Big Grove Tavern

Your Rating: None
Very Good
3 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

1 E Main St
Champaign, Illinois, 61820-3654
United States

(217) 239-3505 | map

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Added by champ103 on 04-21-2013

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Ratings: 3 |  Reviews: 2
Photo of hoosier222002
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of BMMillsy
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Dinner and drinks while in town for a visit. Food was off the hook (had the braised pork shoulder--wow!). Nice tap and bottle list, and had a Black Butte XXVI for the night at $24. I thought that was extremely reasonable for a bar. Anyway, this place is great, and definitely recommended.

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Photo of champ103
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.5

I added this because it is another spot in downtown Champaign that has a good rotating tap selection. Though I feel bad for giving it lower scores. It is a place I would love to love. Though the execution is not there...

There are plenty of interesting and very good restaurants downtown. Not to mention lots of very good beer bars within walking distance. This place tries to combine the two with a small but well constructed tap list and a small locally sourced menu.

Anyway, a large open room with an island bar. The light fixtures look like Christmas lights bought at Farm & Fleet. The sticks on the ceiling look like they were bought at Hobby Lobby. Kind of a contrived, upscale feel.

My family was seated right away, which was a good sign. Though besides the fancy popcorn we were ignored for a long time. I hate to be the person to say service was slow, cause it was a busy night. I can deal with slow, but no acknowledgement what so ever was not good. Incredibly slow kitchen times as well.

We finally put our drink and food orders in at the same time. We were not sure when we would get another chance. I liked their beer selection. 8 taps of good micros. Though they were out of four taps. Half of their selection was out. I like it when a place can go through kegs and rotate the selection, though no. They would rather just not have half the selection. Out of Great Lakes, out of Founders, out of Dark Horse, out of Victory. I ended up with a Sculpin, and my Dad a Goose Island 312. If you are going to have a small selection, you need to keep it stocked.

The menu was similarly small, and looked good. My Dad ended up with the last burger, which is a mix of beef, bison, and pork. Sounds great. He has tried to eat here before, twice actually. Both times out of the burger, so it was good that he finally got to try it. Again, it is good that they can go through the menu like that. Though it is tiring when they keep running out of items. I had the pork sausage, my Mom Mac & Cheese. It is a tiny menu for dinner, about 5 main courses. I love when a place can do that. Just not enough here to pull that off. Especially when they run out of stuff.

On top of that, not much here was that great. The burger was decent, Mac & Cheese cold, and the sausage was poorly executed with little flavor. They shout from every corner that everything is fresh and local. Fine, but make it good.

All in all, I love the concept. The beer selection would be excellent if it was stocked well. The food is meh, but they seem to be off to a great start in its first year despite that. Though I think this place just lacks execution, from my perspective.

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Big Grove Tavern in Champaign, IL
Place rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 3 ratings