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Nick Butzirus reviews
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  Nick's Picks

Hot Local Places :

As a Bloomington native, our downtown area and it's locally-owned and operated businesses are very precious to me.  However, there are a few other locally-owned businesses that I also have a great appreciation for, even though they are outside of Bloomington/Normal (but still within a very short drive).  I LOVE to go out to eat (as do most McLean County residents), and I make a strong effort to frequent only locally-owned restaurants (with the notable exception of Chili's).  Below, you will find a short list containing a few of my favorite places...  If you are unfamiliar with any of them, you should really give them a shot (trust me, you've been missing out)!

Bayern Stube Restaurant (German) 217.784.8304 Gibson City
Beningo's (Italian) PERMANENTLY CLOSED 309.829.1025 Bloomington
The Coffeehouse & Deli 309.452.6774 Normal
Capponi's (Italian) 815.452.2343 Toluca
Carl's Ice Cream 309.828.7732
Central Station / Station 220 / Epiphany Farms (Fine Dining) 309.828.2323 Bloomington
Conklin's Barn III Dinner Theater (Fine Dining & Entertainment) 309.965.2545 Goodfield
DESTIHL Restaurant & Brew Works (Fine Dining) 309.862.2337 Bloomington
Gill Street Sports Bar and Restaurant (Pub Food) 309.661-6387 Bloomington
The Grand Cafe (Chinese) PERMANENTLY CLOSED 309.828.0324 Bloomington
Kelly's Bakery & Cafe (Baked Goods, Soups & Deli-style Sandwiches) 309.820.1200 Bloomington
Lancaster's (Fine Dining) PERMANENTLY CLOSED 309.827.3333 Bloomington
Lucca Grill (Italian) 309.828.7521 Bloomington
Maggie Miley's (Irish) 309.807.4301 Normal
Mona's (Italian) 815.452.2303 Toluca
Mugsy's Pub (Pub Food) 309.827.2628 Bloomington
Rosie's Pub (Fine Dining) 309.827.7019 Bloomington
Schooners (Pub Food) 309.829.6841 Bloomington
Shannon's Five Star 309.664.0808 Bloomington
Shooter's Lounge / Ride the Nine Billiards (Pub Food) 309.662.1009 Bloomington
Swinger's Grille (Fine Dining) PERMANENTLY CLOSED 309.829.5777 Bloomington

Of course, there are others, but those are my top picks!

Now, if you really want to add that "special" touch, I'll direct you to Beck's Family Florist - 309.828.3632 (Bloomington)... You can't go wrong with a treat like that!

Please keep in mind that NONE of these businesses have paid ANYTHING to be listed here...  This is not an "ad" space for them to use, and they are not the "highest bidders"...  They are listed here because I truly believe in the owners, as well as the products and services that they are offering!  I have lived in this community since I was born and, after more than four decades, I know who to turn to when it really counts!  Please visit these folks...  I promise that you will not be disappointed!  :-)

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