s Best Gay-Friendly Nightlife. Its welcoming environment makes it a fun spot where people (19 and over, of course) from all walks of life can let loose and be themselves for the night. Many straight guys may be intimidated by the “gay bar” stereotype, but it’s much more than that. C-Street may be a gay bar, but if you look on the club’s website, nowhere does it identify itself as one. Before anything else, C-Street is a dance bar where absolutely anyone — gay, straight, whatever — can have fun. Want a night of creep-free dancing with your best girlfriends? No problem. Feel like dancing on stage in a shiny red speedo for all to see? Please, go ahead. Just want some great music to dance to? Well, you’ll definitely get it at C-Street.

20 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Another splendid thing about C-Street is that the cover charge isn’t too much. Sundays have a $4 cover charge for Drag Night, but on Fridays and Saturdays, it only takes your photo ID and $3 to get in and make your way to the dance floor. Saturdays usually tend to be the bar’s busiest night, when DJ Substitute plays top-40 remixes. For those dancing queens who need a break or an extra drink to fuel the fun, there is a separate bar area and an outdoor patio where it’s easy to just sit and talk. The bar also hosts parties on Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s. It may be a few extra turns off of campus, but as long as you can catch a bus to the Illinois Terminal, the walk is only just a few minutes and well worth it. No matter who you are, if you’re looking to have fun in a friendly environment, C-Street will accept you.

Chester Street Bar

Pygmalion Music Festival Major Lazer may not have made as cool a headliner as Grizzly Bear did last year, but finally seeing Caveman, Damien Jurado, Youth Lagoon and so many other bands that never seem to make their way through central Illinois otherwise is probably the best part of this CU tradition. Positioned just as the hot summer begins to cool into fall, the weather is much better suited to outdoor venues as well. I couldn’t bring any flannel or sweaters to Lolla, Bonnaroo or Pitchfork, but you can be damn sure that’s my entire wardrobe the weekend Pygmalion comes around. —Tyler Durgan, Online Editor

63 E. Chester St., Champaign

C-Street, winner of Best of CU 2013: Best Gay-Friendly Nightlife award.

Skeletal Lightning Fest Champaign needed a DIY festival. Something like Skeletal Lightning Fest, a two-day event that went down for the first time this past April. Organized by Sean Hermann, whose label shares the same name, the festival brought together bands from the label and from across the Midwest together to play at the Red Herring. From sludgy metal to emo and pop punk, everything the Midwest has to offer musically was there for the tasting. Big things are in store for next year too. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor

You're from the '70s, but I'm a '90s bitch


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Elsinore The Dirty Feathers

LOCAL BAND: Maddie Rehayem

90's Daughter

Used with permission from 90's Daughter


our years ago, Tom Grassman was playing in an '80s cover band called Brat Pack, which was fine, but the passing years called for something new. The band 90's Daughter formed then as a logical progression — a CU cover band that specializes in '90s tunes but often branches out into the modern realm and is CU’s best band of 2013. The band celebrated its fourth anniversary on October 30, and Grassman said that it’s only uphill from here. “This past summer was probably our best season yet,” Grassman said. “We did a lot of festivals. We played the state fair. We really upped our profile and got a lot of good work and a lot of self-exposure.” Although they started playing exclusively hits of the 1990s, their motto now is “90s, 2K and today.” “The Cupid Shuffle” is popular among fans, people who were in high school during the ’90s. Other popular songs include Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping” and recently, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

No matter what the band is playing, the goal is to make people dance and put on an exciting show. 90's Daughter has been known to feature light shows and throw out glow sticks. In short, as Grassman said, they “don’t just stand around and play.” The band travels a lot, and Grassman — who sings and plays guitar — as well as bassist Michael Guido Esteves played in a live karaoke house band for the Chicago Blackhawks at every home game in the 2011-2012 season. No matter where 90's Daughter is playing, however, they appreciate CU. “It’s always nice to come home to a hometown crowd,” Grassman said.


Local band 90's Daughter.


Best house venue

The Math Lab I think the most entertaining local shows I’ve been to have taken place at the Math Lab. I swear, this house must have been built for music too — there’s a stage in the living room. Whether it’s a punk band like Iowa’s Slut River, which played a super fun show there in the fall, or just some sheer noise, The Math Lab is a


Local band Elsinore.

friendly and accommodating venue that is essential to the CU DIY scene. Plus, come on, it’s got the best name ever. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor

Best place to buy a punk record

Error Records It’s surprising it took this long for a place like Error to open up. While Exile on Main St. usually

reigns supreme in the “Best Place to Buy Music” category of our poll, Error Records, which opened in March, quenches CU’s thirst for a different kind of record shop. You’re more likely to find that punk or metal record you’re looking for here, among the growing supply of new and used records and CDs and old VHS tapes. Error is also open for all-ages DIY shows multiple days of the week, making it a great community space as well. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor

Best local indie band

Elsinore Elsinore is shooting for the stars, and it's not that far off the mark, judging by frontman Ryan Groff’s shining smile. Elsinore's music is also radiating with that same joy and positivity, and with the band's ambitious second full-length record PUSH/PULL released in October, it

seems as if nothing can stop Elsinore from radiating that energy all over the country and the world. But as our poll has shown, Elsinore gets a lot of love right here at home in CU. Though the new album was produced by Death Cab for Cutie producer Beau Sorenson and streamed on Paste Magazine's website, and though the indie rockers have done their share of touring and making a national name for themselves, the spirit of their hometown shows is unmatched. The band has played Bud Light Summer Stage, Urbana Basement sessions and Unionfest in the Illini Union, as well as a number of regular venues around town. It’s hard to corner the band into a certain part of the local scene here. Elsinore is simply a good, talented band that anyone and everyone can (and does) enjoy. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 21




Best graffiti

Thank You

for your votes & making us #1 in 2012

“Occupy Your Heart” at apartments on Armory Avenue Every day I walk down Armory to get to class, and every day I get to see graffiti on the concrete walls of a garage. That graffiti reminds me to not be concerned with outside worries, but to keep my focus on my own heart and what I can do to share the love with others. It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s bringing me down, rather than looking at the blessings I have in my life. Who knew that graffiti could be so deep? —Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor

60 E. Green St.


Award Winning Cookies & Desserts!

217.359.4500 116 N. Neil St. Champaign, IL

22 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

EDITORS' EDITORS'PICKS PICKS I excused myself from my friends, signed myself up, and within 10 to 15 minutes, I found myself both channeling Lana Del Rey’s lounge singer facade and belting out Radiohead’s “Creep” (classic karaoke song). The Clark Bar somehow got me out of my comfort zone and onto that karaoke stage. —Animah Boakye, Photo Editor

Best place to run

University of Illinois Arboretum I am in love with the Arboretum off Florida and Lincoln avenues. Before the weather gets chilly and after we’ve shaken off the snow in winter, the Arboretum is a beautiful sanctuary full of the most colorful life you could imagine. The Idea Garden and sunken garden are host to an array of flowers and plants that paint the leafy green canvas behind them with an amazing spectacle. The Japan House and neighboring ponds are also serene and inviting for early morning runs. It’s my favorite place to go to forget about the stress of school and just reflect on all the beautiful things in my life. —Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Best place for karaoke

The Clark Bar If you’re like me, when it comes to karaoke hosted in public places — like a bar — it all depends on the atmosphere. In most places, you have to wait forever to even get a chance to sing ONE song. Or the song selection looks like a short order menu. Or the bar is so packed with people that no one cares that you and your friends are singing your little hearts out. Or (Da Worst) the bar is so small and unwelcoming that karaoke becomes like a middle school talent show. That stage fright becomes ever so real when trying to cover Britney Spears’ “...Baby One More Time.” I think The Clark Bar is a local gem with many hidden qualities that make it not only a great place for karaoke, but a great place to eat and drink with friends. When you walk in, you see different seating options that accommodate different group sizes or bar experiences. You also have the choice of an outdoor patio or indoor seating with comfy, sectionallike couches. As you move toward the bar, you have restaurant-style seating that welcomes you to try the delicious barbecue. Some might hate me for saying this, but its barbecue can definitely compete with the best of ‘em: Black Dog. Upon stopping to grab a drink from the bar's friendly staff (the bar has really good drink specials), you will see the glitzy lights and stage of karaoke heaven. It’s an average-size room that’s tucked away from the rest of the bar, but the seating positions the crowd towards the stage. The karaoke song list is as big as a phone book. I usually have to be heavily under the influence or with a big group of friends to even consider karaoke, but one night I was ordering a drink and peeked into the room, only to find myself mesmerized by the singers and the crowd’s level of respect for each performer.

approach her, I can yell “HEY, MOTHERFUCKER! YOU KNOW ME! C’MERE, PLEASE? NO, GET OUT OF THE STREET” without it being too informal. —Kaitlin Penn, Movies & TV Editor

Best bus driver

Sunshine It was the beginning of the fall semester, and free of midterm woes, I had made my way into downtown Champaign to go to a show. I usually feel perfectly safe and comfortable doing this sort of thing because the CU MTD bus system usually does a good job of transporting me from the Illinois Terminal back to Urbana. This particular night, CU MTD did an especially good job. As I walked up to the platform, I saw the 50E Green bus pull around, and for a moment I thought I had missed it. Luckily, CU’s best bus driver was on duty, and despite being on the wrong side of the terminal, she opened her door and beckoned me in. She introduced herself — a gesture that goes beyond usual bus driver etiquette — as Sunshine. The rest of the way back was full of pleasant conversation and laughter. I’ve not forgotten her, and though it’s not often that I get to do so, I’m always happy to ride the Sunshine bus. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor

Carrieí s favorite bathroom

Boltini Lounge My affection for public bathrooms has gone back a long way, and the curiosity and satisfaction thrives in Boltini Lounge's ladies’ room. Stocked full of feminine hygiene products and lotion to boot, it’s like visiting an infinitely better version of my own bathroom. The tampons aren’t hidden in a box like some disgrace, and they don’t cost $1 in quarters, either. They’re displayed on the wall, in the open, for the taking. Pair this with clean stalls and a dimly lit, yet practical aesthetic, and you have CU’s best ladies’ room. —Carrie McMenamin, Food & Drink Editor

Best neighborhood cat

Sunny the Calico Living in historic Urbana, there’s no shortage of happy dogs going for walks. Without fail, there is a dog on some street corner in this neighborhood joyously trotting around with its owner. However, cats are a different story. My next-door neighbor has this slim calico cat named Sunny. Not named after her disposition, Sunny recently became an outdoor cat, and I’ve become acquainted with her. The first time I met this cat, my neighbor picked her up and held her Lion King-style in the air, and Sunny flailed like a blender rotator before falling, landing Sunny-side-up and running for dear life. On many occasions since this, I’ve run into Sunny stalking around the neighborhood, but not really warming up to me — until now. I have now reached a point with this regular neighborhood puss in which I can slowly approach her (sometimes she has even come up to me) and carefully stroke her belly. It’s become such a casual companionship that I’ll often yell her name if I see her, and she’ll trot up to me. However, we’ve become friendly enough that when she doesn’t allow me to

Best bike rack

Walgreens on Neil Street and Kirby Avenue Although not on campus, the bike racks outside of Walgreens on Neil Street and Kirby Avenue are fantastic. Their perfectly proportioned S curve is ideal for placing your front wheel without having to worry about your bike tipping over. The slots are also spaced far enough apart that having another person’s bike knock yours over or your locks getting tangled is not even the slightest of concerns (such a relief, right?!). If every building on campus donned these wonderfully engineered beauties, life would be so much easier. —Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor

November 8-14, 2013 buzz 23



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BAKERY: Shalayne Pulia

Mirabelle Fine Pastries Cream & Flutter


Dani Rudy


116 N. Neil St., Champaign

Best of CU 2013 winner for Best Bakery: Pekara Bakery and Bistro in Champaign.

stranger to the Best of CU spotlight, Pekara Bakery and Bistro has been serving up the finest baked goodies since its opening in 2005. Owner Seka Cuk realized the need for traditional European baked specialties as soon as she emigrated from Serbia. “As soon as she (Cuk) came to the Unites States, she realized that there was a need for a true, oldworld, artisan bakery in Champaign,” said Robb Tobias, Pekara's sales marketing director. Tobias said the original idea was to be a bake shop simply for delicious breads and pastries, but the shop soon tacked on breakfast and lunch items

like quiches, omelets and fresh-made sandwiches. Pekara also serves a variety of coffees and teas from the local company Boneyard Coffee and Tea. Bakery favorites such as the popular baguettes and almond croissants come straight from the affectionately nicknamed “Bakehouse” commercial bakery located on First Street. To give an idea of how popular the pastries are, Tobias said that the almond croissants, which were invented in France as a way to utilize leftover croissants, are so popular that there is no way the shop could have enough left over from one day to cover the next. All of them are instead baked fresh daily at

117 Sterling Ct | Savoy IL, 61874 P-217-355-1579 | F-217-355-2781 Mon-Fri: 9-6 | Sat: 10-5 | Sun: 1-5

All Inclusive Student Living • 24-Hour Fitness Room, Game Room, Business Center • Free Tanning • Pet Friendly

Individual Leasing Fall 2014 2 Bed 2 Bath-$552 • Free Shuttle to U of I 3 Bed 3 Bath-$425 • Includes Cable, Internet, 4 Bed 4 Bath-$414 Water, Sewer 4 Bed 2 Bath-$368 • Fully Furnished Units 24 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

the Bakehouse. The busiest times for this artisan bakery are lunch hours on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Monday’s popularity comes from a special called “Monday-Yumday" in which every customer is treated to a free chocolate chip cookie. Pekara also has had success with special occasion cakes. The shop started baking wedding cakes just this year, and business has been on a slow but steady incline since. You can find Pekara products in many of best restaurants in Champaign-Urbana, such as cakes at Farren’s Pub, deli rye bread at Black Dog and

various breads at the Common Ground Food Coop in Urbana. All of the Espresso Royale coffeehouses in town feature some of Pekara’s products as well. Tobias said that Pekara wants to focus on expanding its wholesale business in the future. Business has been booming for the bakery since they began their wholesale business in 2008. Pekara also wants to focus on selling at farmer’s markets. Tobias said, “That’s seasonal (farmer’s markets), but it’s, you know, a short day where you go and sell dozens of loaves of bread and pack up and go home. And that seems very, very trendy now.”

The best time for bacon is always.


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(24≠ hour) Steak 'N' Shake/(Breakfast) Original House of Pancakes/(Drunk) Fat Sandwich (24≠ hour) Planet Fitness/(Breakfast) Le Peep/(Drunk) Cracked


Madison Ross-Ryan

Merry Ann's has locations in both Champaign and Urbana.


here are a lot of reasons Merry Ann’s Diner won three categories, and among those reasons are the cozy atmosphere, the friendly staff and the tasty dishes that come out of their kitchen. One of the best things about this diner is that it’s always open. While other 24-hour hangouts are usually libraries, Merry Ann’s has food, and the best way to stay up is with a hot cup of their coffee or a creamy milkshake. Students and members of the community alike can be seen at all hours of the day, just


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1103 W. Oregon St., Urbana

For about $6, you can get an omelet, hash browns and toast, or substitute toast for hotcakes, and your wallet isn’t going to feel as hungover as you do the next day. The diner is by no means a fancy, five-star place, but the cheap prices and hefty portions are what makes it better than any fancy schmancy place out there. Pomonis pointed out that Merry Ann’s corned beef hash as a good example of this. “People come in and they expect our corned beef hash to be from a can,” he said. “But we cook it, grind it, saute onions, add butter. If you go to a competitor, you pay more and get corned beef hash from a can.” Another reason customers keep coming back is because of the friendly atmosphere and familiar faces. Customers who visit often know the waiters and waitresses and might even get to see the owner himself cooking up some meals on the hotline on a busy weekend. While some other breakfast locations around CU have lines going out the door and around the corner, there are three different Merry Ann’s locations around town, so as long as you have a car, there’s a way to get some of their cheesy omelets or savory hash browns. If you live in CU or even if you just come to visit, there really is no reason not to pay a visit to one (or all three) of Merry Ann’s locations. One bite of their food and you’ll wish you had found out about this triple threat sooner.

Expresso Royale Aroma Cafe

COFFEE SHOP: Erron Perez

casually reading a paper, surfing the web or even working on group projects together. While most people crowd up the library, especially Grainger, for a long night of work, you’ll actually find a place to sit at the diner. Tony Pomonis, co-owner of Merry Ann’s, said that the diner’s consistency and availability is what has made the restaurant so successful over the years. “We’re open all the time and readily available,” he said. “Not many 24-hour places are open (around CU). We have a good vibe going.” Depending on what time you go and what day of the week it is, you just might run into some classic entertainment at good ol’ Merry Ann’s: drunk college kids. There’s a diner on campus, and whether students live as close as Allen Hall or as far as the frat houses, you’d be surprised how many people like to flock over to Merry Ann’s to drunkenly devour a stack of hotcakes drenched in syrup. “Our menu, although we do alter it seasonally and we do add things, our hotcakes recipe has been unaltered for 30 years,” he said. “It’s a secret recipe, and I could put our recipe up against anyone and we would win.” Merry Ann’s really is the definition of good drunk food, mostly because after spending money like there’s no tomorrow at a local bar, those last few bucks in your wallet could buy you a filling and delicious meal at the diner, like a stack of hotcakes.

Merry Anní s

Allison Macey

lthough Cafe Kopi is one of Champaign’s largest cafes, it still manages to maintain a cozy atmosphere. Owner and manager Paul West compared sitting in Cafe Kopi to “being in your living room at home.” Aside from coffee, the cafe’s drink menu offers fresh fruit smoothies and a variety of seasonal drinks, meaning there’s is always something new to try. West said he was particularly excited about the peppermint mocha, which will appear on the menu in November and is garnished with fresh peppermint candies. All coffee beans are locally roasted at Columbia Street Roastery in Champaign, ensuring that the coffee is always fresh. As if Cafe Kopi needed help drawing a crowd, it offers daily food and drink specials, which are posted on the cafe’s Facebook page. The shop is so popular that four years ago, the business expanded into the then-empty space next door, upping the cafe’s table count to 40. Although a fairly large establishment, Cafe Kopi provides a great alternative to other bustling cafes in the CU area. The atmosphere is not only peaceful, but also quite unique. A new art exhibit passes through the coffee shop every four to six

Cafe Kopi 109 N. Walnut St., Champaign weeks, providing a nice change in decor. The most recent showing featured movie posters for scripts written by area high school students. The scripts were adapted into short films by local directors, and the Champaign-Urbana Design Organization produced the posters. In addition to exhibits, there is plenty of original local art hanging in the main room. Cafe Kopi is one of downtown Champaign’s many wonderful food establishments and should definitely be on your list of cafes to visit.

Winner of Best of CU's Best Coffee Shop award: Cafe Kopi in downtown Champaign.

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 25



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BURGERS: Jasmine Lee

Joeí s Brewery Meatheads Burgers & Fries

Liz Brinckerhoff

Farrení s Pub & Eatery

308 N. Randolph St., Champaign


or an establishment that routinely churns out the best burgers in Champaign-Urbana, Farren’s Pub and Eatery is a bit hard to find, a small green building tucked away behind the Art Theater and a Thai restaurant on Randolph Street. However, that and the traffic light ramp way that leads patrons down into the one-room dining space all add to the appeal of the place. Grab a burger, enjoy a local soda or beer, and hang out with the regulars and disarmingly friendly staff – this is all part of the Farren’s experience. Farren’s has been serving up gourmet burgers to the CU area since 2000, a long enough chunk of time that has resulted in a clientele that is made up of nearly all regulars. But what to do with the yearly onslaught of potential new customers? Well, Farren’s routinely churns out special menus and daily specials, which gives them cause to experiment with burgers and flex their creative muscles. “We’ve done a few things this summer, like The Barbacoa,” Ben Fitzgerald, manager of Farren’s, reported. The Barbacoa is a spectacular creation, heaping a mound of pulled pork and a creamy cilantro-ranch sauce atop a half-pound of beef patty. He adds that on “Dad’s

Day, we had the Mac Daddy with macaroni and cheese on top with bacon, that was pretty tasty.” Exotic game is also a bit of a weakness for the chefs at Farren’s, and it ranges from bison to elk to venison; check out Farren’s Facebook page, which cheerfully documents any and all new iterations of burgers. Fitzgerald explains that “we alternate those burgers around, to keep people interested and coming back.” He credits their success to the quality of their beef, which is sourced from local areas. “Old Time Meat and Deli do a really good job on the quality of our meats,” he said. “The only thing we add to it is salt and pepper.” The cultivation of

relationships with local businesses and establishments is also important to Farren’s: “Our sodas are from Homer Soda Company, and we are trying to get drafts from Triptych for local beers; they brew their own beers in Savoy. Also, we are working with Pekara Bakery for our desserts.” And just what burger should you order when swinging by the eatery? Fitzgerald recommends either the Spicoli or the Russell, a savory overload of mushroom, bacon, bleu cheese and jalapeno, two of Farren’s most popular options. If you want to get a little fancy, go for the ofttalked-about American-style Kobe.

Farren's Pub and Eatery.

505 S. Neil St. Suite 10 Champaign, IL

217-954-0144 Hours:

Tues - Sat 11am - 9pm Custom, black and gray, color, new school and traditional tattoos using nothing but the best equipment and highest standards

/RevoltTattooStudio 26 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

I rock peas on my head, but don't call me a pea-head.


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(BBQ) Lilí Porgyí s (Restaurant) Big Grove Tavern (BBQ) Clark Bar (Restaurant) Bacaro


Animah Boakye

Black Dog, Winner of Best of CU 2013: Best BBQ/Regional Restaurant Award.


wathed in Tuscan orange walls and a beautiful brick exterior, Black Dog glows with the urgency of succulent, smoked barbecue complimented by an amicable, down-to-earth staff. Behind the modest grey front door, an oasis

of warm food and people flood eager patrons. No matter the dining hour, a swarm of eager barbecue connoisseurs salivate in the crowded waiting area. Navigating expertly around them, smiling servers come bearing gifts on low-key aluminum treys laden with the daily special. Once in a while, a shimmering combo platter possessing mountains of beef brisket, spare ribs or the infamous Black Dog Burnt Ends comes drifting by. Lips smacking and fingers dripping with homemade sauce and slow-cooked goodness, every patron shuts their eyes to pay homage for the taste of perfectly done smoked meats. Due to this restaurant’s constant devotion to authentic and true flavors, not to mention ridiculously welcoming service, Black Dog won a double dose of awards this year. Upon sitting down with the humble owner Mike Cochran to discuss Urbana BBQ, he says Black Dog barbecue distinguishes itself from the average smokehouse because “we just try to take care of the food and do it like it’s supposed to be done,” meaning they use “the traditional ‘low and slow’” method without hiding the meat’s true smoky notes “with any sauces.” They “do the dry rub traditional right using the best quality products [they] can find.” Black Dog surfaces as a distinctly Midwestern

Black Dog Smoke & Ale House

establishment complete with casual, prompt servers manning “more of a pub, sit-down atmosphere” than a Texas line-up for barbecue. By pairing beer and whiskey drinkers with the BBQ restaurant goers, “you get table service, you got the bar as part of the room and it’s a very casual, relaxed atmosphere.” With gracious servers who double as bartenders, patrons receive the benefits of a hybrid restaurant-bar establishment. When asked about his inspiration, Mike admitted, “I wasn’t getting what I wanted when I was going out for BBQ, and so I thought there were some other people who maybe thought the same way. It kinda worked out.” With customers waiting impatiently in the front of the restaurant at all hours, Black Dog more than just worked out, it now throbs with people positively aching to try Black Dog’s latest culinary creations. With daily lunch and dinner specials every single day of the week, Black Dog runs the gamut for diverse yet localized food. When asked about the secret to Black Dog sauces, Mike replied, “Our biggest secret is that we make it all here. We don’t really use anything besides our basic ingredients, which is, since we do several kinds of sauce, we focus on different regions and kinds of sauce.” However,

201 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana

Mike Cochran also says the sauces veer from the traditional as “we put our own spin on it.” From their house special Carolina Red to the sweet Georgia Peach, each sauce represents an Urbana-twist on a regional classic. With so many delicious menu items, the owner himself cannot pick a favorite—as he says: “That’s like asking to pick a favorite kid. It’s not really gonna happen.” Instead, Mike admits the undying popularity of Burnt Ends, the succulent cuttings of barbecue which possess the perfect balance of crispy exterior and buttery interior. On his most popular culinary child, he says they “really kept things going.” Considering the diversity of the menu and the countless opportunities to try something new, you too may not be able to “pick a favorite kid” out of the Black Dog bunch. Locally established and sourced, Black Dog Smoke and Ale House not only offers meticulously prepared food but also a cheerful, professional staff always willing to show customers around the hectic kitchen or recommend an excellent dish. With a warm establishment, people feel at home in Black Dog. Mike Cochran puts it best, for, “We put a lot of love and effort into everything, and I think it shows.” It definitely does.


502 E John St. (217)-FAT-5035 November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 27



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MEXICAN: Maricela Lopez

El Toro Dos Reales

Dani Rudy

Maize 60 E. Green St., Champaign


he only words you need to know in order to reach a destination of simple, authentic Mexican goodness are "first" and "green." To the untrained eye, this corner spot may just be a small burgundy building, but those familiar with the establishment know it as Maize Mexican Grill, a place of close interaction and an atmosphere that smells of fried tortillas and grilling meat. The owner and manager of the elbow-to-elbow eatery, Armando Sandoval, takes his family-learned skills to create dishes that have his own unique twist while still keeping them close to home. “I’m trying to replicate what I love in Mexico, like the tacos, the quesadillas,” Sandoval said. “All of those things are my favorite dishes in Mexico, so that’s what I’m trying to bring here.” Among his favorites is the Taco Mexica (Mehhe-kuh), a self-invented grilled cheese taco that without his fiance’s persistent shove would not be on the menu. Taking his love for the burnt cheese on a quesadilla, Sandoval one day decided to flip the tortilla over and discovered the golden brown beauty of the Taco Mexica. Although this is one minor change to a recipe, he said he tries to keep them “simple and fresh.” “I think a lot of people get into trouble when they try to change too many things about it,” he said.


Maize, winner of Best of CU 2013: Best Mexican Food award.

Staying simple has certainly made his restaurant explode with excited customers waiting to experience the crunch of homemade tortilla chips and the burn of fresh salsa on their tongues. And don’t forget about the gulp of a sweet horchata to cool it down. Despite the bumping of elbows and limited space within Maize, the customers are taken in by the tacos, gorditas and more, while Sandoval delights in the chatter that transpires. The visual of buzz amongst friends or strangers is what he likes best, and it hits close to his passion as a sociologist major. Sandoval said the customer base is “very eclectic.” “Sometimes you’ll see a Mercedes parked and a construction truck and when you’re eating here you’re all eating here together,” he said. Whether you decide to eat amid the crowd or decide to take it to go (yes, there’s carry-out), you’ll be experiencing the Best Mexican Food in CU.


Allure Salon | 2907 W. Springfield Ave, Champaign IL | 217-355-3900 |

D.P. Dough Jet's Pizza



Tue - Thu: 9:00am - 7:00pm Fri: 9:00am - 5:00pm Sat: 9:00am - 3:00pm

28 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013


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Animah Boakye

a patron of the sandwich shop's simple yet effectively delicious sandwiches, I've spent more dollars than I’m proud to admit at Jimmy John’s. Self-described as “freaky fast,” the Jimmy John's motto doesn’t lie. Whether it’s an existential crisis when hunger strikes or you’re up late scrambling to complete coursework, fear not. With a menu offering nearly something for everyone, the sandwich connoisseur's quick service and fresh ingredients will trip your trigger. With an abundance of locations on and off of campus, Jimmy John’s manages to cover a wide map of availability for delivery. Established by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983, the business has grown from a simple sandwich shop into a bustling enterprise that includes over 1,600 stores. According to the Jimmy John's website, “What makes Jimmy John’s different from the rest is that it’s honest, it’s damn good, it’s damn fast, (and all) at a decent price!” The sandwich shop’s conception by then-19year-old Liautaud may not be nearly as exhilarating as when Bill Cosby births a sub, but it’s believable and honest. Whether it’s the freshly baked bread — additionally available in day-old loaves for only $0.45 — the real meats or the

Jimmy John's

43 E. Green St., Champaign

crispy veggies, all of the ingredients come together to form one damn fine sandwich. Even more impressive than the delectable, lipsmacking sandwiches is the Jimmy John's delivery service. Having helped me multiple times throughout nefarious winter snowstorms and utter laziness, Jimmy John's means business when it comes to delivery. The delivery drivers will get you your nourishment, stat. Having performed a minor Mythbusters-esque experiment throughout the years in trying to find out exactly how fast “freaky fast” is, my experience is that Jimmy John's should have your sandwich to you in under 10 minutes. Though I can't guarantee this, knowing that my sandwich should get to me safely and scrumptiously is more than enough.

Jimmy John's, winner of Best of CU 2013: Best Delivery Food award.


This orange reminds me of my goldfish, Woobie ... RIP


Best desserts

Jarling's Custard Cup’s pumpkin pie and cheesecake snowstorm I don’t even care if it’s 25 degrees out, I will happily subject myself to the blissful brain freeze of Jarling's Custard Cup’s pumpkin pie and cheesecake snowstorm. This creamy chilled dessert is the perfect combination of two sweet treats that I love, even when they're not harmoniously paired. Flaky, buttery pie crust; spiced pumpkin bits; and soft, tangy cream cheese pieces is seriously a heavenly blend. —Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Jarling’s Custard Cup's cold fudge on ANYTHING AT JARLING’S One of these days, I’m going to go to Jarling’s and just order a vat of the stuff. It’s so good. I dream about that fudge. Why is it cold fudge? Is it served cold so it doesn’t melt the custard? I’m not sure, but that sounds right to me. You’re so smart, Jarling’s. I’ve been pouring scalding hot fudge on my ice cream for years like an idiot. —Dan Durley, Managing Editor

Best food truck

The Cracked Truck While there are plenty of other great trucks driving through town, there’s only one that remains parked in a permanent spot: my heart. That, my friends, is the Cracked Truck. With their fluffy eggs and delicious sandwiches, they’ve salvaged a few nights and satisfied plenty of stomachs in their short reign. Portable, fast, affordable, convenient and seemingly always there when you need it (even at Bonnaroo!), the Cracked Truck never disappoints. —Evan Lyman, Editor-in-Chief

Best burger

The Russell at Farren’s Pub and Eatery Oh mah goodness, I just discovered Farren’s about a week ago, and it was the best burger to ever happen to me in Champaign-Urbana. Not only was my burger HUGE, but the buns were toasted, the toppings (mushroom, bacon and bleu cheese) were plentiful, and I could hardly finish the second half of it because I was just so

EDITORS' PICKS full and content. Farren’s is definitely a happy hole-in-the-wall hamburger joint. —Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor The Day After at Joe’s Brewery Don’t discredit Joe’s burgers. On half-priced Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Joe’s should be your lunch or dinner priority. My personal favorite is The Day After, which features bacon, a fried egg and a slice of American cheese. It’s breakfast on a burger. It’s perfect. —Tyler Durgan, Online Editor

The Average Joe and fries at Joe’s Brewery So here’s the thing: My friends all have this constant need to party it up at Joe’s every weekend, but I’m not about that life. Joe’s to me is what Murphy’s is to frat daddies. But do you know what makes up for Joe’s sweaty, frat-boy-infested dance floor? The fat, juicy burgers and crispy fries. The Average Joe Burger is simple: beef patty, a bun that’s not too big or small, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments of your choosing. It’s a delicious classic. For you more adventurous burger lovers, Joe’s also has different burgers with toppings like mushrooms and eggs. And don’t get me started on those fries. They’re delicious and they’ve NEVER been soggy or too crispy. They cook 'em just right. So Joe’s, thank you for making your burgers and fries good enough to make up for the fact that you’re kind of trashy.

Best Mexican dishes

Chicken tacos at Maize Beauty always shines despite adversity. Just like the phoenix rising from its own ashes, any of the dishes at Maize is 100 times better after you have gone through the awkward process of squeezing inside that tiny restaurant, ordering, then maneuvering through the shoving mass of hungry customers behind you to get back outside. But Maize’s chicken tacos are the best thing on the menu. It’s my favorite item, it’s owner Armando Sandoval’s favorite item and it is quintessential Mexican food. You get the basic, street-smart combination of meat, cheese and lettuce, but with the oddly sophisticated aesthetic they somehow imbue in every item on the menu. I don’t know what is happening in my mouth, but I never want it to stop. Simple, easy and delicious: the chicken taco is perfect in every way. —Tyler Durgan, Online Editor Dollar tacos at El Charro El Charro’s dollar taco Wednesday is a treat for everyone, especially wallets and taste buds. No matter what your favorite choice of meat is — chicken, steak, chorizo, pastor or even tongue (try it, it’s good!) — you can get tacos filled with it for $1 each on Wednesday. This underrated Mexican restaurant and grocery store, located right across from Maize, definitely rivals its neighbor with great eats and awesome prices. Pick up some Jarritos to wash it down. —Evan Lyman, Editor-in-Chief

One time, they had a four-cheese pasta sauce with bleu, Fontina, Asiago and Gouda cheese. YUM! The fun doesn’t stop there: They always host drag shows starting around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.. so it’s a great place to go to see some local Champaign-Urbana drag. Or, if you are a true Sunday Funday drinking champion, it's a great place to pre-game before sashaying away to C-Street’s Sunday night drag shows. —Animah Boakye, Photo Editor

Best Asian food

Best place for Sunday Funday

Green curry at Basil Thai My love for Thai food goes way back to when I would gorge myself on green curry at this place near my high school after class got out. Naturally, upon arriving at the University, I was determined to find a place that could satisfy my Thai cravings. Basil Thai has filled that space in my heart. Their green curry must be made of that same soul-warming, deliciously spicy stuff I remember from back home. I’m also a huge fan of the basil or ginger tofu and vegetables. —Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor

Boltini Whether you’re looking to cure a weekend hangover or keep the party goin’ with some midday Sunday drinking, the best place for Sunday Funday is at Boltini Lounge. I discovered this place one bright Sunday afternoon, when a friend and I were looking for a place downtown that had reasonably priced drinks but was also lively enough that it wouldn’t put us back to sleep. We walked into Boltini to find $2 screwdrivers, $2 Mimosas and $2 make-your-own bloody marys! To our delight, we didn’t have to seek out another place for food, as we loaded our empty stomachs with complimentary pasta and bread.

Chicken and broccoli at Empire Chinese Restaurant I LOVE CHINESE FOOD. But I’m also really picky. When I’m home in Chicago, I can ONLY get my Chinese food from this tiny place near my house. I refuse to get it anywhere else. But when I came to campus, I had to — GASP — try new things. So, I’ve tried just about every Chinese place that will deliver to my apartment. Also, I always order the exact same thing: chicken and broccoli. It’s something savory and classic, and I’ve finally discovered that it’s the best from Empire. I’ve had it from other places around CU, but the sauce that some places use is a weird yellow color and tastes really bland. It tastes like boiled chicken with some broccoli thrown in there. Yuck. At Empire, the brown sauce is what makes the meal. When poured just right over the white rice on the side, you’ve got yourself a tasty lunch. Don’t get your Chinese food from anywhere else, trust me on this. It’s delicious. —Melissa Espana, Assistant Food & Drink Editor

—Melissa Espana, Food & Drink Assistant Editor

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 29



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Friar Tuck Picadilly

LIQUOR STORE: Will Angelico

Liz Brinckerhoff


is Friday and the time is 5:00 p.m. Your last class of the day ended 10 minutes ago, and the weekend has officially begun. Leaving behind a week chock-full of exams, papers and lectures from that boring, monotone professor won’t be simple. A sure way to start will require a sixer and catching up on Boardwalk Empire. While it would be closer to head to the local liquor store, you decide to make the trip to Binny’s: CU’s Best Liquor Store. Located at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and West Town Center Boulevard, Binny’s is not a walking distance away from campus. However, what the beverage depot lacks in convenient dis-

Binny's Beverage Depot 802 W. Town Center Blvd., Champaign

Best of CU 2013 winner for Best Liquor Store: Binny's in Champaign.

tance, it more than makes up for in other areas. Coming up on its second birthday in Champaign, Binny’s seems to have it all figured out. When asked what Binny’s offers that your local liquor store doesn’t, Bradley Stein, who works as a controller at Binny’s, said: “We really invest a lot of effort into our employees. Making sure that all of our staff is well-educated allows them to provide customers with a great experience in the store.” This rings true. When I walked into Binny’s, I stumbled upon a Francis Ford Coppola wine. I then approached the nearest employee and asked her where his other wines were. Without hesitation, she took me over to each of Coppola’s

products. In addition, she assisted me in choosing by describing the differences to me. Stein also said that there are weekly wine tastings held inside the store. Additionally, Binny’s has a team of liquor scouts, trained individuals who aim to discover new beer, wine and spirits from all over. In the process, they evaluate these potential products by way of taste and price, constantly negotiating for the customer to achieve the best deal. The whole Zero Dark Tequila task force is proof that if you can’t find it at Binny’s, it’s not worth drinking. While perusing, you decide that you want to change it up tonight. You’ll be sharing a couple

of drinks with Nucky Thompson, so you’ll want to keep it classy. A nice bottle of Bulleit Bourbon and the ingredients for an Old Fashioned find their way into your shopping basket (whiskey stones included because Binny’s carries awesome items like that). While the massive selection is a perk, Binny’s focuses more on its experience for the customer. You can buy the items the store sells online or in other stores. Binny’s knows this. But by using the store to stage events like wine tastings, complete with the works of a knowledgeable and personable staff, Binny’s truly offers something no other store can mimic. Step in the door and you’ll see for yourself.

HISTORIC 1920s THEATRE featuring

203 W. Park Ave, Downtown Champaign Box Office: 217-356-9063 M-F, 10am-5:30pm

Movies, Concerts, Plays, Dance Performances Private Rentals & Tours Available Volunteer Opportunities 30 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Your backpackis not a person.


2 nd (Bar) Seven Saints/(Beer) Crane Alley 3r d (Bar) Boltini Lounge/(Beer) Crane Alley


120 N. Walnut St., Champaign

Diana Diggs

$2 OFF A whole deli pizza!

PLU: 905

(must come in to place order) Valid August 8 ≠ September 31, 2013. Limit one coupon per customer.

217≠ 352≠ 3347


7AM ≠ 10PM

The Blind Pig, winner of Best of CU 2013: Bar/ Beer Selection awards.

ake one step into the Blind Pig Co., and it’s immediately evident that it’s not like any other CU bar. There’s no 50-inch flat-screen TV playing the game and no unbearable pop song piercing your eardrums — just a subtle wooden bar, where the volume of the music is as dim as the lights. But what exactly makes this bar stand out? “The atmosphere,” said Chris Knight, owner of both the Bling Pig Co. and the Blind Pig Brewery. “To me, there’s three things that set us apart: atmosphere, beer and our employees,” said Andy Gravlin, manager of both of Knight’s bars. At any time, there are 26 different beers on tap at the Blind Pig Co. (Six of these are permanent, and the other 20 rotate depending on the bar’s

selection.) The Blind Pig Co. opened in its new location in November of 2004. The bar first opened in the ‘90s in the same location Cowboy Monkey currently occupies. One block west is the Blind Pig Brewery, which opened in May of 2009. It’s not the variety of beers the Blind Pig offers that differentiates the bar from its competitors in Champaign-Urbana; there’s much more to it. For starters, “They’re fucking excellent beers,” Knight said. The Blind Pig Brewery is where Knight’s company brews its own beer. The bar currently has several different homemade brews on tap, including dark mild, India pale ale, coffee stout and pumpkin ale.


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300 S. Broadway Ave Urbana, IL 61801

The Blind Pig Co. and Brewery don’t just have a unique variety of beers. They also boast a healthy assortment of liquor. Each has about 100 bottles, with very little overlap between the two bars, Gravlin said. “We have the biggest scotch selection you’ll ever want to see,” Knight said. Gravlin added: “We’re the biggest Jameson account in Champaign.”

Radio Maria Restaurant (Tied) The Art Theater/Big Grove Tavern

PLACE TO TAKE A DATE: Bacaro Ash Valentine

Megan Swiertz

113 N. Walnut St., Champaign

rom the moment you walk into the Bacaro Wine Lounge, it’s instantly obvious that you’ve found the perfect place to bring a date. The establishment’s glass door swings out to reveal a dim but not dark interior, supported but not overpowered by the warm glow of the candles lit on the tables. The diffuse, orange-yellow aura on each table serves to create a beautiful air of intimacy, and as you take a look around, you find your gaze lingering on the elegant selection of wines Best of CU 2013 Best Place to Take a Date: Bacaro. displayed on the wall-mounted shelf. You might choose to take a seat at one of the tables for a more traditional dining experience, or perhaps join other patrons at the warm, inviting, yet sophisticated bar. The charming spell of entrancement you fall under never leaves you, even as you take a seat

and exchange glances with your date. You don’t say anything yet, but that look tells you all you need to know: good choice. The sophisticated-yet-simple charm of Bacaro does not merely extend to its first impression, however. While the ambiance at Bacaro has already reeled you in, the cuisine will only pull you in deeper. The restaurant’s Italian-inspired cuisine is based on the principle of simplicity. As chef Drew Starkey said: “We try to keep the food as simple and as local as possible.” Bacaro makes an effort to find its ingredients as locally as possible, and Starkey lists Urbana’s Blue Moon Farm as one of his local farm suppliers. The menu changes often, depending on what the chefs are preparing that day, and Starkey loves to vary his entrees while still maintaining a simple feel to his food. “That seems to be what’s popular now: food that’s really simple, but local and done really well,” he said. Bacaro’s softly lit, sophisticated vibe is perfect to set the mood for an intimate encounter, and the food and wine will only make your experience better.


November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 31



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Siam Terrace Common Ground Food Co≠ op

VEGETARIAN FOOD:The Red Herring Erron Perez

Madison Ross-Ryan

1209 W. Oregon St., Urbana

Best of CU 2013 Best Vegetarian Food winner: The Red Herring in Urbana.


he Red Herring is tucked away in the basement of the Channing-Murray Foundation in Urbana. Equipped with a very unassuming stone staircase that takes you down to the entrance of the restaurant, the entryway gives the feeling of walking into a secret hideaway. This unique eatery serves delicious vegan dishes and provides a creative, comfortable atmosphere. This fall, the Red Herring, owned by the foundation, had its grand reopening that consisted of kitchen renovations, menu changes, a major cleanup and new traditions. Head chef and comanager Adrienne Weber said there changes were an “upgrading (of) the atmosphere,” which includes decorations and more effective use of dining space. She went on to call the whole process a “fresh start” for the restaurant. One of the most interesting features of the “new” Red Herring is the weekly Vegan Cultural Dinner. These special dinners are served every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and feature more than your typical Chinese cuisine. The past couple of weeks have included Malaysian and German food, which are not widely available. On

32 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

these evenings, the set price for a plate is $7. Since the dishes are vegan, the chefs take certain liberties with ingredients, but Weber said their goal is to be as authentic as possible. While many may not know it, the Red Herring is more than a neat place to eat and hangout — the basement cafe has a rich history comprised of confidential communist meetings and strange architecture. Weber said the basement that houses the Red Herring was constructed roughly 30 years after the initial completion of the church. The cafe’s evolution form a clandestine meeting place to a coffee house and finally a cafe has made for a very interesting space. The brick walls are decorated with old photographs, and the pillars that hold the establishment up are all different, each one handpainted by a different artist. In addition to boasting a long and interesting history and an amazing menu, the staff is friendly and down to earth. If you are looking for savory vegan or vegetarian dishes, head over to the Red Herring. It is the best veggie-friendly place in town.

"Gimme Pizza" -- Mary Kate & Ashley


Shawn Laudencia

2 nd 3r d

Jupiterí s Pizzeria and Billiards Jetí s Pizza

Papa Delí s Teresa Anderson

2510 Village Green Place, Champaign

obert Monti, owner and creator of Papa Del’s, decided to introduce Chicago-style deep dish pizza to the Champaign-Urbana community in a big way. Located in the Village Green Place as well as on Green and Second streets, the wooden decor and brick setting gives the family restaurant a nice tavern feel, as if you were eating in the city of Chicago itself. Many different kinds of people come from all around the area to get a taste of high-quality pizza made with the finest ingredients. There are many other pizza places located right in Campustown, but Robert Monti sets his pizzas on a different scale. Papa Del’s pizzas are always made fresh right to order and start with quality ingredients. The dough is made fresh every three hours, which is a practice that is hardly seen with

pizzas nowadays and contributes to the pizza’s crispy texture and buttery taste. Only the highest quality tomatoes and cheese are used. Fresh ingredients are key to Papa Del’s pizzas. Everything about the pizzas is meticulously planned, from the dough to the meat. “We used to grind our sausages daily at our own restaurants, but now we get our sausages locally and personally sent in,” Monti said. “As always, our pizzas are made with no preservatives and chemicals.” There are many different varieties of pizza offered at Papa Del’s, ranging from the thin crust to the special deep dish, the Super Stuffed Pizza. The Papa Del’s sausage pizza brings in a Chicago taste to the community of ChampaignUrbana, which many people enjoy. Some of the






most ordered combinations at the restaurant are the sausage and pepperoni pan pizzas or sausage and mushroom pan pizzas. Papa Del’s main dish is pizza, but the restaurant also offers a variety of other succulent foods for patrons to enjoy. Another recommended dish is Papa’s Homemade Italian Beef, comparable to their famous pizzas. Made with

choice beef, slow roasted in a secret family recipe and soaked in its own juices, the Italian beef is one of many menu items that people drool over. For over 40 years, Papa Del’s has served up pizzas that everyone can relate to, love and enjoy. There is nothing like it around, and each visit is a unique experience.


Papa Del's Pan with Mushroom and Sausage I love pizza. Especially deep dish. I am from the suburbs of Chicago (like most of this campus), so my standards for dish are extremely high. Papa Del's has an incredibly comparable slice to some of the best pizzerias in the Windy City. They don’t shy away from the sauce — which is my favorite part — and the crust is doughy and soft, and toppings are never slim. And I love that I always have at least another two meals left over after. — Andrea Baumgartner, Arts & Entertainment Editor Antonio’s Spicy Chicken Spicy pizza. Spicy sexy flare food + cry with friends at slumber parties pizza = awesomeness. Sexy crying. Need I say more? Also, it comes by the slice, so you don’t end up sharing all your friend’s soggy tears. — Karolina Zapal, Community Editor Manolo’s Spotted Goat You can’t just throw goat cheese on top of anything and make it good that way. There’s a ritual that goes into it. The sacred mixing of alfredo and red sauces, different cheeses and mushroom and spinach make the Spotted Goat prime livestock, fit for sacrificing to the pizza gods (by way of consumption, sober or otherwise). It also might be the best vegetarian bite you can pick up around town. That said, Spotted Goat fits perfectly next to Barbecue Meats on the menu - each fulfills a necessary role in the pizza universe. The two slices are truly the yin and the yang of Manolo’s. — Maddie Rehayem, Music Editor Manolo’s BBQ Meats Manolo’s Spotted Goat is great, but sometimes a man’s gotta eat. Like, really eat. A meatless pizza can’t satisfy the carnivorous urge in my bones. Manolo’s BBQ Meats pizza gets


Best of CU 2013 winner of Best Pizza: Papa Del's in Champaign.

EDITORS' PICKS the job done. Topped with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ground beef and mozzarella with a spicy bbq and red sauce, this slice is just as tasty in real life as it looks on paper. — Dan Durley, Managing Editor Rosati’s Sausage Simple but effective. Rosati’s may not have invented double dough, but it's certainly the master. There’s a good reason it's the most popular on-campus lunch spot. Plus, the employees are some of the friendliest at any pizza joint in CU. — Tyler Durgan, Online Editor Jet’s 8 Corner BLT with Turbo Crust I was introduced to this pizza during this same exercise last year. While Jet’s 8 Corner BLT pizza may look strange, with its square slices and heapings of vegetables on top, it can’t be beat in terms of taste. The thick, crispy-yetgreasy 8 corner crust of Jet’s remains a scientific anomaly, while the bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on top of it pack a ton of flavor that one typically can’t find on a conventional pizza. Add that to the fact that on an 8 corner pizza, every piece is a corner piece (more crust!), and it makes for an unusually delicious meal. — Evan Lyman, Editor-in-Chief Papa Del’s American Thin Crust Pizza As a Chicagoan, I always get asked one out of these two questions: "You must really hate those Chicago winters, right?" or "You must love deep dish pizza, right?" Wrong! Actually, I LOVE cold weather, and I definitely prefer thin crust pizza any day of the week. While I recognize and appreciate how delicious deep dish pizza can be, I can't quite stomach the overly-stuffed feeling that happens after eating one slice. That's why, when I order from Papa Del's, I always get their American thin crust pizza. Because I love having extra cheese

on my thin crust pizza, I leave half of my pizza cheese (because sometimes eating like a basic bitch never tasted so good), and then I load the

other half of the pizza with sausage, pepperoni and mushroom (eating protein #finnagetswoll). —Animah Boakye, Photo Editor






2 7



6 buzz staff's Frankenpizza. Photo by Animah Boakye

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 33

CLASSIFIEDS Place an Ad: 217 - 337 - 8337 Deadline: 2 p.m. Tuesday for the next Thursday’s edition.





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November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 35

INDEX Allerton Park 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello, IL 61856 217-333-3287 Allure Salon 2907 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-355-3900 Apricot Lane Boutique 627 S. Wright St., suite 101, Champaign, IL 61820 217-344-7911 Aroma Cafe 118 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-356-3200 Art Theater 126 W. Church St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-355-0068 Bacaro Wine Lounge 113 N. Walnut St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-6982 Basil Thai 701 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-344-8662 Big Grove Tavern 1 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-239-3505 The Bike Project 202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-469-5126 Binny’s Beverage Depot 802 W. Town Center Blvd., Champaign, IL 61822 217-355-0625 Black Dog Smoke & Ale House 201 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-344-9334 The Blind Pig Co. 120 N. Walnut St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-1532 Boltini Lounge 211 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-378-8001 Cafe Kopi 109 N. Walnut St., Champaign, IL 61820 36 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

217-359-4266 Canopy Club 708 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-344-2263 Champaign Cycle 506 S. Country Fair Drive, Champaign, IL 61821 217-352-7600 Chester Street Bar 63 E. Chester St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-356-5607 Carrie’s Antiques & Jewelry 204 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-3231 Champaign Public Library 200 W. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-403-2000 Cinema Gallery 120 W. Main St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-367-3711 Circles Boutique 114 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-2195 The Clark Bar 207 W. Clark St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-355-0510 The Clybourne 706 S. Sixth St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-383-1008 Common Ground Food Co-op 300 S. Broadway Ave., #166, Urbana, IL 61802 217-352-3347 County Market 331 E. Stoughton St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-4123 Courier Cafe 111 N. Race St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-328-1811 Cowboy Monkey 6 Taylor St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-2688 Crane Alley 115 W. Main St., #1, Urbana, IL 61801 217-384-7526

Cream & Flutter 114 N. Walnut St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-355-5400 Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch 3902 S. Duncan Road, Champaign, IL 61822 217-359-5565 Dandelion 9 Taylor St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-355-9333 Dos Reales Mexican Restaurant 1407 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign, IL 61820 217-351-6879 D.P. Dough 33 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-365-9663 Drew's Pizzeria 508 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-384-7000 Durst Cycle 1201 S. Mattis Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-352-3300 El Charro Mexican Grocery and Restaurant 55 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-337-6647 El Toro Mexican Restaurant 2561 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-351-7024 Emerald City Lounge 118 N. First St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-8661 Empire Chinese Restaurant 410 E. Green St. #1, Champaign, IL 61820 217-328-0832 Exile on Main St. 1 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-6246 Espresso Royale 602 E. Daniel St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-328-1112 Evergreen Tobacco 309 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-337-7777 Farren’s Pub and Eatery 308 N. Randolph St., Champaign, IL 61820

217-359-6977 Friar Tuck Beverage 1333 Savoy Plaza Lane, Savoy, IL 61874 217-355-7933 Flying Machine Coffee 208 W. Main St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-493-1550 Goodrich Savoy 16 IMAX Theater 232 W. Burwash Ave., Savoy, IL 61874 217-355-3456 Grainger Engineering Library 1301 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-333-3576 H2O Salon 109 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-337-1480 Hardy's Reindeer Ranch 1356 County Road 2900 N, Rantoul, IL 61866 217-893-3407 Hessel Park 1862 Valley Road, Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-2550 The Highdive 51 Main St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-356-2337 The I.D.E.A. Store 28 E. Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-7878 indi go Artist Co-op 9 E. University Ave., Champaign, IL 61820 217-369-6964 Ippatsu Salon 73 E. Chester St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-356-6547 Jarling’s Custard Cup 309 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-2273 Jet’s Pizza 512 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-3333 Jimmy John's 43 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-344-6200 Joe's Brewery 706 S. Fifth St., Champaign, IL 61820

Can I get your number?

217-384-1790 Jon’s Pipe Shop 509 E. Green St., #1, Champaign, IL 61820 217-344-3459 Jupiter’s Pizzeria & Billiards 39 Main St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-5988 Krannert Center for the Performing Arts 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-333-6700 Krannert Art Museum 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL 61820 217-333-1861 Le Peep 2209 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-7599 Li’l Porgy’s Bar-B-Q 1917 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-398-6811 Maize Mexican Grill 60 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-355-6400 Manolo’s Pizza and Empanadas 1115 W. Oregon St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-365-0110 Market at the Square East Illinois Street, Urbana, IL 61801 217-384-2319 Meadowbrook Park 2808 S. Race St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-384-4062 Meatheads Burgers & Fries 1305 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820

217-352-5555 Merry Ann’s Diner 1510 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-5399 Memphis on Main 55 E. Main St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-1097 Mike ‘N’ Molly’s 105 N. Market St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-355-1236 Mirabelle Fine Pastries 124 W. Main St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-384-6460 Modern Nails 1711 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-954-0500 No Regrets Tattoo 117 W. Church St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-351-9902 The Original Pancake House 1909 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-352-8866 Papa D's Bar & Grill 401 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-330-5388 Papa Del’s Pizza 206 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-7700 Pekara Bakery and Bistro 116 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-4500 Picadilly Beverage Shops

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505 S. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-8777 Pinky's Piercings & Fine Body Jewelry 2520 Village Green Place, Champaign, IL 61822 217-778-7745 Planet Fitness 2002 Glen Park Drive, Champaign, IL 61820 217-356-8500 Quality Bar 110 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-3425 Radio Maria Restaurant 119 N. Walnut St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-398-7729 Ragstock 627 S. Wright St., suite B01, Champaign, IL 61820 217-344-2549 The Red Herring 1209 W. Oregon St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-367-2340 Revolt Tattoo Studio 505 S. Neil St., #10, Champaign, IL 61820 217-954-0144 Rod Sickler Salon and Spa 2520 Village Green Place, Champaign, IL 61822 217-403-1790 Schnucks 109 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 217-351-2600 Siam Terrace

212 W. Main St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-367-8424 Skins & Tins Drum Shop 29 E. Main St., #1, Champaign, IL 61820 217-352-3786 The Smoke Shack 208 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-359-0850 The Station Theatre 223 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-384-4000 Steak ‘n Shake 2010 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign, IL 61822 217-398-1606 Strawberry Fields 306 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana, IL 61801 217-328-1655 The University of Illinois Arboretum 1800 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, IL 61802 217-333-7579 Urban Outfitters 507 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 217-328-0277 Urbana Free Library 210 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801 217-367-4057 Virginia Theatre 203 W. Park Ave., Champaign, IL 61820 217-356-9053 West Side Park 400 W. University Ave., Champaign, IL 61820

Free Heat and Water Plus Trash Pickup LANDMARK APARTMENTS

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502 West Main Urbana, IL 61801

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November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 37


Go to:≠o f≠cu ≠2 013≠m ap

This year's Best of CU will include a new feature: the Best of CU Interactive Map! Head to in order to locate all the winners all over Champaign and Urbana, including pictures and descriptions for each category. As this issue proves, CU is full of treasures, and this map can help you find them no matter where they're buried. 38 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Your warm eyes melt the iciness of my heart.


by Matt Jones

“In the Cards” — I’m kind of a big deal

Stumped? Find the solutions in the Classifieds pages.


The ReStore is located at 119 E University, Champaign. | 217≠ 819≠ 5118 | Hours: Tuesday≠ Friday 10≠ 6pm, and Saturday 10≠ 4 Monday≠ Donations & Pick≠ Up/Deliveries only 10am≠ 6pm Every dollar spent in the ReStore helps build houses in Champaign County

1 Drill sergeant’s syllable 4 Formal promise? 10 Casablanca’s country: abbr. 13 Land on the Med. Sea 14 He wrote of Walden Pond 16 Diminutive ending, in Italian 17 Pop artist who used faceless stick figures 19 Big shot in the office 20 Serial piece 21 Budget brand of Intel CPUs 23 “Comfortably ___” (Pink Floyd) 24 Jazz great with the album “High Priestess of Soul” 27 Location finder, briefly 28 High-rated search engine, once 29 Hip hop fan, maybe 30 Increasingly hard to find net surfer 31 Calvin and Naomi 33 “The Devil’s Dictionary” author 36 ___ and Guilder (warring “The Princess Bride” nations) 37 They may include twists 38 Dip ___ in the water 39 Handout after a checkup

40 Choke, or a joke 43 15th-century Flemish painter 46 “Damn Yankees” vamp 47 Vlad, as the legend goes 48 Green energy type 49 You, to Yves 50 He played Locke on “Lost” 54 “I’d like to buy ___” (“Wheel” request) 55 With great skill 56 Battle (for) 57 Ave. crossers 58 Had a debate 59 Superlative ending

Down 1 Outdoors activity 2 Depletes 3 Rainbow creators 4 “Am ___ only one?” 5 “Keep it down!” 6 Condo grp. 7 Part of ETA 8 German cameras 9 Highway sections 10 Of small organisms 11 Two-person basketball game 12 Andy and Mickey 15 “Unattractive” citrus 18 Margarine holder

22 Campfire remains 24 Parachute fabric 25 Finishes a cake 26 Message response that’s not really a response 28 “Footloose” actress Singer 30 Cold sore-fighting brand in a tiny tube 31 Mall booth 32 “___ get this party started” 33 “Gimme Shelter” speedway 34 Oft-mocked treats 35 “Helicopter” band ___ Party 36 Dish served with a distinct sound 39 “Cyrano de Bergerac” star Jose 40 Become available to the general public, as a new website 41 “Thank U” singer Morissette 42 January birthstone 44 Utah ski resort 45 “I ___ drink!” 46 Reed recently deceased 48 Flooring meas. 51 D&D, e.g. 52 “___ Mama Tambien” 53 “Bravo, matador!”

November 8≠ 14, 2013 buzz 39

40 buzz November 8≠ 14, 2013

Buzz Magazine: November 8, 2013  

Best of CU

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