CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Tony Yeazel with Blind Pig on Neil would normally describe the night before Thanksgiving as a “big moneymaker” for all the businesses downtown.
But instead, Thanksgiving Eve is as quiet as the night before Christmas.
From pick-up to patio dining, Champaign County’s bars are doing what they can to make it through the holiday season without indoor dining. This Thanksgiving week, bar managers say they’re grateful for the customers who continue to stop by.
“It’s surreal,” Yeazel said. “I’m used to this place being packed on Blackout Wednesday.”
It’s a night that would normally keep bartenders a bit too busy to stop and talk to a reporter. Instead, Yeazel welcomes the company.
“It gets pretty lonely by yourself,” he admits.
Yeazel is ready for a return to normalcy, and hopes the country is approaching the light at the end of the tuunnel.
“We just want to get back on track and get this over with,” he said.
Blind Pig Brewery announced it would have to scale back operations as Illinois entered Tier 3 restrictions, with a return to curbside and delivery service. The beer garden remains open as well.
Across from the beer garden, Cowboy Monkey has set up igloos with heaters outside. Staff members spray and sanitize the igloos between each use. No reservations are necessary.