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I would like this guava mojito at Watson’s

I love a mojito. I love guava. I would love to have guava in my mojito. Watson's buried the lede in this Facebook post, though I'm sure the mahi mahi sandwich was great.

I'll be in this weekend to try that guava mojito slushie ($8).

 
Watson's Shack & Rail
211 N Neil St
Champaign
T-Th 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
F + Sa 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Su 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
 
Top image from Watson's Facebook page.
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You have to try Barrelhouse 34’s Stiegl Greyhound

The Stiegl Greyhound ($12) on Barrelhouse 34’s menu is a delicious twist on the classic cocktail. A greyhound is a cocktail consisting of grapefruit juice and either gin or vodka mixed and served over ice. Instead of grapefruit juice, Stiegl Grapefruit Radler leads the cocktail with your choice of Tito’s Vodka or Bombay Sapphire Gin. I picked the Bombay Gin at the bartender’s recommendation. The blue shot of gin goes in first, then the Radler.

The drink was so fresh with tart of grapefruit and delightfully strong with the gin. The Stiegl Greyhound is definitely worth a try.

Barrelhouse 34
34 E Main St
Champaign
3 p.m. to 2 a.m., daily

Top photo by Alyssa Buckley.

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This Champaign County Humane Society post is kind of amazing

If you'd like a little day brightener, check out this wonderful Instagram post about two cats available for adoption at CCHS:

Also wonderful: Fish and Squirrel as cat names. 

If you are interested in adopting them or any other creatures at the Humane Society, you can find out more here

Photo from Champaign County Humane Society Facebook page. 

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Here are renderings from the new development at Sixth and Daniel

At Tuesday's Champaign City Council meeting, the new development at Sixth & Daniel was a point of discussion, and now you can see what the new area of Campustown will look like (in some capacity). Granted, these are renderings, but you can check out what their plans look like below via the presentation to City Council.

Back in December, the block was leveled, and KAM's has found a new home at First & Green. There's no word on whether or not one of these new spaces will belong to Espresso Royale at this point in time. We'll have to see what else goes in this multi-use development, though per the report, they are planning to use the first floor for commercial business space, the second and third floors for University of Illinois space, and the rest apartments. There is more to happen here between the developer and the city, as council will vote next week on an agreeement to reimburse Core Spaces for upgrades to infrastructure, namely the sewer that needs improvements.

Image: Conceptual rendering of two portions of one building. On the right, a brick building with a pointed top. On the left, a black building with many windows. There's a blue sky with clouds in the background. Photo from City of Champaign's council report.
Photo from City of Champaign's council report

Image: Conceptual rendering of a new building with brick and black metal fa├žade. There are many windows on the building. On the sidewalk in front of the building, there are red umbrellas for seating. There are rows of cars alongside the sidewalk. Photo from City of Champaign's council report.
Photo from City of Champaign's council report


Photo from City of Champaign's council report

Top image from City of Champaign's council report

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You can engage with art on the KAM response wall

Each month, Krannert Art Museum selects a piece of art to display on their "response wall" on the lower level of the museum. Patrons are invited to write down their thoughts and reactions and interpretations on sticky notes to place on the wall surrounding the artwork. 

Here are some of the offerings from last month, responding to Mary Cady Johnson's Words of George Wald Page 1, 1969.

There are several white, yellow, and pink sticky notes with thoughts written on them: power to the people, police brutality, black lives matter, liberty 4 all, school to prison pipeline, police are our friends. Photo from Krannert Art Museum Facebook page. Photo from Krannert Art Museum Facebook page. 

A photo of a black and white print. There are black and white hands raised in the air, some showing peace signs, some in fists, some with open palms. There is black script underneath the hands. Photo from Krannert Art Museum Facebook page. © Mary Cady Johnson, Words of George Wald Page 1, 1969. Photo from Krannert Art Museum Facebook page. 

This month's response wall piece, shown above, is The Hecklers by Joseph Hirsch. KAM's website describes it this way: "The artist shows a group of older, white men dressed in suits, shouting from their balcony seats. As a group, their faces and body language express a sense of disapproval and confrontation."

Top image: © Joseph Hirsch, The Hecklers, 1943-44. Krannert Art Museum Facebook page. 

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I have found my favorite rice bowl at Broadway Food Hall’s Muchacho

Muchacho, Broadway Food Hall's build-your-own-rice-bowl vendor, has many options that are delicious. Combinations are nearly endless. (I said nearly, I understand that there are, indeed, a finite number of combinations.) My order is spicy, and briny, and fermented. It's a little funky, if you will.

Here's my order:

A screenshot of the menu at Muchacho. The menu is titled Graphic by Jessica Hammie.

Muchacho
Broadway Food Hall
401 N Broadway
Urbana
M-W 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Th + F 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sa 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Top image of rice bowl at Muchacho by Jessica Hammie.

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Have you checked out the “Vision 2020” Lightbox exhibit yet?

2020 is an important year for decisions in general, and voting in particular. 40 North's Lightbox exhibit space explores the art of decisionmaking with "Vision 2020," co-created by artists Ella Van Wyck and Michael Darin. Using a "Let's Make a Deal-esque" interface, "Vision 2020" uses online voting to pick the next socio-political door to open. While, doors number 2 and 3 have been opened, door number 1 will open on February 22nd. 

Be sure to check out this creative and thought-provoking approach to understanding some of the most significant issues facing our planet. 

Top image: Photo of front window display featuring "Vision 2020" exhibit with a colorful background and 3 doors, marked 1, 2, and 3. Photo from 40 North website.

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Look at this scone sandwich from Espresso Royale

Yesterday, Jess had us all thinking about breakfast sammies; here's one from Espresso Royale for your consideration. I got this one from the store on Neil Street, but they are available at all. 

First of all, the "bread" is a scone. A bacon, cracked pepper, and white cheddar scone. I love a good scone, and I haven't had much experience with savory varieties, but this one was really good. The filling is egg, cheddar cheese, and avocado. The scone had that crumbly scone texture, but not so crumbly that it couldn't hold the sandwich together. It was filling, for sure, but quite yummy. Espresso is also selling just the scone by itself this winter if you want a bit of savoriness but not the bulk of a full sandwich.

Espresso Royale
1411 N Neil St
Champaign
M-F 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sa 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Su 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Photo by Julie McClure

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Treat yourself at Cafe Kopi

Cafe Kopi is beloved for good reason. The food is great, the service is lovely, and the space is large enough that you're not crammed in on top of other people trying to "do work."

I stopped in for some tea (I guess this is my thing now?) and a treat — fine, two treats. I grabbed the tangerine ginger tea ($2.50), a ginger snap cookie ($0.95), and a red velvet cake truffle ($1.95).

Image: A tea service at Cafe Kopi includes a white ceramic teapot on a white ceramic saucer with dark green trim on the edge, a white ceramic mug with dark green trim and a pinkish tea inside, and a white ceramic plate with dark green trim. On the plate are two cookies: one ginger snap, and one red velvet cake truffle dipped in white chocolate and dusted with red sprinkles. Photo by Jessica Hammie. Image: A tea service at Cafe Kopi includes a white ceramic teapot on a white ceramic saucer with dark green trim on the edge, a white ceramic mug with dark green trim and a pinkish tea inside, and a white ceramic plate with dark green trim. On the plate are two cookies: one ginger snap, and one red velvet cake truffle dipped in white chocolate and dusted with red sprinkles. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

There are, of course, plenty of other little treats, and with daily coffee specials, you're bound to find something you like.

Cafe Kopi
109 N Walnut
Champaign
7 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily

Top image: A tea service at Cafe Kopi includes a white ceramic teapot on a white ceramic saucer with dark green trim on the edge, a white ceramic mug with dark green trim. Behind the teapot and plate is another plate with two cookies. All items sit on a light colored wood table. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

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Hogchute Opry 2020 will take place on June 6th

The date for this year's Hogchute Collective summer show at Kalyx Center in Monticello, Hogchute Opry, has been announced via their Instagram: Saturday, June 6th. We've covered the show pretty extensively over the years, but here's last year's lineup for their fall installment, Hogchute Harvest, and last year's Opry lineup.

We'll keep you updated when the lineup is released, but for now, mark your calendars.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hogchute (@hogchute) on

Top Image: Golden light beaming through the word "OPRY", which appears backwards as the lettering faces inside through a window. There are dark leaves and branches in the foreground. Photo by Anna Longworth.

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Find some Valentine gifts that make a statement at The Idea Store

I love The Idea Store, because while they have a great selection of items that you know you can find there (school supplies, sewing and craft items, jewelry, and much more) but there's also a surprise around every corner. When I did a browse through this week, I had Valentine's Day on the mind. What if you decided to think outside the box a bit in buying a gift for your sweetheart? Here are some ideas for gifts that make a statement. What kind of statement? That may be up to you (or the recipient) to determine.

1. An opportunity to snazz up their wardrobe.

Image: A blue and pink box sits on the floor. It says Image: A blue and pink box sits on the floor. It says "Bedazzler" in yellow letters. There are two girls on the front of the box, as well as a photo of the purple bedazzling tool. Photo by Julie McClure.

2. A friendly jester to stare at you while you sleep.

Image: A jester doll sits in a clear container. It has a costume in shades of purple and gold, with a ribbons coming out of two of the points of the jester hat. Photo by Julie McClure.Image: A jester doll sits in a clear container. It has a costume in shades of purple and gold, with a ribbons coming out of two of the points of the jester hat. Photo by Julie McClure.

3. A new hobby

Image: A box sits on a metal shelf. It has green stripes and a photo of a pillow that has been latch hooked with a flowery heart and pink background. It says Image: A box sits on a metal shelf. It has green stripes and a photo of a pillow that has been latch hooked with a flowery heart and pink background. It says "Latch Hook Kit" at the top of the box. Photo by Julie McClure.

4. Be practical: These could hold lots of little treasures from the Wall of Intrigue, and also be used for some science-type things.

Image: A large plastic bin of small plastic vials with blue lids. Photo by Julie McClure.Image: A large plastic bin of small plastic vials with blue lids. Photo by Julie McClure.

Image: A black pegboard that extend for the length of a wall. There are small plastic resealable bags with various tiny items in them. Photo by Melinda Miller.Image: A black pegboard that extend for the length of a wall. There are small plastic resealable bags with various tiny items in them. Photo by Melinda Miller.

5. A photo of this nice young lady to stare at you while you sleep.

Image: A large black and white portrait of a young girl with dark hair. She is wearing a light colored shirt with a white peter pan collar. Photo by Julie McClure.Image: A large black and white portrait of a young girl with dark hair. She is wearing a light colored shirt with a white peter pan collar. Photo by Julie McClure.

6. A well-deserved 1st place bowling trophy from the eighties.

Image: A trophy sits on a shelf. It has a white base with a gold metal plate on the front. A woman bowler is at the top of the trophy, and the main part of the trophy is flanked by decorations that say Image: A trophy sits on a shelf. It has a white base with a gold metal plate on the front. A woman bowler is at the top of the trophy, and the main part of the trophy is flanked by decorations that say "87" and "88." Photo by Julie McClure.

7. A dragon?

Image: A ceramic brownish-gray dragon. It appears to be hollow, and has a lid that can be lifted off by grabbing the dragon's wing. Photo by Julie McClure.Image: A ceramic brownish-gray dragon. It appears to be hollow, and has a lid that can be lifted off by grabbing the dragon's wing. Photo by Julie McClure.

8. I...don't know what to say about this one.

Image: A plastic tub filled with various doll parts. Photo by Julie McClure.Image: A plastic tub filled with various doll parts. Photo by Julie McClure.

In all seriousness, as you can see from the photo at the top, in addition to some of this weird and wild stuff you will also find some great totally normal items to help with your Valentine's Day gift giving, whether is gift bags, decorations, or cute heart and flower type things. They also have a great jewelry counter. Go find some cool stuff for cheap.

Top image: A light brown table covered with various Valentine's Day related items: flowers, gift bags, decorative boxes, heart decorations, etc. Photo by Julie McClure.

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Did you know that Farren’s serves boozy slushies?

If not, you do now. There are three slushies on the menu: rum twister, peaches 'n creme, and strawberry Pimm's cup.

The other night I opted for the strawberry Pimm's cup ($8): Tito's vodka, Pimm's liquer, Giffard strawberry liquer, and ginger beer. It was a boozy, frozen treat, and paired perfectly well with my cheeseburger. Next time you're at Farren's, give it a try.

Image: A strawberry Pimm's cup at Farren's sits on a Farren's menu. The blended, frozen drink is served in a hurricane glass with a white and green straw. Photo by Jessica Hammie.

Farren's
117 N Walnut
Champaign
Su-T 11 am. to 10 p.m.
W-Sa 11 a.m. to midnight

Top image: A strawberry Pimm's cup at Farren's. The bottom of the glass is cropped out, and a Farren's menu is visible in the background. Photo by Jessica Hammie.