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Taps: 27 / Bottles: 70
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
119 N Walnut St
phone: (217) 398-7729
Monday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Tuesday - Friday: 4:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday & Sunday: 10:30am - 2:00am
(Place added by: siodhachain on 12-28-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 16 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a unique bar in downtown Champaign. I am not really fond of the strange lighting, loud music, and a hiippster kind of feel that is prevalent here. Though the service and selection are hard to beat, and they have a nice area to sit outside. Right across the street from the Blind Pig Co. The first thing as I walked in the door, I grabbed a beer menu. The menu had a brief description of each beer on tap. Very informative. As I was looking over the tap selection, the bartender came right over and told me what was available and what had changed. Very knowledgeable and helpful. The bartenders knew the styles, correct temps, and correct glassware. I had a Dark Horse Percolator on tap. I could not understand what brewery it was from because of the nose of a Friday night, but the bartender wrote it down form me on a peace of paper. Another highlight for me was Goose Island Matilda (though it was one of the beers they were temporarily out of) and Bourbon County Stout. There were plenty of other micros and top notch imports as well. I did not have any food, but overall a place I would recommend for a slightly different look at what a beer bar can be.
09-27-2008 05:48:47 |
More by champ103
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
Radio Maria is a peculiar place for a few reasons that I'll discuss. Yet on the whole, a very good place to grab very good beer. There are many windows looking out onto Walnut St. and the adjacent alley, very nice during the day and in the summertime, even when I went last--on a fairly snowy night. It's clean and the space provided is fairly good. The crowd is an interesting mix of University of Illinois students (not the loud drunken types) and other good locals, but also snobby yuppies who can be easily ignored.
The beer quality and selections are really excellent, and draft prices, while somewhat expensive, are no higher than many other places around town. There are 25 taps, and PBR is the only macro. The rest are gems--Old Rasputin, Robert the Bruce, Anchor DIPA, Ayinger Brau Weisse, Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA, Boulevard Nutcracker Ale, Unibroue Maudite, and more. The bottled beer selection is also first-rate--La Fin du Monde, Trappistes Rochefort 8, Achel Dubbel, St. Bernardus 8 and 12, Koningshoeven, Allagash, Thomas Hardy, Samuel Smith's, Celebrator, Ayinger, and more.
The food is decent but expensive, and they veer toward the eccentric, with mixed results. It's also expensive, and not a place to grab a burger. I had a tuna steak positively coated with peppercorns that I actually had to remove with my knife and, for $17, the entree wasn't worth it. Yet the beer is tremendous, and that alone makes it worth stopping in.
02-09-2008 22:36:14 |
More by Gehrig
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Modern looking bar, nice open space, very large bar. My wife and I stopped in at lunch time for some beer. At least 20 beers on tap, all but one were micros (PBR the exception). We had old rasputin in correct glassware and tried a couple other beers I can't remember. Great selection and the cool thing was that you could get 4oz tasters for $1 to $2. Most beers on tap ranged from $4 to $5, they also had about 25 bottled beers to choose from, including Founders Breakfast Stout. Wish we could have stayed there all day.
10-25-2007 14:48:32 |
More by MasonBeerMan
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Since opening their tapas bar, Radio Maria has gone to the top of my list. The tapas food is good and affordable, and the waiters and serving staff know their stuff. Radio Maria has a lot on tap and they can help you pick out what you really want.
With almost thirty beers on tap, the wait staff does an impressive job of being able to detail each and every one of them. As an added bonus, the man in charge of their ordering runs an email list to keep you updated when the menu changes - and when a tasting group is scheduled to meet.
Prices are lower than other bars in the neighborhood and if you stay away from the dinner menu, food prices are good too. The food is eccentric and there are many vegetarian options.
The atmosphere is modern, but pleasant. Good place for a conversation. Another plus: Radio Maria is smoke-free.
07-10-2007 00:58:59 |
More by Blupoet03
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
After spending many, many, (and I do mean...many) hours sitting at Radio Maria's bar, I finally feel fit to submit my review.
The first thing to appreciate upon entering is all the hard work that went into building this bar. Almost everything was built from scratch. My favorite accent is the lights hanging above the bar. Look closely, they're old vacuum tubes. You won't find this kind of creativity in the other bars around town. I couldn't help but notice the word 'sterile' used in other reviews. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I think what others find to be sterile will be short lived. Yes, the bar is new and the tables are shiny, after all they were hand-painted. So the lived-in feeling some might be looking for are beginning to appear. Several works of art were recently added to the walls, giving the space a more cozy feel.
Enough about the interior, let's have a beer from one of the 27 taps!! The selection is awesome and the variety of styles is impressive...quite the comprehensive lineup. The bar manager has also set a new precedent for beer bars in town. While most of the beer comes from microbreweries, you can also order beer from one of Illinois' finest small brewpubs, Flossmoor Station. Flossmoor Station only distributes their beer only to a small handful of bars in Chicago... and now Champaign is on their list! Radio is the first bar in Champaign to recognize a brewer of this size, and I promise you this won't be the last of their firsts! Just to give you an idea of the quality on tap, some of the recent beers I've enjoyed include Founders Breakfast Stout, St. Bernardus Abt 12, Michigan Brewing Co. Hophead Switch, and of course Flossmoor Station brews.
The food menu at Radio offers a variety of different tapas. Some of the plates are more traditional than others, but then again I don't think the chef is going for a completely traditional approach. However, I do think there are some spanish tapas staple items that could be added to improve the menu. My opinion of the tapas might be a little biased since authentic tapas are some of my favorite dishes, so it's important to say that I have liked every item I've ordered.
Over all, this bar is a great addition to downtown Champaign. Word keeps spreading and things are only improving. It's definitely worth the trip, and in case you visited closer to their opening and weren't satisfied, I'd say it's worth a second trip.
03-11-2007 22:58:38 |
More by unknownoffender
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This one is a little complex. You walk in to a laminate and brushed metal bar room with stalls along one wall. A little brighter than necessary. Luckily, we had reservations in the original area that is darker, brick with eclectic furnishings and more relaxed in atmosphere. 27 taps including some I hadn't seen in other than 22 oz bottles. (i.e. Avery's Jubilation)
Beer was resonably priced, hence the $$, but the food would be more of a $$$. The shrimp, crawfish and chorizo pasta I got was excellent, however.
I would rather only go here to eat and have a few drinks in the older section than sit in the more sterile bar area to drink. The Blind Pig across the street would be better suited for that.
01-08-2007 16:47:07 |
More by kdog630
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Radio Maria in Champaign, IL
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