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Krannert Center seasons tickets go on sale this Saturday

One of the biggest assets to bringing culture from other parts of the world to Champaign-Urbana is Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Earlier, we announced their stacked calendar for the 2016-17 season, and this coming Saturday, you'll be able to purchase tickets for the entire season, allowing you to see more live events than your heart could possibly desire, all in the friendly confines of Champaign-Urbana.

To view a month-by-month schedule, click over to Krannert's website here, and to purchase your season pass, make sure to keep your eyes posted to Krannert's homepage on Saturday.


Pizzeria Antica now serving completely authentic olive oil

It may come as a surprise to many, but authentic olive oil is pretty hard to find in the United States today, especially in Champaign-Urbana. Luckily, however, Downtown Champaign Italian food establishment Pizzeria Antica is now offering totally authentic, legitimate olive oil for its patrons.

For more info, check out Antica's post on Facebook below, and stop in and try some pure, unadulterated olive oil, just like your Italian grandmother would want.


UPDATED: Giordano’s will move into the old Buca di Beppo space

UPDATE: Thursday August 4th at 5:00 p.m.:

According to the post in the News-Gazette, it is official

Chicago-based Giordano’s will bring its famed stuffed deep-dish pizza to Market Place Mall, a corporate spokeswoman confirmed Thursday to The News-Gazette.

“We believe that Champaign is a great market for us to open a restaurant as we can bring Giordano’s pizza to UI students and residents of central Illinois who crave our stuffed deep-dish pizza,” the spokeswoman said.

“We hear so many stories of folks that drive to Chicago just to order our pizza, and we are thrilled that we will soon be able to bring Giordano’s straight to their door.”

The restaurant will take over the 5,000-square-foot space last occupied by Buca di Beppo near the food court at the mall, at 2000 N. Neil St. The Italian chain restaurant, conceived by UI alum Phil Roberts, closed in late January after operating at the mall since late summer of 2012.


Initial post: Tuesday August 2nd at 11:46 a.m.

Per some top-notch investigating from our pals over at — there are signs pointing to Giordano's coming to Champaign. The Chicago pizza chain could be here soon:

Giordano’s, known for its stuffed deep dish pizza — aka “Chicago style” — could be preparing to open in Market Place Mall in the space formerly occupied by Buca di Beppo.

According to the website for Engineering Concepts & Solutions, Inc., Giordano’s is listed as the client for ECS’ project at Market Place Mall. Market Place general manager Dennis Robertson declined to comment.

Repeated messages left at Giordano’s corporate offices were not returned.

More Chicago restaurants making their way here — you know, Portillo's as well, at some point soon.


U of I PhD student wins six straight on Jeopardy!, earning $137,000+

Classic television gameshow Jeopardy! has had its fair share of streaking winners over the years, and one that has taken off as of late is Pranjal Vachaspati — a PhD. student at the University of Illinois. Check out his highlight reel here, where it showcases his five wins in a row — and we later came to find out that he has in fact won six in a row. He's won over $137,000 — bananas. Though, I can't say for certain that his streak continued beyond six. Remarkable, nonetheless.

Some info via U of I Engineering:

As of July 26, 2016, Vachaspati has tallied six consecutive wins and accumulated more than $137,000—his episodes only began to air on July 19. In the most recent episode, he eked out a victory over his closest opponent by only $300, which was the closest margin of victory yet.


Netscape founder and U of I alumnus Marc Andreessen endorses Hillary Clinton

It's hard to name a more notable alumnus from the University of Illinois than Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, who was massively influential in the burgeoning of the internet, all from Champaign-Urbana. His influence in tech, specifically in Silicon Valley tech, is massive, and can be seen in the sheer amount of Boards of Directors on which he serves, which include Facebook, eBay and HP.

Generally a Republican, probably due to the nature of his work (venture capitalism), Andreessen recently came out against Donald Trump, saying this to Recode:

Andreessen spoke about Silicon Valley’s immigrant culture — noting that a language other than English is spoken in half of Silicon Valley households and half of companies have a first-generation immigrant founder or co-founder.

"The Valley wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be doing any of this if we didn't have the amazing flow of immigrants that we've had in the last 80 years," Andreessen said. "And the idea of choking that off just makes me sick to my stomach."

That appears to be a reference to Trump's immigration policy and the Republican's renewed calls to ban Muslim immigration in the wake of the Orlando terror attack. The shooter, Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando Sunday morning, was born in New York to Afghan immigrants.

While noting that "neither party is great" across all the areas the tech community cares passionately about, Andreessen added, "I think clearly, one of the candidates is way better than the other, interestingly on all four, and so to me, it seems like it's a fairly obvious choice."

Andreessen's remarks were also cataloged by The Washington Post, which added his name to their list of "big-name Republicans in Hillary Clinton's corner."

It's comforting that some Republicans are being so rational when their party has been corrupted by a sociopath, and I hope this trend continues and starts to seep into the general American populous soon enough.

(Photo by Forbes)


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.


Is this Craigslist job posting for Portillo’s in Champaign real, or bullshit?

With the news that Portillo's is "considering" opening in Champaign-Urbana after news broke they were opening in Bloomington — this mysterious Craigslist posting has appeared. Full text:

Portillo's coming to Champaign, IL in 2016!!!!

Ever wonder what it's like to work for a restaurant with sales topping millions of dollars every year? Are you ready to take the next step in building your food service career with a Chicagoland legend? Portillo's Restaurant Group is looking for experienced Restaurant Managers who understand that operating a high volume restaurant requires leadership, a focus on providing quality food, and a commitment to excellent customer service.

As a Restaurant Manager you will spend your day running a fast paced, high volume, quick service kitchen. Successful Restaurant Managers will simultaneously focus on motivating crew members, controlling costs and building sales. At the end of the day, our Restaurant Managers are able go home with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

"What's cool about working at Portillo's is that each day is different"

"Everyone wants to see you succeed so they give you the tools that you need to get to the next level"

"I started out as an employee and I was promoted within five years to General Manager"

If you are looking for a job that is fun, has a great team atmosphere and allows you build a career in food service management, then Portillo's is the place for you!


As a Restaurant Manager with Portillo's, you will be part of a Chicagoland institution. Today, after 50 years of providing award-winning food, we have over 4,000 employees, 40 locations in four states, and do 27 million transactions a year. We are continuously expanding, and that success allows us to support your success with growth opportunities. In addition we offer you a comprehensive, multifaceted 14-week training program that combines on-the-job mentoring with classroom instruction at our Corporate Training Center in Oak Brook, IL.

Here's some of what we have to offer:
•Generous salary
•Bonus program
•Advancement opportunities! We promote 100% from within
•Medical, dental and vision coverage
•Life insurance
•Paid vacation
•401(k) plan with company match
•Uniform allowance
•Meal Discounts


Successful candidates in the Restaurant Manager role enjoy working in a fast paced environment and are comfortable leading and motivating team members. You will also understand that effectively delegating tasks is the key to meeting our overall goal of providing quality food and service to our guests.

Additional qualifications for the position include:
•High school diploma or equivalent
•2 - 3 years of RECENT experience as a Restaurant Manager in high volume quick service restaurants
•Must be 21 years or older
•Availability to work 5 shifts for 10 hours including nights and weekends
•Proven experience in recruiting, training and motivating food service team
•Strong leadership skills
•Positive track record of controlling costs
•Current Sanitation and B.A.S.S.E.T. alcohol service training a plus

We're currently awaiting word back about this from the listing.


The GOALS Project a finalist in tech makeover contest

C-U nonprofit, The GOALS Project, is excited to announce they made it to the final round of voting for the R.K. Dixon "Make My Nonprofit Better Contest," where they have a chance to win a $15,000 technology makeover!

Support some of our community's most vulnerable members — teen parents and their children — by voting daily for the The GOALS Project at (every device gets a vote!).

Thank you!

The GOALS Project is a 501c3 organization that empowers teen parents to improve their lives and the lives of their children. We offer mentorship, workshops, and support to teen parents as they tackle educational, career, and parenting goals. Check out our youtube video for more information on our group, and this contest.


U of I not considering selling beer at Illini football games

Sad news, Illini fans. During an interview with WCIA, University of Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman has revealed that of all the things facing the embattled U of I athletic programs, alcohol sales at Memorial Stadium during home games are not a high priority moving forward, despite previous press and legislation that would suggest otherwise

This will be especially hard on State Senator Chapin Rose, who gave one of the most rousing defenses of the sale of beer at Illini games that I have ever read, saying: 

I would hope they take into account that it doesn’t seem to be really fair to me that the rich guys get to eat their cheese and drink their wine in the expensive suites but the rest of us plebes can’t have a beer.

Who knows, maybe with Lovie at the helm Illini games will be do-able without beer. It's possible, I guess. But if the team wins like four games or something like they usually do, the least us fans should be able to get out of it is a cold brew. Sigh. I guess there's always next year.

Photo by


Registration for Unit 4’s Free/Reduced meals plan now open

Applications are now open for free and reduced lunch for students and families in Champaign's Unit 4 School District, and you can do it all online.

For full instructions and details, check out this info from Unit 4: 

To complete the online application, parents should visit

The online application offers a quicker response time and a high level of accuracy for families. Only one application per family should be completed. Parents may visit to check the result of their application after 48 hours.  

Families at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy, Kenwood, Dr. Howard, Garden Hills, International Prep Academy, and Stratton do not need to complete this application and should instead complete a separate form that will be made available at their school. These campuses participate in a separate school-wide program that offers free meals to all students.