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Triptych Brewing hosting dinner at Biaggi’s tonight

Triptych Brewing will be hosting a dinner where they pair their very special beers with another great American past time: food. This time, the nourishment comes from Biaggi's restaurant, located on South Neil St. in Champaign.

Reservations are available by calling Biaggi's at (217) 356-4300, and for all the details on the menu, etc, check out Triptych's Facebook post on the event below: 

It's been a while since we've had a beer dinner and our friends at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano - Champaign have insisted that we let them cook and pair with some Triptych beers. So you should probably make plans to join us on Thursday, July 28th for what will be a night of tasty food from Chef Joe and tasty beers from Brewer Anthony. You can make your reservation by calling Biaggi's at (217) 356-4300 and asking for a manager.

Here is the menu:

Chilled Zucchini Soup

Zucchini, Onion, Chicken Broth, Buttermilk, Sour Cream, Fresh Vegetable Salsa

Featured Beer: Pretty Nice Little Saturday


Champaign Farmer's Market Fruit Salad

Blueberries, Strawberries, Melon, Peaches, Blueberry Infused Crème Fraiche

Featured Beer: These Aren't The Blueberries You're Looking For - Tart Blueberry Ale


Mussels with Egg Fettuccine

Garlic, Scallion, "Patio" Peppers, Garden Picked Roma Tomatoes, Little Secret Broth

Featured Beer: Little Secret - Hoppy Ale


Citrus and Beer Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Seared Pork Tenderloin, Braised Red Cabbage, Red Bean Croquette, Citrus Salad

Featured Beer: Prismatic Spray - Blood Orange Belgian IPA
Mocha Mousse Cake


Imperial Cocoa Stout Chocolate Sponge Cake, "Because, Chocolate" Mocha Mousse, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

Featured Beer: Because, Chocolate - Imperial Stout


Grovestone olive oil opening next month

Grovestone Olive Oil will open up its doors next month at the Old Farm shopping center at Mattis and Kirby in Champaign.

This gourmet olive oil store will likely offer infused olive oils and vinegars, as well as other spreads and cheese plate accoutrement. 

There's not much info about the company available online, save for this brief info from the News-Gazette, this bit about the beautiful packaging for the products, and a non-used Twitter account

It looks like things are progressing within the store, and I took a peek under the cover of darkness to steal a few photos. We'll keep you posted about its opening and more info about the company as details become available. 

Photos by Jessica Hammie.


World Harvest Foods hosts a tasting party every week

With Champaign-Urbana being a fairly international community (thanks to the University of Illinois, largely), it fairly naturally transitions into a melting pot of different cultures. Along with this myriad of cultures comes a wide breadth of food options. One of the many hot spots for international food in C-U, of course, is World Harvest International & Gourmet Foods, located at 519 E. University Ave. in Champaign.

In case you were born, raised, and have lived in the 217 for the entirety of your life like myself, World Harvest also hosts tasting parties, so you can try out new things and decide what type of international dish you may want to cook.

The tasting party is held every single Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and features more than a dozen foods. The menu changes every week, and it's completely free.

What's not to love? See you at World Harvest on Saturday.


Carol and Aaron Ammons interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

If you're politically progressive and living in Central Illinois, one of the shining stars of our area is certainly Carol Ammons. Ammons, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders earlier this year, was in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention last night, and while she was there, she had the chance to chat with Amy Goodman from Democracy Now!, a long-established progressive news network.

Topics included everything from Bernie and Hilary to Criminal Justice Reform. Her interview is followed up by an interview with her husband, Aaron Ammons, a local activist and organizer.

Stream the full interview below (it starts at 28:55):


Known-birther Jerry Schweighart is ready to Make America Great Again, you guys

The former Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart was spotted at the Champaign County Fair, sporting this piece of Donald Trump merch, enjoying himself. None of this behavior is surprising, sadly. It is, after all, Republican Day at the fair.

We're not really about posting random photos of people, we're not paparazzi, after all. But this is 2016 people, a former political figure. This is acceptable?

Evidently, the GOP accepts this with open arms. This is insanity, truly.

Just remember, he doesn't believe President Obama was born in the United States of America:


Golden Harbor wrongly put on blast by Bitchy Waiter

If you're not familiar with Bitchy Waiter — check it out. A quick description:

This is a blog by a bitchy waiter in New York City who blogs to keep from poking customers in the eyes with forks.

They posted about Golden Harbor, unfairly putting them on blast for their $2 table cleaning fee. And after a quick minute, they realized they were wrong about that because Golden Harbor does not accept tips. Check it out:

And just like that, Golden Harbor remains the best.


Tara Terra to start fall tour

Alternative rock darlings Tara Terra are getting ready to kick off their fall tour. Starting on August 1st with a Chicago gig, the tour covers the Midwest and parts of the East Coast, and features some “secret shows” (one of which is in Chicago). Keep your eyes peeled for updates on those ones.

The group will make their way back around on August 20th, and will also play a set at Pygmalion in September.

Here’s the complete tour schedule:


City of Urbana named a Green Power Community by the EPA

Today, the City of Urbana was named a "Green Power Community" by the United States' Environmental Protection Agency. This accolade comes as a result of Urbana's continued commitment to zero-emission electricity, usually that which his procured via solar panels or windmills, among other things.

Congrats, Urbana!



From the press release:

Urbana has been named a Green Power Community by the U.S. EPA for its ongoing use of green power through the city’s municipal electric aggregation program.

Green power is zero-emissions electricity that is generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact hydro. Using green power helps build demand for the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide and helps users reduce their carbon footprints.

“We are proud to be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for our green power use,” said Scott Tess, Environmental Sustainability Manager. “By making the choice to use clean, renewable energy, our community becomes more sustainable, while also sending a message to others across the United States that using green power is a sound business decision and an important tool in reducing one’s carbon footprint in the fight against climate change.”

Urbana's decision back in 2012 to use green power with its municipal electric aggregation program is helping to advance the green power market and support clean renewable energy alternatives. The aggregation program provides 100 percent  green power through the purchase of renewable energy certificates for all residential and small business participants.

The purchase of green power is just one aspect of Urbana's energy and climate initiatives.  The City recently concluded a bulk solar purchasing program which facilitated the sale of 605 kilowatt hours of solar capacity throughout Champaign County.
Urbana is now one of 61 Green Power communities nationally. Urbana ranks 16th among those 61 communities with 83.5 million kilowatt hours of annual power usage, and 24th among those communities with green power comprising nearly 21 percent of total citywide electricity use.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 60 Green Power Communities and 1,400 Partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies; small and medium sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. For additional information, please visit

For more information:

City of Urbana, IL
Name: Scott R. Tess
Phone Number: 217-384-2381

Name: Melissa Klein
Phone Number: 202-343-9207


U of I Community Credit Union donating 100 backpacks of school supplies to Urbana students

If you're searching for a little good news in this crazy world in which we live, here's some: The U of I Community Credit Union has collected 100 backpacks full of school supplies that they'll be donating to the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center for students in need.

The bags were collected as part of UICCU's Creating Member Loyalty program, which seeks to promote service culture throughout Champaign-Urbana - something that we always could use a little more of.

The donation ceremony will take place this Friday, July 29th at 6 p.m. at the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, and the public are invited. For more info, check out the press release here:

Champaign, IL – U of I Community Credit Union will be donating 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29th.

As the final phase of their rebrand, U of I Community Credit Union launched Creating Member Loyalty™ in order to advance their service culture for both internal and external members. During the kickoff meeting, staff took a break to form an assembly line and fill backpacks with school supplies to be donated to the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center. This was representative of the service they want to provide to external members as well as celebrating the community spirit.

“We are committed to this community,” said Chris Harlan, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. “UNCC shares this commitment and the desire to provide service to families in need within our community.”
The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center’s vision is for a healthy, compassionate, progressive community where all children and families have access to services and support that empowers successful development. To bring that vision to reality, UNCC provides quality educational, social-emotional, spiritual and recreational enrichments to youth and their families within the context of a safe, structured and nurturing environment.

U of I Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative that provides a wide range of financial products and services to anyone who lives or works in Champaign, Ford, Piatt, Douglas, and Vermillion, IL counties as well as University of Illinois employees and other select employee groups. To learn more, visit