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Big Grove Tavern hosting Patio Bash this coming Monday

This coming Monday is Memorial Day, and to celebrate, Big Grove Tavern will be hosting a "Patio Bash," including typical Sunday brunch favorites (on a Monday!) and brats, grilled up outside on BGT's Downtown Champaign patio.

For more information, check out the flier and specials (via Big Grove themselves) below:

Kitchen Specials

- Breakfast Burrito with Carne Asada
- Arend Family Farms Brauts
- Our custom Burgers
- Our expanded Benedict menu

Bar Specials

- BGT mimosa bar
- Margarita specials
- Our House Local Light Beer

Doors open at 10am. We have expanded our patio for 2017 and look forward to a great summer!


Neutral Cycle announces Bike Fit Program

Now that it's getting warm, and you can actually go outside without your face hurting, it's about time to get your bicycle out for the season, if you haven't already. Along the way, you may find that a winter of non-use has left your bike in relatively bad shape.

That's where Neutral Cycle's new Bike Fit Program comes in, where they tune up your bike to custom specifications, all in one visit.

For more info, check out this description and interview with a Neutral customer, Elizabeth Bastian:

Neutral Cycle recently launched it's Bike Fit program, giving community members and professional cyclists alike the same high quality custom fit to their bicycle. This service helps prevent injury, increase commuter's comfort, strengthen race performance, and build perfect cycling form. This service has multiple levels depending on what you ride, how frequently you ride, and if you'd like to become a competitive cyclist.

1. How long have you been a cyclist?

I've been a serious cyclist for about 3 years, since I moved here. I grew up in Michigan just outside of Detroit, and mostly biked only to get to friends' houses.

2. When did you decide to become competitive and/or serious about biking?

I moved here and sold my car 3 years ago. When I sold my car, I decided I was going to bike everywhere.

3. Why do you love biking?

I think about the Susan B Anthony quote about women on bicycles.
Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. I love getting on the bike and feeling the wind in my hair. I feel so much better getting off my bike than I do getting out of my car.

4. What does you average cycling workout look like?

Mostly I ride to commute and get around town. I'll get in touch with some friends and take a joyride around town, maybe take a brew tour. I'll go on longer rides on the weekend.

5. How many miles do you clock a week?

50-60 miles per week. Mostly commuting. Definitely higher in the summer.

6. Have you ever suffered any injuries over the years biking?

Definitely some injuries from running over the years, never cycling. A lot of the time it would be one thing that would develop into another. I'd twist my ankle which would lead to hip pain or something similar. Mostly hip flexor issues.

7. How has getting the Trek basic hybrid women's step-through bike changed the way you ride?

With it, I can go so much faster now. I thought 'this is what biking is supposed to feel like'. I've always felt like I was a faster cyclist and now I can really keep up with anybody.

8. How has getting a Bike Fit changed the way you ride?

I feel much more comfortable riding after my fit. Small discomforts seem to have disappeared, and I feel much more confident on my bike.

9. Would you recommend a Professional Bike Fit to your fellow cyclists or even daily commuters?

Yes, I would totally recommend a bike fit to any kind of bike enthusiast! As a bike advocate, I think it is so important for people to feel comfortable and confident on a bike to begin to see it as a via means of transportation. A bike fit can be crucial to establishing that sense of security on a bike, and to eliminating the potential for discomfort. I mostly use my bike for commuting or for longer, easy-pace weekend rides in the area; but without the fear of pain after riding, I am so excited to try out more strenuous biking activities!

10. If you could cycle anywhere in the world where would it be?

My immediate thing that I'd like to do, maybe this summer, is the GAP trail greater allegheny something. Pittsburgh to DC, so it is definitely pretty doable. I'd like to ride the 101 someday. It'll take a lot of hills training but I think I can get there. The bike is perfect for touring so I definitely want to take advantage of it!

11. What do you hope to achieve with the bike fit?

I would like to be more comfortable and confident on this bike. Going from my old bike to this was awesome but a little intimidating, so the knowledge that the bike is specifically fit for me will give me a lot of confidence.


CUMTD releases traffic update for Parkland and the U of I

Now that's it's Monday and school is out-of-session, CUMTD's MCORE improvements are ramping up again, which means bus service at the University of Illinois will be affected until further notice. A road closure near Parkland College also has things shifted up a bit for their campus bus routes, as well.

For information on how routes are temporarily changing, check out MTD's press release below:

Champaign-Urbana, IL—There will be a number of significant changes to Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) stops and service beginning Monday, May 22, 2017 due to MCORE construction resuming in front of the Illini Union and a road closure in effect at Parkland College. The changes include:

MCORE on Green Street near Illini Union

Beginning Monday, May 22, major sections of Green Street from Wright Street to Goodwin Avenue will close to through traffic as construction on MCORE Project 2 resumes (see driving map attached). Significant automobile and bus traffic and pedestrian access reroutes during this period will occur for primary campus locations:

Illini Union: The building’s entire north entrance will close. Vehicular access will remain from Matthews Avenue onto Green Street. Businesses within Illini Union remain open.

Matthews Avenue: Traffic flow will switch to southbound only from Springfield Avenue to Green Street.
Green Street Sidewalks: Pedestrian access will be maintained on one side of the street or the other depending upon construction activities.
Engineering Hall: Vehicular access will remain from Matthews Ave onto Green Street.

The City of Champaign, University of Illinois, City of Urbana, and MTD appreciate your patience as the MCORE project team works to provide a more sustainable and connected transportation network in the core of our community. More information about MCORE, including project maps, and a question form is available at MCORE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will provide regular updates. All affected businesses in Campustown and the Illini Union remain open and appreciate the public’s patronage and patience during street closures and construction.

As always, up-to-date information about MTD service and MCORE reroutes are available at, on MTD’s Facebook & Twitter feeds, or by phone at 217.384.8188.

Parkland College

Parkland College has announced that a full closure will take place on its Bradley Avenue entrance beginning Monday, May 22, and lasting approximately four weeks. The resurfacing of the perimeter road on Parkland’s campus necessitates this closing. In addition, several of the College's M-wing entrances and walkways will also close temporarily during the summer due to scheduled repairs.

Access to Parkland College from the east (from Mattis Avenue via Parkland Way) and the west (from Duncan Road) will remain open to automobile traffic, however Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) buses will drop off and pick up passengers only at stops located near the Bradley Avenue/Clayton Drive corner (see map attached); no MTD buses will enter campus. Sidewalks between the Bradley Avenue/Clayton Drive corner and the main building will remain accessible during this project; marked pathways will guide pedestrians to Parkland’s building.

“We appreciate the Parkland community’s flexibility while we make these necessary improvements,” said Stephanie Stuart, Parkland’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “This work is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the Parkland campus is safe for students, staff, and visitors using various modes of transportation.”

As always, up-to-date information about MTD service and this reroute is available at, on MTD’s Facebook & Twitter feeds, or by phone at 217.384.8188.available at, on MTD’s Facebook & Twitter feeds, or by phone at 217.384.8188.

Individuals with disabilities who may need additional assistance during this time are encouraged to contact Parkland’s Public Safety Department at 217.351.2369.


Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival 2017 has been canceled

After announcing their lineup for the 10th anniversary of the festival, Blues, Brews and BBQ has decided to not move forward on this year's installment of the event.

Citing financial concerns and other elements of planning — you can read their full statement here:

Here's the text:

It is with the deepest sadness that we have to make the following announcement…

The Champaign Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival is difficult to manage and an expensive process to deliver. We’d love nothing more than to put the 10th anniversary event together for everyone but it’s just not financially viable. With that said, we have made the very difficult decision not to proceed with the festival in 2017.

We have all worked very hard at building a great music event for our community so the last thing we wanted to do was to cancel the show or push ahead with anything less than an amazing event. Decisions like this are really tough to make and we have spent a long time considering all of our options. We had to consider our costs to date as well as our patrons and their experience, and felt we wouldn’t be able to deliver an event that would represent the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival name properly.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing and generous team of people that have worked so hard for many years to make the past nine events happen. We extend our thanks to the numerous sponsors, artists, agents and talent that have helped us throughout the years. We also want to express our sincerest apologies to the artists that were supposed to appear this year, we are very sorry we could not make this work and absolutely hate that we cannot go on.

Most of all we want to say thank you to all of our loyal fans and friends that have supported us over the past nine years… you made the Champaign Blues, Brews and BBQ so incredibly special while it lasted and we will miss each and every one you. Thank You!!

While the future of the festival remains unclear, we'll see if they decide to come back to the table in 2018.


Community Wellness Spring Fling fair happening May 22nd

Celebrate the end of school and warmer days with this year's Community Resource Fair on May 22nd. The Wellness Spring Fling fair joins the CommUnity Matters and public health resources, to bring wellness and health information to the whole family. 

Events include free food, games, giveaways, and tons of useful information on family health, sustainability, recycling, and overall wellness.

Check out the flyer below for more info:


PSA: You can recycle your styrofoam at Dart Corp for free

I try everyday to be more aware of what I'm throwing away and more importantly, where I'm throwing the garbage away. It's easy to recycle paper and plastic, but not so easy for other things, like styrofoam. I've always thought styrofoam to be a product that you couldn't recycle and was destined to be in a land fill. Turns out, that's not the case. 

The Keep Champaign Beautiful Facebook page is promoting an easy (and free!) way to recycle that annoying styrofoam that we can never seem to get rid of. Now we have no reason or excuse to throw away our styrofoam!

Check out the graphic and instructions below on how to recycle your styrofoam:

Dart Corporation (formerly SoloCup)
1505 E Main St., Urbana

(Go east to Lierman Ave - use the 'Shipping Dept.' entrance)

  • Make sure foam has the #6 chasing arrow on it
  • Only CLEAN (rinsed and wiped) food/beverage or block foam accepted (no packaging peanuts)
  • Remove straws, lids, tape or any other non-foam material
  • Deposit foam into clear translucent bags provided onsite, tie securely, and place bag in wheel cart

“Shoot/Don’t Shoot” simulation to be held at Willard Airport on May 23rd

EDITOR'S NOTE: It has been brought to our attention that this event is not open to the public. Apologies for any potential confusion. (PS)

As part of a two-day seminar on police shootings in the United States by the University of Illinois, Willard Airport will host a "Shoot/Don't Shoot" simulation at 8:30 am on Tuesday, May 23rd.

For more information on what this entails, check out the full press release below:

‘Shoot/Don’t Shoot’ simulation to be held May 23 at Willard Airport

CONTACT: Craig Chamberlain, Social Sciences Editor 217-333-2894;

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A “shoot/don’t shoot” simulation will be held Tuesday (May 23) at the University of Illinois Willard Airport, Savoy, as part of a two-day seminar on police shootings in the U.S.

The seminar is being hosted by the U. of I.’s Cline Center for Democracy, in partnership with the university’s Police Training Institute, as an early step in a Cline Center effort to create a comprehensive national police shooting database, making use of the center's expertise in data collection and analysis.

The seminar will involve about two dozen participants from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, including academic researchers, law enforcement professionals and representatives from the NAACP and ACLU. (See list of participants in the attached document.)

The “shoot/don’t shoot” exercise is designed to simulate decision-making challenges faced by law enforcement. Groups of seminar participants will be guided through the exercise by PTI instructors and role players.

Prior to a safety briefing that will precede the simulation, news media can seek permission from participants who wish to be filmed or who are open to interviews.

Three groups will be taken through the simulation, with the event scheduled to end at 10:30 a.m.

For questions about the seminar or database project, contact Cline Center Director Scott Althaus at 217-265-7879 or For questions about the simulation, contact PTI Director Michael Schlosser at 217-244-4200 or


MCORE’s next road closures in Urbana begin on Monday

Now that the students are gone and the streets of Campustown are more vacant than usual, the Urbana portion of the combined MCORE road construction project can begin.

Starting this coming Monday (May 22nd), Green St. will be closed between Wright St. and Goodwin Ave., kicking off at 7:00 am.

For more information on reroutes, detours and closures, check out the release from the City of Urbana below:

Green Street will be closed to through traffic from Wright Street to Goodwin Avenue at 7:00 am Monday, May 22, 2017 until further notice. The traffic direction on Mathews Avenue from Springfield Avenue to Green Street will also be reversed to southbound one-way at 7:00 am Monday, May 22.
During the closure of Green Street eastbound/westbound traffic on Green Street will use a marked detour route via Wright Street-Springfield Avenue-Goodwin Avenue. Southbound traffic at the Mathews Avenue and Green Street intersection will be maintained at all times. Access to the Illini Union and Natural History Building on Green Street will be available at all times via Mathews Avenue. Pedestrian access for the CUMTD bus stop system will be available at bus stops provided on Springfield Avenue and Goodwin Avenue in the vicinity of the project.

The closure of Green Street will allow for the first major street reconstruction phase of the Multimodal Corridor Enhancement Project (MCORE) Project 1 to occur. The MCORE Project will improve access for all modes of transportation on the University of Illinois campus and provide direct connections to downtown Urbana and Champaign. The project is funded in part by a Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Further information about this project can be found on the City website at


C-U named one of Midwest Living's "Best Midwest Food Towns"

Midwest Living has named Champaign-Urbana one of their finalist in the "Best Midwest Food Towns" — and now, voting continues to see who will take the crown. Per a release by Visit Champaign County, you have until May 31st to cast your vote at

From the press release:

Champaign-Urbana Named a Best Midwest Food Town

Champaign, IL – The monthly magazine, Midwest Living, just announced a curated list of the twelve most delicious food towns in the Midwest which includes Champaign-Urbana. As part of their Greatest Midwest Town’s contest series, readers will vote from May 1–31 on the best food town to be featured in their September/October issue.

“We are honored to be chosen as a finalist for the Greatest Midwest Food Town by Midwest Living,” exclaims Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing for Visit Champaign County. “Our food scene in Champaign County is unrivaled for a city this size in the Midwest. From fresh, farm-to-table selections to diverse, international cuisine, Champaign County has something for everyone at every price range.”

Voting is available every day during the month of May at, and Visit Champaign County is encouraging all to show their pride in the community.

“Being named the best Midwest Food Town would be a tremendous boost to culinary tourism,” explains Reifsteck. “Food is now one of the top reasons why people travel, so showcasing our tasty, local offerings is only going to continue to brand Champaign County as a destination and further generate economic impact.”

Visit Champaign County recently held their first Champaign County Area Restaurant Week this past January, featuring 18 participants boasting special menus to bring in new customers. The event was very popular, with Yoder’s Kitchen, a participant in Arthur, giving out over 1,000 slices of free pie as part of the promotion.

Additional towns in the contest include: Bloomington, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Lawrence, Kansas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Duluth, Minnesota; Springfield, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; Fargo, North Dakota; Toledo, Ohio; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Madison, Wisconsin.

About Midwest Living


Midwest Living is the leading lifestyle media brand that celebrates the good life in the Midwest through the pillars of home, food and travel. The publication distributes six publications annually, reaching 3.7 million readers with over 187,000 followers on Facebook. Midwest Living is a publication under the Meredith Corporation, a publicly held media and marketing services company founded upon serving their customers and committed to building value for their shareholders. Their cornerstone is knowledge of the home, family, food and lifestyle markets.