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2016


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THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOOD & DRINK BEST

3

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

LIVE & SHOP BEST

15

PLACE TO STUDY

BURRITO

PLACE TO NAP

4

BURGER

BUST A MOVE

PIZZA

16

PLACE TO WORKOUT

5

LOCAL COFFEE SHOP

17

ENTERTAINMENT VENUE

7

BREAKFAST

SPECIALTY SHOP

HANGOVER FOOD

18

TATTOO & PIERCING PARLOR

8

DRINK SPECIAL

RESIDENCE HALL

MARGARITA

20

SOCIAL FRATERNITY

UPTOWN BAR

21

SOCIAL SORORITY

9

DOWNTOWN BAR

CUSTOMER SERVICE

SPORTS BAR

SMALL APT.

11

ORGANIC GROCERY STORE

22

MEDIUM APT.

GROCERY STORE

23

LARGE APT.

14

DATE LOCATION 24

MORE WINNERS

CREDITS


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T H E VIDE T T E A P P AVA I L A B L E F O R A P P L E A N D A N D R O I D D E V I C E S

The Vidette

NEWS

SPORTS

VIEWPOINT

FEATURES

EVENTS

BUS ROUTES

WEATHER

CAMPUS MAP


THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 3

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK KYRA VANDIVIER | NEWS REPORTER Brewe-Ha’s caters to the broke college student with its burger basket combo, a steal at $5 for a grilled double burger, fries and a soda. The bar on the corner of College Avenue and Linden Street offers a friendly, small-town atmosphere with a jukebox and darts, serving up burgers until 9 p.m., along with a slew of other cheap food and drinks. These deals make the bar a hotspot for people looking for cheap and tasty food, which often makes the evenings crowded, lively and a nice place for a chill night out. “I love going there and getting a burger on Thursdays, then taking advantage of the $1.25 drink specials,” Illinois State University senior Bri Burie said. “It’s nice to still be able to talk to friends ‘cause you’re all sitting around a table. Plus, you save money.” It is no surprise that college students flock to Brewe-Ha’s; with the cheap food, a good location on campus and fun environment, it’s a great hangout for students. On top of its $5 special, Brewe-Ha’s offers $2 single burger basket combos 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day Sunday until 6 p.m. This makes it one of the cheapest yet most satisfying specials in town. “For how cheap it is, you’d think it wouldn’t be good,” ISU senior Kelsey Wernsman said, “But it’s actually a pretty good burger. And it’s the perfect amount of food in one basket.”

BEST BURRITO

CHIPOTLE

Brett Farrell | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Moe’s Southwest Grill 3. Fiesta Ranchera

BREWE-HA’S $5 BURGER BASKET

2. Moe’s Southwest Grill: $5 burrito, chips/salsa & drink on Monday 3. D.P. Dough: $8 hot box (calzone, drink and side)

Jenna Kadziluis | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

TAYLOR LEDDIN | NEWS REPORTER Following an outbreak of E. coli in October, Chipotle has been dedicated to regaining trust from its customers. The Chipotle located on the south side of Illinois State University’s campus has earned students’ trust to be voted “Best Burrito on Campus.” The crew at Chipotle ISU was excited to find that they snagged the title. After the employees heard about the win, the general consensus was, “That’s awesome!” “We’re super excited to be voted Best Burrito on Campus,” Dillon Ristucci, Chipotle employee and ISU student, said. “We hope to keep that status forever.” On any given day, Chipotle ISU is packed with students, faculty and community members alike during the lunch and dinner rush hours. The location has seen a special increase in customers twice this semester as a result of two promotions. Many were able to take advantage of a free burrito, burrito bowl or tacos after texting Chipotle for a coupon. This promotion saw a line out the door. Shortly after, many received coupons in the mail for free items including burritos, bowls, tacos and chips & salsa. In addition to these customer appreciation promotions, Chipotle offers different promotions throughout the year. One of the most popular promotions is a $3 burrito for anyone who visits a location in costume on Halloween. Chipotle ISU draws in both on and off-campus students due to its convenient location. The store beat out local competitors La Bamba and Fiesta Ranchera for this year’s title of Best Burrito on Campus.


4 | BEST OF BLO-NO

THE VIDETTE

BEST BURGER

RED ROBIN

2. Steak ’n Shake 3. Brew-Ha’s

Jenna Kadziluis | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

EMA SASIC | NEWS REPORTER After opening its doors in Normal less than a year ago at 107 S. Veterans Parkway, Red Robin has made its mark in the community – enough so that the restaurant has earned the best burger title. Known for its gourmet burgers, Red Robin has over 20 options for customers to choose from. Something can be found to suit even the pickiest of palates. Adventurous burger connoisseurs can enjoy meals like the Royal Red Robin, which brings together bacon and egg all on one burger, or the Whiskey River BBQ packed with Whiskey River BBQ sauce and onion straws. For those who like to stick to the classics, simpler options like the Bacon Cheeseburger and Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger are available. The restaurant even has a Red Robin’s Finest burger line that consists of four fire-grilled, half-pound Black Angus burgers, each with a unique combination of toppings. Included with every burger are unlimited steak fries that definitely have customers leaving the restaurant full and satisfied. Many loyal customers praise Red Robin for its truly gourmet burger taste that they cannot find anywhere else. “Red Robin is the best burger joint in town because you don’t get that fast food feeling when dining in,” freshman Shujaat Sultan said. “At Red Robin, you’re getting a gourmet burger along with unlimited fries and great service; whereas at a local Burger King or Wendy’s, you get a cheap mediocre burger lacking the gourmet taste.” Whether you are looking for something new and unique to try, or just want to have a plain old burger, Red Robin has everything you need and more.

BRENT BADER | NEWS REPORTER College students can be fairly particular when it comes to pizza, which is why the distinction of “Best Pizza” serves as a badge of honor for Firehouse Pizza & Pub. “We’re happy to hear it,” general manager Nick Seger said. “I’m very proud of this staff right now.” Firehouse Pizza & Pub in Uptown Normal is known for making fresh and high-quality pizza while still providing a “small town” feel with great service. It routinely looks to acquire the freshest ingredients and is known for its original sweet sauce. Firehouse Pizza & Pub also offers a weekly pizza buffet and offers pizza by the slice after the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. There are three locations in the Central Illinois area, but each restaurant is independently owned and operated, making each one feel unique in its own way. Seger believes it is his staff’s hard work ethic that has led to this distinction among ISU students. “They’re working really hard, more so than ever, and we’re the best in the world at what we do,” Seger said. Seger said that customers are the number one priority for Firehouse Pizza & Pub: both their comfort and overall satisfaction at the restaurant. Firehouse Pizza & Pub is also known for its laidback atmosphere and includes a bar and stage where bands perform live music on occasion for customers. In offering live music, Firehouse Pizza becomes not only a great pizza place for ISU students but also a great community experience that Normal locals embrace.

BEST PIZZA

FIREHOUSE PIZZA & PUB

2. Papa John’s 3. Rosati’s

Morgan Kuniej | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER


THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 5

BEST LOCAL COFFEE SHOP

COFFEE HOUND

2. Dunkin Donuts 3. Starbucks

Tracy Conoboy | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

TAYLOR LEDDIN | NEWS REPORTER Bloomington-Normal offers an abundance of coffee shops near campus. Many students run on caffeine as a result of a plethora of homework and a lack of sleep. While there are many spots to choose from, students voted the Coffee Hound as the best local coffee shop on campus. Located in Uptown Normal, the Coffee Hound is almost always crowded with customers. With an extensive menu and casual ambiance, the Coffee Hound is an ideal spot for studying or hanging out with friends. “It’s a big honor,” Kyle Scaturro, manager of Coffee Hound, said about the win. “We always try to bring new specialty coffee to the area.” The Coffee Hound provides a variety of coffee, lattes and tea as well as pastries. The shop keeps itself grounded in Illinois State University territory as it creates menu items such as the Redbird Latte. That latte is the face of an Instagram competition that the Coffee Hound hosted. Any customer who posted a photo on their Instagram of a Redbird Latte was entered to win free treats. Scaturro cites locality and community for the success of the Coffee Hound. On any given day, it is likely to see repeat customers and familiar faces. “We work to engage customers and expose them to new things,” he said. “It means a lot to us that customers are loyal and keep coming back.” The Coffee Hound was up against Uptown neighbor the Coffeehouse and local staple Einstein Bros. for the title.

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FOR OVER 40 YEARS Patio Open & Margarita Specials Everyday! 102 N. Linden St.

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BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE 8 YEARS IN A ROW

WINNER

2014-2015

311 SOUTH MAIN STREET 

309.454.2338

WWW.YAREALTY.COM


THE VIDETTE

BRENT BADER | NEWS REPORTER Anytime is breakfast time for Illinois State University students in Normal thanks to Merry Ann’s Diner. The 24-hour diner, complete with an Americana theme and a jukebox, is a popular stop for students looking to get a quick bite to eat at night or pick up breakfast on the way to class. This convenience has led to its popularity and status as the best place in Bloomington-Normal for breakfast and hangover food. “It feels good as that’s the focus of our business,” Ben Rupe, manager, said. “We host the college students during the night and breakfast on the weekends.” With menu items that cover basics from breakfast to dinner, customers have a wide selection of foods that they can order at any time. For breakfast, the diner offers a variety of omelets and sides but is well known for its specialty dish the “Diner Stack,” which is made of hash browns topped with cheese, hamburger or sausage patties, two eggs and then smothered with sausage gravy. Lunch and dinner items include burgers and sandwiches familiar to many, such as BLTs and steak sandwiches, but the diner also offers a wide array of desserts including smoothies, milkshakes, soda floats and pie a la mode. Rupe believes it’s the consistency and the staff that has led to Merry Ann’s becoming a staple of the student community. A special hangover menu with different ingredients and prices is available for those ordering late at night. Whether it’s noon or midnight, Merry Ann’s diner is available for all of students’ breakfast needs.

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BEST OF BLO-NO | 7

A. BEST BREAKFAST FOOD B. BEST HANGOVER FOOD

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A. 2. Einstein Bros Bagels 3. Dunkin Donuts B. 2. McDonald’s 3. Chipotle

Dan Baranowski | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

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8 | BEST OF BLO-NO

THE VIDETTE

A. BEST DRINK SPECIAL KYRA VANDIVIER | NEWS REPORTER Fiesta Ranchera won best drink special and best margarita with its half-priced margaritas on Thursdays. With six flavors of lime, peach, strawberry, raspberry, coconut and mango, Fiesta Ranchera caters to everyone’s tastes while also saving them money. Made with its own special recipe, Fiesta Ranchera’s margaritas have the customers coming back for more. “We try to go most Thursdays. Tuesdays too for the $1.99 margarita special,” Illinois State University senior Stephanie Helfrich said. “They’re that good.” Fiesta Ranchera staff are not surprised by the win and the customer satisfaction. “I think it should come as no surprise to anyone that our drinks were voted the best because we have a long-standing 15 year tradition of making them the way we do,” Fiesta Ranchera employee Connor Allison said. “I really think it comes as an investment by the family to make sure that customer satisfaction remains as high as it possibly can for both in terms of quality and price.” On top of these low-priced margaritas, Fiesta Ranchera also offers cheap and delicious Mexican food, with everything from quesadillas and burritos to fajitas and tamales. With a fun Mexican vibe, the restaurant is a great place to spend your Thursday nights.

B. BEST MARGARITA

FIESTA RANCHERA

A. 2. Chasers: $1 U-Call-It’s onThursdays 3. Pub II: $5 Pitchers B. 2. Los Potrillos 3. Chili’s

Paige Meisenheimer | VIDETTE PHOTO EDITOR

BEST UPTOWN BAR

PUB II

Emma Horath | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Maggie Miley’s 3. Brew-Ha’s

JOSH TOLENTINO | SPORTS EDITOR It has been 42 years since Pub II first opened its doors to the Illinois State and Bloomington-Normal community. Last year, Pub II lost its co-owner Terry Stralow during the tragic April 7 plane crash. His legacy however continues to carry on to the long-time, ISU-favorite establishment. “We’re keeping his legacy alive through this award and serving the community,” Taylor Tammeus, Pub II bartender said. “Terry made the Pub II a staple and a crowd favorite place to go.” Most famously known for “Pub Wednesday” or its $5 pitchers, Pub II has a handful of deals throughout the week. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, $2 domestic bottles; Monday’s and Wednesday’s $5 pitchers; Saturday’s and Sunday’s $3.75 24 ounce domestic drafts. The Pub also offers its popular “cheese balls” appetizer to fill customers’ appetites. Stralow was an ISU graduate, class of 1974 and is remembered as one of the most personal guys in town. Pub II’s current staff strives to maintain Stralow’s work ethic and love for its patrons. “Terry will always be remembered for being incredibly friendly,” Tammeus said. “We’re going to continue to try and make recent students come back, have older alumni visit and continue to bring in new customers.”


THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 9

JOSH TOLENTINO | SPORTS EDITOR

BEST DOWNTOWN BAR

CHASERS

Thirsty Thursday has become a favorite of Illinois State University students. Chasers Bar, located on 110 W. Washington Street in Downtown Bloomington, proves to be the best place for students to go out on Thursdays, and the rest of the weekend. Owner Ron Nurceski is thankful to his patrons, which mostly consists of members of the ISU student body. “I would like to extend a huge thank you to all our patrons,” Nurceski said. “Chasers is primarily a college bar with our set-up. It’s very rewarding to know the community voted for us.” Chasers offers a variety of drink specials during the weekend, but its claim to fame has been its Thursday deals. Bartender Bonnie Chen believes the best thing about Chasers is its friendly and lively environment. “We try our hardest to entertain and serve everyone,” Chen said. “I enjoy meeting and talking to everyone. I love being surrounded by people who are always making Chasers a comfortable, welcoming place to go out.” Nurceski uses a variety of ways to provide the best college atmosphere, including DJs that feature different music, a spacious dance floor and a newly renovated light system.

Jenna Kadziulis | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Drifters Pub 3. Daddios

BEST SPORTS BAR

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

Kelly McNamara | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Pub II 3. Brew-Ha’s

JOSH TOLENTINO | SPORTS EDITOR Last year, students had to trek nearly five miles to the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings. This past summer, a brand new BWW establishment was conveniently opened right on the south side of campus just past the Rec, located at 603 S. Main Street. Manager Abel Medina believes the student deals have been a big contributor to the restaurants immediate success. “It’s very rewarding to know that the community voted us as best sports bar,” Medina said. “Everyone comes out here for a good time. We are the number one place to be for the best beer, best wings and best sports.” BWW offers students from ISU, Illinois Wesleyan University, Illinois Central College, Lincoln College and Heartland Community College half off entrees with the purchase of a drink. “B Dubs has been a go to place for a lot of basketball and now baseball games during the season,” Christian Tena, senior special education major, said. “I love watching the Bulls while chowing down on some wings and downing some cheap brews. I’m glad we finally have a B Dubs on campus and we don’t have to travel so far.” BWW also hosts a drinks happy hour, which takes place between 4-6 p.m. everyday of the week. Buffalo Wild Wings’ most famous deal is 65-cent wings. Boneless wings are offered at 65 cents a piece on Mondays and Thursdays, while traditional wings are 65 cents a piece on Tuesdays.


TUESDAY

Pasta Party

Any large pasta dinner for the price of a small. (Available for Dine-in, Carryout or Delivery)

And back by popular demand!

A L L Y O U C A N E AT Spaghetti 4.99

$

(Dine-in Only, Extra Charge for Meatballs)


THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 11

KARA HAMILTON | COPY EDITOR The Hy-Vee in Bloomington has only been open for a little over a year, but it has made quite an impression on the city’s residents. The Midwest-based grocery store offers a fresh seafood and meat department, custom cakes and desserts, foods for special diets, a floral department, and a wine and spirits store, but the store’s selection of natural and organic products has received the most praise from its faithful customers. “The variety they offer is so great. Plus, the quality is amazing. I love cooking with their organic food,” sophomore special education major, Morgan Carroll, said. Morgan said that she used to shop at Wal-Mart, but after she discovered Hy-Vee, she’s never looked back. The grocery store prides itself on keeping its customers happy by offering a wide range of products to meet each individual person’s needs. “The vision of the HealthMarket is to provide an array of items that includes organic, all natural and local products. We hope to provide a one-stop shopping experience that offers healthy and convenient options to all of our customers,” Justin Brooks, assistant manager of Hy-Vee’s HealthMarket, said. “In being open for only one year, we are very humbled that the students have evaluated and chosen us as winners,” Brooks said, regarding the earning of the Best of Bloomington-Normal title. Hy-Vee also has great deals on a variety of products. For instance, every Wednesday is Wellness Wednesday; for every $10 spent on HealthMarket items, organic produce and fresh seafood customers receive 10¢ on their Fuel Saver + Perks Card.

BEST GROCERY STORE

ALDI

Jenna Kadziluis | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Walmart 3. Meijer

BEST ORGANIC GROCERY STORE

HY-VEE

Kelly McNamara | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Fresh Market 3. Kroger

HOLLY PETROVICH | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ALDI is often recognized for their low prices and high-quality foods. Located at 301 Greenbrier Drive in Normal, the grocery store is extremely convenient and affordable for college students. “I love ALDI, my parents always shopped there when I was a kid and so I started shopping there when I got to ISU,” Jordan Hunter, junior history and finance major, said. “I didn’t realize how cheap they were though, and when I introduced the store to some of my friends they were surprised by their prices too.” In order to keep prices low, ALDI does a variety things, according to its website. First of all, it tries to limit the products to the most popular items bought to avoid spending money on unsold food. “While a typical supermarket carries about 30,000 items, we sell only the most commonly purchased grocery items — most of which are our high-quality brands,” ALDI.com says. “Smaller inventory means smaller stores, which leads to lower rent and electricity costs.” The store also does not have a direct phone line, and their numbers are all streamlined to maintain efficiency, therefore not taking away time from employees to answer calls. Similarly, ALDI has a unique cart operating system so employees don’t have to spend time to retrieve them; all carts are kept in one general area of the store, and customers are to pay a quarter to rent it, and will get the quarter back once the cart is returned. In addition, the store encourages customers to bring their own reusable bags to carry groceries, and the bags ALDI provides are recycled.


14 | BEST OF BLO-NO

THE VIDETTE

BEST DATE LOCATION

MEDICI

Archive Photo

2. Biaggi’s Restaurant Italiano 3. DESTIHL Restaurant

EMA SASIC | NEWS REPORTER After winning the recognition of best date location several years in a row, Medici continues to deliver romance for Illinois State University lovebirds. Located at 120 North St. in Uptown Normal, students can easily get to the restaurant without having to bring their cars or walk too far. Medici is known for its tall tree planted in the middle of the restaurant that rises to the second floor. On the atrium, eaters can dine under sparkling lights and a moon-lit sky while overlooking the streets of Uptown. “I think we get [the recognition] quite a bit because a lot of the students like to come here for something special, out of the norm,” manager Joe Slane said. “I think they like the environment as well so I think a lot of the students push that date night idea.” Other than the romantic setting that encompasses Medici, students and other diners have a variety of meals to choose from. The menu includes brunch, lunch and dinner options ranging from steak, pizza, fresh fish, sandwiches and more. Select dishes start at under $10. “I think we have such a variety which is one of the best things. They can come here with friends and groups and we have a little bit of everything,” Slane said. “I think that always works for the public in general because a group or date can come here and they’ll know they can find something on the menu that they’ll like.” Students interested in taking a special someone out for a romantic meal can make reservations online at medicinormal.com or by phone at (309) 452-6334.


THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 15

BRENT BADER | NEWS REPORTER Sometimes school can be overwhelming, and students need a place to escape from their classes or apartments to prepare for a test or relax somewhere quiet. There is no spot in Bloomington-Normal more popular for this than Illinois State University’s own Milner Library. ISU students are almost always filling the multiple floors of Milner Library, and it is because of its sectioned-off quiet floors and cozy atmosphere that ISU students have recognized it as both the best place to study and to sneak in the occasional nap. “On behalf of Milner Library faculty and staff, I want to thank you for this recognition and vote of confidence,” Dane Ward, dean of Milner Library, said. “Milner is all about helping students.” From the helpful staff and outstanding librarians available for various student needs, Milner Library becomes an invaluable resource for students undergoing grueling coursework. In addition, the library offers a wide selection of resource materials and ever-shifting exhibits for students. A trip to Milner Library could result in students being exposed to unique exhibits they otherwise wouldn’t interact with, and they may end up finding something they truly enjoy or something that sparks their interest. Milner Library is constantly reaching out to students to better understand their needs, and the library seems to always be in a constant state of improvement. “We are constantly talking about library spaces, and recreating them in order to support the learning of ISU students, even when it involves napping,” Ward said. “Your success is our success. We welcome suggestions about new services and spaces that would contribute to your success and well-being.”

A. BEST PLACE TO STUDY B. BEST PLACE TO NAP

MILNER LIBRARY

A. 2. Bone Student Center Atrium 3. Coffee Shop B. 2. In Class 3. Bone Student Center Atrium

Morgan Kuniej | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

BEST PLACE TO BUST A MOVE

HOLLY PETROVICH | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

ALONE IN YOUR ROOM

Catching a bus downtown to Drifters or Daddios may seem like the best place to bust a move, but nothing beats breaking it down in the privacy of your own bedroom. There’s no cover fee, no room for judgment and no time to dance to music you’ve never heard. Turning your room into your own dance club gives you the freedom to jiggy however you please, whenever you want. “Sometimes, after a long day, I just want to come home and shake it to Shakira, but I’m not feeling Daddios on a Monday night,” Carli Galovich, senior athletic training major, said. “Plus, I have absolutely no rhythm, so being able to close my door and dance however I want doesn’t allow me to feel self conscious.” Often times, the bars downtown try to remix current slow songs to make them dance-able; Galovich said she’d much rather belt out the real version of “Hello” in her room than awkwardly bounce to a wannabe-dubstep adaptation. Not only does going downtown require planning for transportation and money, but it also comes with a copious amount of stress when deciding what to wear; weather is always a factor in the “to wear a coat or not” debate, and for girls, putting on heals is a real risk. However, staying at home allows you to scratch the itch to dance while in your comfiest sweatpants, without anyone giving you the disapproving side-eye. Obviously, downtown Bloomington is very popular among ISU students, as every weekend the streets are packed with Redbirds who are ready to rage. But deep down, students prefer privacy, and “dancing alone in your room” outweighs the Drifters dance floor any day.

Emma Horath | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Chasers 3. Drifters Pub


16 | BEST OF BLO-NO

THE VIDETTE

BEST PLACE TO WORKOUT

KATE PAVSNER | COPY EDITOR For the second year in a row, the Student Fitness Center on Illinois State University’s campus was voted the best place to workout. The Department of Campus Recreation began in the 1960s, expanded to the Student Recreational Building in 1988 and is now housed in the Student Fitness Center and McCormick Hall since renovations were completed in spring 2011. Known more commonly to students as the Rec, it offers many options for its members. “I’d say the Rec offers a very inclusive environment for all individuals. Not only do they have passes for students that are going to the university, but also passes for graduates, faculty and staff, anyone that is affiliated with ISU,” Cody Stover, senior exercise science major and facility manager at the Rec, said. Campus Recreation offers an intramural program, sport club program, adventure program and fitness classes for its members. These regularly scheduled classes include cardiovascular, strength and mind and body training taught by our current ISU students. The adventure program is very popular with students as well, offering multiple opportunities throughout the school year for students to participate in team building exercises and group trips. “Adventure Connection is basically our outdoor campus recreation. They offer rentals for camping and that sort of thing, sleeping bags, tents, canoes, all that sort of outdoorsy stuff,” Stover said. According to Campus Recreation’s website their mission is to “enhance the quality of life of our unique members by educating and encouraging active participation in recreational opportunities,” which voters believe the Student Fitness Center has accomplished.

THE REC

Archive Photo

The staff of Campus Recreation would like to say thanks for another great year as your home for recreation!

Finish up the semester with these upcoming events! Sunset, SUPs & S’mores: April 21 Earth Day Water Bottle Swap: April 22 Picnic, Paddle, & Play: April 29 Find out more at CampusRecreation.IllinoisState.edu

2. Cardinal Fitness 3. LA Fitness


THE VIDETTE

BEST OF BLO-NO | 17

ZACK CARPENTER | SPORTS EDITOR Two things people all across the Bloomington-Normal community love are entertainment and variety. The combination of those two aspects are a huge part of why the U.S. Cellular Coliseum has been voted as the No. 1 entertainment venue in Bloomington-Normal. From hockey and football to concerts and fan giveaways, a boring night at the Coliseum does not exist. “We call it an entertainment destination,” Phil Charleston, event manager, said. “We want it to be a really enjoyable and terrific experience for all of our patrons. We certainly have a large staff and support structure that we use to pull all of these events off.” If you are a sports fan, the Coliseum is destination heaven. One of the most popular sports in the community is hockey, and there is no shortage of electric, fast-paced action at the Cell. If you’re not into athletic events, the Coliseum also offers concerts, including the upcoming “I Love the 90’s” performance presented by SIRIUS XM. Salt N Pepa headlines the event with additional performances by Color Me Badd, Coolio, Tone Loc and Young MC on May 12. The staff at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum work to make every experience enjoyable for their patrons. “It’s really exciting when you can smell the popcorn, the show starts, and it’s a good feeling at the end of the day when people walk out of the show with smiles on their face,” Charleston said.

BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE

U.S. CELLULAR COLISEUM

Kelly McNamara | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Castle Theatre 3. Kappa Kabanna

BEST SPECIALTY SHOP

APRICOT LANE

AVE RIO | NEWS EDITOR Located in the heart of Uptown Normal, Apricot Lane is a specialty store where customers can shop for trendy clothing and accessories. Store Manager Molly Boyle said there are lots of reasons the store is so popular. She said she is appreciative of its loyal customers for voting for Apricot Lane to win the past couple years in a row. “Our customer service is really what has helped us win,” Boyle said. “Our employees try and make relationships with customers, and that helps.” In addition, Boyle said they really try and keep up with fashion trends, and their customers appreciate that they can count on the store to have the latest styles. The store is planning to open a website at the end of April featuring its styles and outfits. “The website will make it easier for all of our out-of-town customers to shop,” Boyle said. Right now the store has Facebook and Instagram accounts that feature its new arrivals.

Morgan Kuniej | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Uptown Gifts and Accessories 3. Mother Murphy’s


18 | BEST OF BLO-NO

AUDREY ANFIELD | NEWS REPORTER

THE VIDETTE

BEST TATTOO & PIERCING PARLOR

ILLINOIS TATTOO COMPANY

North Street Tattoo and now known under its new name Illinois Tattoo Company, has been awarded best tattoo and piercing parlor for Illinois State University students. “We’re all equally grateful, it’s great, everybody at ISU has always been so supportive,” manager Chad Ramsay said. “We love to hear this kind of stuff.” Illinois Tattoo Company is now located at 109 W. Monroe St. in Bloomington. Its old location was on North Street in Uptown Normal. It specializes in tattoos and piercings with a large array of possibilities and customizations. Artists at the parlor include Ramsay, Alex Godair, Donnie Kizzee, Ruby Carrillo, Steve McClintock and Turbo. Examples of each artist’s past work is featured under its name on the website, www.northstreettattoo.com. The website also features pictures of possible piercings that can be done, ranging from lip piercings to ear piercings to nose piercings. Visit the parlor at its new location in downtown Bloomington and set up an appointment 12 to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday or 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday for a tattoo or piercing.

Tracy Conoboy | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

CASSIE MCNEILL | NEWS REPORTER The students of Illinois State University have voted the 28-story twin tower complex, Watterson Towers, the best residence hall on campus. “It feels really good to win; we try to do our best,” Jalessha Maury, Watterson Resident Coordinator, said. Besides being one of the world’s tallest residence halls, it also features a dining commons conveniently attached to the hall for easy access for residents. Watterson is also known for its unique suite design, which sets it apart from the other ISU residence halls. “The different design concept gives current and future students the vision of what college living is,” Maury said. Current ISU student and Watterson Dining Center employee Angela Meas was very enthusiastic to talk about her “delightful” experiences with the towers. “My favorite part is the top lounge area,” she said. “It is a great atmosphere for alone time and hanging out with friends.” Watterson houses over 2,200 students in the ten “houses” of each tower that consist of five floors each. When asked what she enjoys most about working at the residence hall, Maury said, “There’s always something going on.” “Thank you [to the students who voted],” she said. “I hope Watterson has been something they will always remember and think about sending their future kids here.”

2. Graphic Flesh 3. Other

BEST RESIDENCE HALL

WATTERSON TOWERS

2. Hewett Hall 3. Manchester Hall

Emma Horath | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER


THANKS YOU FOR VOTING

THE LODGE THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE

4 YEARS IN A ROW

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BEST SOCIAL FRATERNITY

REBECCA DAVIS | FEATURES REPORTER Illinois State University’s Delta Omicron chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi began their re-boot on campus and officially became a chapter again in 2013. After a near 20-year hiatus, the group has grown tremendously in their few years back on campus, which may factor into their win of Best Social Fraternity this year. ISU’s Alpha Sigma Phi chapter has grown almost five times since their original 2013 class of 23 members, now having over 120 in their chapter. “I feel that our fraternity is great because we are so involved in other things on campus besides just Greek life…we try to go to as many campus events as possible as a group,” John Gear, sophomore marketing major and Alpha Sigma Phi social chair, said. The fraternity prides itself on a strong sense of brotherhood that is open to new ideas and giving members leadership experience that benefit them even after they graduate from the chapter. “I think that we are really connected, despite being such a large fraternity…we have similar goals, mindsets and the drive to make this organization better,” Beau Grzanich, sophomore finance insurance major and Alpha Sigma Phi president, said. “The goal is to leave the organization better than when you joined.”

ALPHA SIGMA PHI

Paige Meisenheimer | VIDETTE PHOTO EDITOR

2. Delta Chi 3. Farmhouse

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REBECCA DAVIS | FEATURES REPORTER Zeta Tau Alpha, a sorority on Illinois State University’s campus since 1974, has once again won the Best Social Sorority. Founded officially in 1898 at the Virginia State Female Normal School, ZTA has over 164 active chapters at universities around the country. So what makes ISU’s chapter so special? “I think what makes ZTA special to ISU is that we do our best to get the community involved with our 5K that we have in the fall as well as try to build Greek relations with the other chapters on campus,” Kaley Buchman, junior special education major and chapter president, said. Each October, ZTA hosts a 5k to raise awareness and funding for Breast Cancer Awareness and Education, and have been hosting a second event, ‘Think Pink Week’, to encourage the community to participate in activities which support Breast Cancer Awareness. “Aside from our own philanthropy, we also participate in other chapters’ philanthropies, as well. These include Tri Delta’s Dolphin Dive, Delta Chi’s Jimmy V Week, Chi Omega’s March Madness and many more,” Juliana Rutz, senior Spanish teacher education major who joined ZTA as a transfer student, said. Aside from providing leadership opportunities to members and being active with campus involvement, Zeta Tau Alpha focuses on showing dedication to Illinois State and the chance to build a memorable sisterhood with the rest of the chapter.

BEST CUST. SERVICE (SMALL APT.)

THE EDGE

Morgan Kuniej | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. The Flats 3. Walk 2 Class

BEST SOCIAL SORORITY

ZETA TAU ALPHA

Jenna Kadziluis | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. Chi Omega 3. Alpha Gamma Delta/ Delta Delta Delta

CASSIE MCNEILL | NEWS REPORTER The Edge student apartments credit an enthusiastic staff and their strive to form a positive relationship with apartment residents. “I’m incredibly excited and thankful,” Property Manager Brooke Lopeman said. “This award was a huge personal goal of mine this year for the complex and I am so thankful the customers felt we deserved it.” Lopeman, who started in December of 2014, explained via email how grateful she was to have “the most awesome” staff and residents. “Thank you. We are very excited about this award.” The Edge, owned by real estate company Peak Campus, has a 24-amenity package including a computer lab with free printing, free covered parking and around the clock maintenance. Peak Campus’ most important mindset, according to Lopeman, is “People Matter Most”. “We have a ton of events in the office, on social media and door-to-door, so we can interact with our residents, prospects and parents. We want to interact so we can get feedback, hear about fun things they are doing at the complex and ask about areas we can improve.” In the past week, The Edge hosted a large property Easter egg hunt where both residents and staff could participate in attempt to form closer bonds. Lopeman explained that the thing she enjoys the most about working at the student apartments is the residents. “We want to create a relationship with [the residents] and a sense of community throughout the property.”


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BEST CUST. SERVICE (MED. APT.)

FIRST SITE

Jenna Kadziluis | VIDETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

2. College Station 3. Campus Point

KAITLYN PAVSNER | COPY EDITOR For the third consecutive year, First Site won Best Customer Service for medium-sized apartments. Its new office location in Uptown Normal, coupled with resident satisfaction and 24/7 maintenance service, has made this realty company a popular choice among students at Illinois State University. “We definitely want to thank all of our residents and all of the ISU students in general because they’re the ones who voted so, definitely want to thank them,” Ulises Napoles, director of business development and marketing, said. First Site has 58 on-campus and off-campus locations, all within close proximity to ISU, Heartland Community College, and Illinois Wesleyan University. When asked whether or not these improvements have impacted business, Napoles was adamant that the company has benefited. “There’s no question. I mean our new office is full of up-to-date technology and really, technology that makes searching for a new home easier, which is what students want.” he said. Boasting a great maintenance service is another strength of the realty company. They complete 98% of their service requests within 24 hours. Maintenance can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week through e-mail and over the phone. Katie Sharkey, junior math education major, lives in one of First Site’s properties on Cherry Street, located just a block away from campus. She and one of her roommates, Zoe Klaaren, junior physical education major, are signing with the company for a second year. “First Site is a great company to sign with and is always there to help when our apartment needs help. They are friendly and their apartments are very nice. The price you pay is worth the quality you get,” Klaaren said.


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BEST CUST. SERVICE (LARGE APT.)

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Popular leasing agency Young America has continually received this award several years in a row. It takes heavy pride in its customer service to students and making leasing experiences easy and pleasant for students. “It’s a really important award for us because it’s voted on by the students,” Manager Randy Paulissen said. “We take it very seriously and we want to be the best at what we do.” A few of Young America’s popular apartments include The Lodge, Kensington Suites, Rutherford Suites, The Lofts on Hovey, Cherry-Linden townhomes, Willow Trails and Cherry St. townhomes. “Whenever we can get this award it really validates our hard work and our efforts to provide the best customer support to our clients,” Paulissen said. Students can lease out one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom or four bedroom apartments. Young America also leases out luxury suits and houses. Apart from student residency, there is also residential leasing for apartments, townhomes and houses available throughout Normal and Bloomington.

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Uber

University Liquors

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Grease Monkey

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