Smile Politely

Weekender: January 24-26


Get your tickets for Saru Ramen: KinokoCafeteria & Co., 208 West Main Street, Urbana, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

A little over a week ago we announced the latest pop-up from C-U’s ramen expert chef, Mark Hartstein. This month’s ramen is vegan (with the option to add meat). The dinner is Tuesday night (January 28th), so you better get your tickets now. (JH)


Forest to Table Opening Reception, Indi Go Artist Co-op, 6-9 p.m., free

Indi Go is featuring an exciting show over the next week or so that illuminates the close connection between the tree and the furniture made from it, highlighting the creative process that starts with the management of the forest, moving through the careful processing of lumber, to its selection and transformation into beautifully designed furniture. Since it’s currently way too cold to check out trees outdoors, you might as well step into the gallery for the view. (RP)

The final night of The Great Cover Up 23, The Highdive, 7:30 p.m., $7

The final night of the 23rd annual Great Cover Up at the Highdive is upon us tonight, and if you haven’t been to any of the nights, well, you’ve missed out. Not only that, but you can redeem yourself by catching at least one night, that being tonight’s show featuring a bunch of locals, including Sun Stereo, Elsinore, Grandkids, Swords and the Shady Perrys, A Cool Hand and The Ars Nova. Jam-packed, no doubt. Not only that, but the money goes to a great cause, so make it happen, people. (PS)

Her, The Art Theater Co-op, 7:30 p.m., price varies

The winner of this years AFI award for Best Picture and the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, Her is spending the weekend at the Art Theater Co-op! Sure, you could see this at one of the bigger cinemas on either end of town, but why? Check out a true art-house film in a true art house. Starring Joaquin Phoenix and the disembodied voice of Scarlet Johansson, this subtle, moving love story is bound to hit you right where you live. (MG)

Old Style Sextet and Wine, Buvons, 203 N. Vine, Urbana, 9 p.m., cover

Cozy up with some old timey tunes and a glass of wine or three this Friday at Buvons. There are candles, good spirits, and booze, all of which should take your mind off the cold weather. (RP)


MLK Community Celebration and Writing Contest Presentation, Krannert Center lobby, 10 a.m., free

This Saturday morning, the community will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and announce the annual scholarship winners. This event for the entire family is free of charge. The celebration will last approximately three hours with a break for refreshments at about 11:25 p.m. (MG)

The Fights, Emily Otnes, Church Booty, Mike ‘N Molly’s, $7, 9 p.m.

The Fights are one of the better bands to sprout up here in C-U over the past few years in my estimation, and they’re playing on Saturday night at Mike ‘N Molly’s with a few others. Besides their very good EP that came out last year, they’ve been working on their follow up material here and there, so I would imagine they will be performing some newer songs alongside the others. Emily Otnes and her full band are performing as well, and Church Booty will have a go at things in the opening slot. Good stuff all around. Head out and see them for yourself, and have a drink to warm you up in this frigid C-U weather. (PS)


Restaurant Week begins, Downtown Champaign, all day

This is the 4th time around for Restaurant Week. This year’s participants include Aroma Cafe, Big Grove Tavern, Cafe Kopi, Q Smoke House, Farren’s, Legends, Pekara, Wedge, and Firehaus. Slim pickings, for sure. I’m skeptical of the offerings, but encourage you to go out and try a new place. Don’t forget to check back here later this week for an update. (JH)




Big Grove Tavern Brunch, Downtown Champaign, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

In case you don’t know the lowdown on Big Grove Tavern, here it is: They offer local Farm-to-Table New American Cuisine, and they take pride in their seasonal, rotating menu. It’s fresh and rooted in the Midwest. It’s a luxurious yet rustic space in the northern part of Downtown Champaign.

The brunch menu, which changes on a weekly basis, features items like Fried Grits, Fresh Baked Soft Pretzel, Turkey Horseshoe and French Toast Bread Pudding. You may need a second stomach. (KP)


All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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