Kennedy's restaurant closes

Kennedy's restaurant closes

Updated 1:40 p.m. Monday

URBANA — Kennedy's Restaurant at Stone Creek Golf Course served its last meal on Sunday, owner Luke Kennedy said Monday.

Kennedy said he's not in a position to redeem unused gift certificates at this point, but hopes to in a few weeks. Customers should monitor the restaurant's website for news on that, he said. 

"We are sad to see the closing of Kennedy's," said Mike Martin of The Atkins Group, which developed Stone Creek subdivision. "However, at the same time we are very excited to move forward and explore new possibilities for the wonderful space at the restaurant and banquet facility."

Kennedy's has been at Stone Creek since May 2000. Before that, it was located at Sunnycrest Mall in Urbana.

Kennedy's was formerly known as The Lamplighter and Rick's, An American Cafe prior to Luke Kennedy buying the business.


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odragul wrote on January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

That place had the ambience of a cafeteria and was a huge step down from the gorgeous mafia-like interior at the old Sunnycrest location. At least that's what it was like 9 years ago when I last went there and decided I wasn't coming back. 

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

When a development venue like stone creek has never succeeded and remains for many years after to be essentially empty it does not qualify for empathy; it qualifies for an admittance to poor judgement and misuse of taxpayer's monies and farmland.  Clear View?

urbana1234 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I am surprised it lasted this long. I went there two years ago over lunch hour on a Saturday and we had the place to ourselves. Very simple menu and food quite bland.

Crummy1 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I wonder if Mr. Mike Martin can answer why I was sold (2) Gift Certificates Friday night? And I just called kennedy's and they are already closed and have no recourse yet. Very nice Mr. Martin certainly look forward to hearing from you soon.

Heather J. wrote on January 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Crummy, I hope you paid by credit card! If you did, you can dispute the charge. That's really disappointing and I hope you get your money back. 

Crummy1 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Thanks. I had not been there before but I got one for a retirement gift and one for my daughter's birthday. When I called Luke he told me it happened all of a sudden and he had no recourse yet but to keep checking the newspaper and the website. My friend that the retirement certificate was for called and got a woman that answered the phone at Kennedy's. She was told to hang on to the certificate maybe the next restaurant would honor it. I did pay by the credit card and already have called them. What gets me is this was on 5:30 friday night. They closed yesterday and so that transaction went thru on the one day (Saturday) before they were closing (that they didn't know about)?

djames354 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Mr Martin should not have to answer why you were sold gift certificates.  He works for the Atkins group whech developed stone creek.  The person you should be asking is Luke Kennedy the owner of the resteraunt.

787 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

More of that good 'ol "Hope and Change"...

major02151 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Seriously ?!!! Geez

nail wrote on January 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

How sad and small-minded that some of you have the audacity to be selfishly indignant and angry. What about all the people who are suddenly without jobs? Or the owners who poured their hearts into this business? It's too bad that people are so profoundly self-absorbed.

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on January 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

It's too bad that people are brain-washed into thinking that a golf course restaurant in a farming community is a safe form of employment.

areader wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

FYI--Are you aware our economy is so bad that people must find employment ANYWHERE THEY CAN to support themselves and/or other family members?  I feel sorry for the employees who were let go because the restaurant didn't make it.  I'd add that NO type of employment is "safe" at the present time here in the US--sad, but true.

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on January 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

there are lots of safe jobs in the world; look art our own Amish community; federal reserve Mcdonald's, hospitals, writing this criticism, lawyers, etc.

mankind wrote on January 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Hell hath no fury like a comment section on a story about a restaurant closing.

serf wrote on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm


somebody wrote on January 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

lol, yes, this is somehow Obama's fault

787 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Weren't we told by this administration that the recession ended in June of 2009?

Apparently, the owners of Jim Goulds and Kennedy's missed that story in the news.



serf wrote on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

It did end.  That doesn't mean that everything's magically rosy again.  It takes a long time to dig out of a big hole.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on January 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm
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Or maybe the restaurants had poor management, or mediocre food, or poor marketing, or a poor business model...I can go on.  Maybe food prices, insurance, rent, or other expenses were too overwhelming.  Judging by the article and some of the comments on here, apparently Kennedy's landord simply decided that they wanted to move in a different direction, for whatever reason.  What a hilariously absurd connection to try to blame the president for these restaurant closures.

samlowry5611 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Yeah, loved that too. It's a liberal conspiracy!  What a tool. 

sfball2000 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Yeah why is it that no one cares about the 70+ of us who just lost our jobs? That restaurant had provided work for hundreds of people during the 10+ years they were open. And not to mention all of the hard work that the owners put into it. And for your info they just found out a few days ago for a fact. you wouldnt purposely be ripped off and sold bogus certificates if they had known.

Fromthearea wrote on January 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I heard it was all Ryan's fault. 

wantsthetruth wrote on January 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

This is the third high priced restaurant to go in the last 6 months.  I thought the economy was better?

areader wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I'm relatively new to the area--what are the other two restaurants?  Just curious.  

serf wrote on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I think they are talking about Jim Gould's and Buttita's (don't know if I spelled that correctly).

parkmymeterelsewhere wrote on January 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

several commets from this blog have already been removed; the news gazette must have had a permenent free table at Kennedy's.

Bob620 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

No surprise to me.I ate there once two years ago. Good  thing it was a company paid buffet as I would have been pretty upset to have paid for food that was unedible.Obviously I never went back.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

If you feel ripped off, report it to the Sheriff's Office.

Restaurateur83 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm


As a local restaurateur, it is always hard to see a fellow local business (especially a restaurant) close. It seems that our community is very quick to say all the elements that were lacking, even if they were not. I would like to preface the following by admitting that I do not know why Kennedy's closed & it could be for a million different reasons, but I can tell you why 90% of the restaurants in this area (and state) have closed since 2008.

Last year we saw over a dozen locally owned restaurants close & this year we will see even more. Many of these restaurants, for lack of a better phrase, were doing things right. Good food, reasonable prices, proper service & well marketed. The truth is that restaurants have never had to deal with such monumental food prices, labor costs, licensing fees, required insurances by the state, & of course taxes.

With these new costs continuing to rise, the average restaurant will have to gross over 3/4 of a million dollars just to begin to turn a profit. I can only hope that the local & state legislatures stop lumping up small, family owned businesses, with multi-million dollar big box stores. They "might" be able to keep up with these costs, but entrepreneurs cannot.

mmemartinez wrote on January 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Or, just maybe, both Jim Gould's and Kennedy's closed because they were overpriced and under-delicious?? I can name several way better places to spend my money. I could also think of a few other restaurants that should have the axe coming too, especially now that there are a lot of better choices around C-U these days.

sfball2000 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Kennedy's had meals that were priced as little as 12 dollars.  And the early bird menu had $9.50 entrees. The lunch menu was very reasonable. Not any more expensive than the Olive Garden! Get your facts straight before you spout off ignorance.

opinions1973 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Something can be cheap and still be overprised. It sounds like from the quality of the food that several commenters recieved at this established would make a twelve dollar meal overpriced... 


ask123 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Good lord, don't go by the comments on this thread.

Check out actual reviews, most of which are quite favorable. 44 reviews, with a total rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

wantsthetruth wrote on January 24, 2012 at 5:01 am

It's cheaper and healthier to eat at home.  Our family very rarely goes out to eat anymore.  Rude people (staff and other patrons), high prices and dirty restaurants are enough to keep us home.   

mmemartinez wrote on January 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I also happen to think Olive Garden is overpriced, especially because I can make most of that stuff at home. If I'm going to pay a lot, it has to be WORTH it. Something I can't easily put together at home that is also really, really tasty. Just because it's under $10 doesn't mean it's worth that. In this instance I am specifically thinking of Black Dog, which is about $7 for a large amount of delicious food that has been smoked for a long period of time (can't do that at home!). I can get two meals out of it if I don't come too hungry.

ask123 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm

1.) Read the article. Gift certificates are currently not able to be redeemed, but Luke Kennedy said that he was working on it, hopefully coming up with a solution in a few weeks. He will work extremely hard to deliver on that promise. Believe me, it's pretty darn hard to immediately honor hundreds of gift certificates when you get the rug ripped out from under you—which is what happened here (yes after Friday's gift certificates were sold). Atkins Group suddenly called the lease and Kennedy's had no time to respond.  Seriously—give them time to regroup and figure this out. 

2.) Restaurants all over Champaign have been tragically impacted by the U of I's drastic budget cuts (which all but eliminated restaurant entertainment at anyplace other than UIUC venues). Starting in 2009, CU restaurants' #1 client was suddenly gone, and it's difficult to rebound from such a loss. Kennedy's was trying, but the Atkins Group obviously wants to go another way right now.

3.) Please put this into perspective, folks. 35+ years of a wonderful restaurant has come to an end, and we're worried about the timliness of gift certificates. Give them a break and wait just a little while before you lay in with vicious anonymous attacks.

sfball2000 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Very well said.  I had the privilege of working for Luke Kennedy and at that restaurant for many years.  The article says he is working on coming up with a solution for the gift certificates. I was there supervising Friday night and I KNOW they did not get the news until late that evening. 

ddf1972 wrote on January 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Whiel I have no wishes to see a restaurant fail, the Stone Creek version of Kennedy's was a feeble reincarnation of the previous one.  The SC one had a menu that rarely changed, diffident service, and an inconvenient location.  The dining scene in the area has improved a great deal since 10-15 years ago, and Kennedy's was left behind.  I'd like to see a lot more culinary innovation at Timpone's too, but they seem to be able to count on Krannert and UI business.

Champaignite wrote on January 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I did not eat at Kennedy's often (I don't think to go to SE Urbana often) but always thought it was good when I did.  I truly am sad to see them go, if, for no other reason, that is one less local restaurant in a sea of overpriced and under-quality chain restaurants.  I cannot fathom why people would go to Olive Garden, for example, rather than Manzella's Italian Patio.  I hope that the community continues to support local restaurants like Black Dog, Courier Cafe, and Manzella's to name a few.  I wish Mr. Kennedy and his employees all the best in moving on to the next phase.

toomanydummies wrote on January 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

Well,look at the bright side,this will probably keep Houlihan's open for a few more months.And I do feel sorry for Stacy's friends that lost their jobs,but on the other hand it is BS they cannot come up with enough money to pay the few people that purchased gift cards.That's just not right! No "waiting game",they should be paid NOW if Kennedy wants to succeed at another business.Word of mouth travels FAST and they were loyal customers.Good 'ol Hope and Change "still" working People,it's going to keep happening until we vote and "hope for a change" in 2012.WAKE UP! 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on January 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm
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Hate to break it to you, but it's going to continue whether the president gets re-elected or not.  The president has very little power over the economy...WAKE UP.


As for the gift cards, I assume you haven't read the other comments on this article because they explain that.  Apparently the restaurant was suddenly closed down by the landlord at the end of the day on Friday and the restaurant owners had no idea it was coming.  It doesn't sound like they were trying to dupe people into buying gift cards even though they knew they would be closing or anything like that.  Whether those gift cards get reimbursed today or in a month really doesn't matter.  Forget about your petty gift card concerns and feel bad for the restaurant owner/owners and employees who just lost their jobs.