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White Horse to KAMS: Your favorite no-longer-standing CU bars

We asked for your best experiences at old campus restaurants and bars. You delivered.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Not too long ago, we asked for some of your favorite memories of bygone businesses in Champaign-Urbana. And it became very clear that all generations of Illini students and fans enjoy reminiscing about old Campustown establishments. Whether we graduated in 1962 or 2022, we all at some point wandered down Green Street and had some unforgettable experiences.

And here’s one such example from a time long before much of our audience was born.

I can’t speak for the Midway, but the Illini Inn was (and the new version still is) located on 4th Street between Daniel and Chalmers.

Alongside Illini Inn, the original White Horse was easily one of the most popular haunts mentioned in the responses we received.

Jason’s comment is very true by the way. I only had one year of experiences with the original White Horse before it closed, and the rugby club events there were especially wild. The now-shuttered second iteration of the White Horse Inn on John Street was just never the same.

Of course, there were no shortage of crazy KAMS and C.O. Daniels stories shared with us as well.

While Green Street and the area around it is undoubtedly the heart of Campustown, it’s also worth mentioning a few of the more notable off-campus bars. We can start in downtown Urbana with a suggestion from Illini men’s golf head coach Mike Small.

You may have never been to Jolly Roger, but at some point you’ve probably parked at Black Dog BBQ’s original Urbana location and noticed a building with a distinctive pirate ship exterior on the other side of the lot. Until the building was torn down in 2015, that was the old Jolly Roger.

C-Street was always a fun time. Whether it was Industrial Night, Cinco De Mayo, or just any ordinary evening, that place was legendary. Losing the building in a fire in 2021 was such an unfortunate end to one of the most iconic bars in town.

While our readers shared plenty of great memories at old Campustown businesses, those bygone places clearly mean much more to people who met their certain someone special at them.

Whether you met the love of your life at a Campustown bar, or simply made memories that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your days, all of us at TCR want to thank you for taking the time to share your stories with us. Here’s to making plenty more memories in the years to come.