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Celebrate 20 years at Jupiter’s Downtown today

When Jupiter's Pizza and Billiards opened its doors on November 14, 1997, Downtown Champaign was a remarkably different place. Along with Gypsy, and the already established Blind Pig (as a venue), you could start to see a glimpse of what was to come. Carlos, Marco, and Tifani — CMT Ventures as it would become — scraped pennies together and built out the bar almost entirely from nothing.

See? 

And there's Carlos, pouring a beer: 

And then here are the three owners. Tifani literally looks unchanged to the day: 

Tonight, you can stop in and celebrate two decades of business with them. The place is largely unchanged. The pizza, which is always solid, tastes the same. The bar is the same. There's video poker now instead of an old CD jukebox (which was awesome and expertly curated by Michelle Brotherton and Lyle Hodges), but that's just a function of economic viability. 

Congratulations to CMT and all of the people who have tended bar, bussed tables, cooked pies, on a long run, and to many more years indeed! 

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Meet Max from Stranger Things 2's doppelgänger, Veronica Mullen

This post contains no spoilers, outside of the fact that Max from Stranger Things 2 is a new character, and that's all I'll say about that. Max is played by actor Sadie Sink.

Champaign-Urbana photographer Veronica Mullen looks eerily similar to Sink's character — and I can't help but pointing it out here. What do you think?

Note: Mullen is a friend of mine, and she's contributed to SP in the past, and is totally cool with me posting here.

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This very cute free library in Urbana made me smile

Good morning. Here's a very cute "free library" in Urbana, as posted on City of Urbana's Instagram account yesterday. There's plenty of shit going on in the world right now that is upsetting, so hopefully this makes you feel a little bit more smiley this morning. I know it did for me.

Oh, and what's that hashtag again? #TSUSRT? ("That's Some Urbana Shit Right There"). Ah yes that's it.

I've reached out to see where this is exactly, and will update the post when I get some information about it.

UPDATE: 9:44 am: This is located "on a fence along Race Street between Florida and the High School", per Urbana's Instagram response.

 

We came upon a very cute Little Free Library in Urbana. #urbanalove #littlefreelibrary

A post shared by City of Urbana (@cityofurbana) on

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I have never been to a Golden Corral

Is Golden Corral good? 

Tom Kacich confirms that it's opening on Anthony Drive, eerily close to the old Ryan's Steakhouse. 

I've never been to one, because I don't tend to eat at boo-fays, but let me tell you, based on my Facebook feed, it's like the heavens parted and Jesus Christ and Muhammad and Buddha are leaping frogging each other all the way down to all you can eat popcorn shrimp or some shit. 

Is it good? Or is America just kind of the worst? 

Because it looks goddamned disgusting. Like, seriously, look at this garbage: 

NOTE: I want to make it clear that there are "low priced" and "fast casual" and "otherwise shitty" food items that I think are absolutely delicious. Popeye's Chicken? Rules. Spicy Chicken Fillet from Wendy's? Done deal. Double Cheese from Steak-n-Shake, wrapped to go, and all melty and gooey? Oh my lord, please yes. 

That said, this food looks like dog shit. Maybe I am wrong, but the color of those green beans alone makes me want to die. 

Updated 5:19 p.m.: I also absolutely love the biscuits and gravy at Cracker Barrel. Adore is too mild a word. I have a love affair with them. Sawmill gravy all day.

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Holy moly — allegedly, George Papadopoulos went to grade school at South Side in Champaign

Another week, another Trump scandal. Par for the course in America 2017, but now that it's Mueller Time, it seems the wheels might actually start to come off the silliest clown car to ever drive the streets of Washington D.C. 

A new name emerged this week: George Papadopoulos, a former policy advisor for the Trump campaign, who has secretly plead guilty for "making false statements" to the FBI. Now, he's instead "cooperating" with the Mueller investigation, who is likely mounting one of the biggest cases against a sitting President in the history of the nation. 

Locally here, a few people were like "George Papadopoulos? I know that fucker!" and sure enough, that is because he went to South Side for a few years before moving up to Niles, Illinois to finish high school and then on to DePaul for college, and then on to allegedly colluding with Russian spies to basically ruin everything for everyone. 

I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. And while I suppose there are no hard facts that back up that this George Papadopoulos is the same George Papadopoulos, it seems pretty clear based on the photos and the timeline of his age and education. 

Anyhow, we got a few tips, and these photos come from a local named Luke Mathews, who went to school with him back in the day. Check it out: 

Oh shit! It's Kyle Patterson (D), County Board District 7. Oh shiiiiiittttttt it's Megan Johns, a well known singer / songwriter who has recently moved out west. 

WHAT ARE THEY ALL DOING TOGETHER? 

I think the burning questions are as follows: 

1. Is Mrs. Daly a secret agent for the government? Is that her real name? 

2. Are these pyramids connected to the Illuminati? Were they "Eyes of Providence?" Was Philip Weise colluding with George all the way back then? 

3. This was 1995-1996. Was Jack Kemp involved in any way? He always seemed like a real creep to me. I think he's involved. I dunno. I have a phone call in to Rodney Davis' office about it. 

Only time will tell, my friends, but the smoking gun is quite possibly here in Champaign-Urbana. 

UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated that the photos came anonymously, which they did at the time, but the person who took them has come forward. His name is Luke Mathews. 

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Triptych has provided some updated parking tips for visiting the brewery

I've had this issue when visiting Triptych, and it seems as though others have run into it (er... driven into it?) as well. They've provided some new info about where to park at the brewery when you visit. 

With the expansion of the brewery to include the space across the street — that has opened up a lot of extra parking. Our friends at Triptych have provided this diagram to help you out, as per their Facebook post below, and check out the info on their website:

Ugh, the parking lot is full! Where can I park?

If the parking lot immediately south of the brewery is full, feel free to park in the parking lot of our second facility across the street at 1704 Woodfield Drive. If that lot is also full, street parking on the east side of Woodfield Drive is also permissible. If it is after 6pm, you can also park at the Dentist office immediately north of the brewery.

Triptych is located at 1703 Woodfield Drive in Savoy.

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It is time to put an end to this minstrel show once and for all

UPDATED: Wednesday 9:44 p.m.

I spoke with Homecoming parade chairman Jack Hamman earlier this evening, and asked him about the decision to allow the "Chief" to participate in this year's parade. He advised that I should "speak with the office of Public Affairs" and that he had no further comment. 

When I asked him about the parade ending in front of the Native American House, he told me that I needed to "check my facts" and then sent me an updated parade route, which, indeed, does end on Oregon St. rather than Nevada St. They updated the site in between the time we spoke and his email, as I was looking at the same page when we were speaking on the phone. 

At this time, UIUC spokesperson Robin Kaler has not yet responded to any of our emails regarding the inclusion of the Chief at the parade this year, but we have seen returned emails to other members of the community, and will decide on whether to publish those in the near future. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: 

Admittedly, I am tired of writing about the “Chief” and all the sad, pathetic supporters of whatever remains of it. I've been doing it since 1992, if memory serves. It's enough already. 

So, without getting into the whole thing again, you should know that this weekend, at the University of Illinois Homecoming Parade, not only will the “Chief” be present, he will be riding in a goddamned blue convertible, and be accompanied by four people handing out candy to children on the street, kids who are there to watch the pomp and circumstance of the whole deal, but not necessarily to take treats from a minstrel show.

Also, just because it couldn’t be any more fitting, the parade route literally ends in front of the Native American House on Nevada St. in Urbana. They aren’t pleased.

 

They posted the statement from Student Body President Raneem Shamseldin, who is a total badass.

We’ve reached out to the Chancellor’s office, who directed us to Laurel Reed Rosch, from Illini Student Union, who directed us to Robin Kaler, who has not yet returned our email. We’ve reached out to the parade committee chairman Jack Hamman. I called him, and we are supposed to speakme back after 5 p.m., so I will update the article when he does.

All that said, I wonder if the parade were ending on Fifth and John, in front of Hillel. I wonder if it would be OK if the College Republicans, or hell, any group of Aryan looking dudes on campus here decided to dress up as a Rabbi, complete with yarmulke, tallit, and tefillin?

Or, perhaps we just get the ghost of Al Jolson to do a song and dance in front of the African-American Cultural House?

I wonder…

It is time for the adults in the room to step in. And that means that President Killeen and Chancellor Jones need to stop this before it happens.

And they can also let the Honor The Chief Society know that they are more than welcome to celebrate, devastate, recreate, masturbate, or fascinate one another on their own time, and in their own place. This is America and that is allowed. Just, not here, and not on this weekend. There are rules in place to make sure that assholes don't always get the floor, especially when it's on the public dime. 

Let’s see what happens now.

Top photo by Michael Bojda