Tasty Tidbits (August 2023): Celebrating Recent Openings, Memorable Milestones and Saying Farewell (for now)

Eat Local: Bloomington-Normal is thrilled to share the latest happenings in our vibrant food/beverage community. Supporting and promoting local eateries is at the heart of what we do, and we are excited to showcase the newest restaurant openings, celebrate anniversaries, and highlight changes in the Blo-No food scene. Join us as we dive into the culinary delights that Bloomington-Normal has to offer!

New Restaurant Openings

The Bloomington-Normal culinary scene has been buzzing with excitement as a new wave of restaurants has opened its doors, bringing fresh flavors and dining experiences to the community. While one of these exciting eateries have already started delighting patrons, the other is gearing up to open soon, promising a feast for the senses that awaits eager food enthusiasts.

A La Tavalo (opened 8/1) –  The Collab Foods announced the grand opening of A La Tavalo, an exciting new sister concept to their renowned establishment, Under Wraps. Embracing the essence of “Italian food done right,” A La Tavalo proudly presents a menu that showcases exquisite pasta dishes and tantalizing Italian Street Food, accentuated by the delectable flatbreads sourced from Great Harvest Bread. While offering a few dine-in tables, the core of their concept revolves around off-premise dining, providing patrons with the convenience of enjoying their scrumptious creations wherever they desire.

Froth & Fork (opening 8/5) – Enjoy delicious bites from breakfast to late-night snacks at this new bar/restaurant from the owner of Aroma Indian Restaurant. Their Grand Opening Celebration takes place on Saturday, August 5th from 6 am to 2 am. Get ready for an unforgettable experience filled with non-stop food, drinks, and entertainment! (Bands start at 11 am). Froth & Fork is located at 712 S. Eldorado Rd. in Bloomington (the former Legends location). Visit their website for more info.

Update: Due to inclement weather, the Grand Opening at Froth and Fork is postponed until Saturday, August 12 at 6 am! 

Celebrating Milestones

As we celebrate the anniversaries of beloved establishments, we honor their dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to serving delicious meals and creating unforgettable dining experiences. Join us in applauding these exceptional local gems that have enriched our community.

Annie’s Eats Carryout & Catering The renowned barbeque establishment celebrated a momentous occasion – five years in business on July 17th. Having started their journey by competing in BBQ competitions across the US and later establishing a thriving B-N Business, Annie’s Eats has been consistently recognized for their award-winning culinary delights that are an absolute “don’t miss.” Throughout their remarkable journey, Annie’s Eats garnered tremendous acclaim, and in 2022, they received the Pantagraph Readers’ Choice Award for both Best BBQ and Best Catering.

The Station Saloon (Downs) On August 1st The Station Saloon celebrated the first year at their second location. The Downs menu features popular items similar to their Bloomington menu along with additional mouth-watering specialties like their Thursday Fried Chicken  Dinners , BBQ and more. The Station Saloon actively participates in town festivals and various community events, fostering a sense of togetherness and appreciation among locals.

Dop’s Jerk House August 4th marks a momentous occasion as Dop’s Jerk House, the delightful Jamaican restaurant, celebrates its first anniversary. A true gem in the heart of the Bloomington-Normal community, Dop’s Jerk House has garnered widespread acclaim and has become a go-to destination for diners from all over Central Illinois. Embracing the vibrant flavors of the Caribbean, Dop’s Jerk House boasts a menu that tantalizes the taste buds with favorites like oxtail, jerk chicken, and an array of other delightful Caribbean delicacies. Over the past year, Dop’s Jerk House has solidified its place in the culinary landscape, captivating diners with their warm hospitality and delectable offerings. 

Saying Farewell (for now)

As life’s journey takes its twists and turns, these restaurants have made the difficult decision to close their doors or pause operations for now. While we’ll miss their delectable offerings, let’s take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions these establishments have left on our taste buds and hearts.

Butcher Block Burger Stop Three years ago, Bloomington-Normal native Austin Sorensen embarked on an exciting adventure with the award-winning food truck Butcher Block Burger Stop. A full-time student at the University of Belmont in Nashville,  Austin returned to B-N every summer to resume operations delighting the community with his mouthwatering offerings. Now, as Austin’s journey takes him closer to graduation in December and a permanent residence in Tennessee, Butcher Block Burger Stop is preparing to say farewell to its beloved patrons after August 5th, unless a new buyer can be found. On the Butcher Block Burger Stop Facebook page, Austin expresses his heartfelt sentiments, sharing, “I would love to take Butcher Block with me, but it belongs here in Bloomington-Normal. With that being said, I am looking for the person ready to take the leap of faith in being their own boss with a recognizable, local brand that is growing in success daily.” There are still a couple of opportunities left to savor the delectable creations of Butcher Block Burger Stop. Austin and the truck can be found for their last two appearances at the Savannah Green Block Party on Friday, August 4th, from 5 – 7 pm, and at White Oak Brewing Company on Saturday, August 5th, from 4:30 – 7 pm.

Eat Local: Bloomington-Normal encourages the community to support these local establishments, savor the culinary delights they offer, and continue to nurture the vibrant food culture that makes our community so special. Let’s celebrate and indulge in the diverse flavors of Bloomington-Normal!

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