This week’s stop in our video series on local businesses with stories to tell: Kam’s in Champaign, a legendary Campustown pub about to re-open.
It still says Kam’s above the door, but the brand new building on First and Green has a different feel than the previous location on Daniel Street.
When customers enter, they’ll have three choices.
— Turn right and enter Kam’s, complete with its large bar in the middle with TV’s all around. A massive “Block I” hangs on the ceiling lined with orange fluorescent lighting that surrounds blue-tinted photos of customers from years past who provided their pictures over social media. The spacious room has a small platform in the corner, similar to the old bar, and several pieces from the old bar hang on the walls, including orange and blue trim similar to the old building.
— Head left, and customers will find themselves in a smaller, quainter bar called “Stan’s.” Behind the bar is a wall paneled with wood “Block I” carvings that fit together like Tetris pieces. The name comes from, “Stan’s Gridiron,” the name of the business housed in Kam’s previous building (at the time, Kam’s was in the building next door, which became C.O. Daniels).
— Straight up the stairs is a bar called “Second Chance,” an ode to campus bars that have closed, complete with plaques that commemorate the hangouts. Another floating ceiling hangs above the bar, this one lined with names of former campus bars and filled with more customer photos.
The work is nearly done for a process that began taking shape in the fall, when the former building was demolished. Kam’s could open nearly any time in the ensuing weeks, manager Jason Reda said.