I ran an errand in Campustown today, which maybe wasn't the best idea given the influx of students arriving this week, and as I rounded the corner of Sixth and Daniel, the empty facades made me kind of sad. This particular block hasn't been in the best shape for several years now — the space that housed C.O. Daniel's has been vacant forever — but the closing of Espresso Royale seemed to put a bit of finality on it, even though Kam's will exist in the Daniel Street location a bit longer and Fernando's is going strong after moving in just a handful of months ago.
This block was never anything spectacular, but it held two bars that for all of their sticky floors and disgusting bathrooms, I have some great (albeit fuzzy) memories from. And since I always lived on the Champaign side of Campustown during my time as a student, that particular Espresso was where I began to develop my taste for coffee.
Now, it will be a block of apartments/retail/office space that I'm sure will be snazzy, but I will miss the quirky mismatched store fronts that have occupied the block for so long.
Photo by Julie McClure