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College Teams Wed Jul 28 2010

Big Ten Bars: Illinois


It's time to get ready for football season. But, rather than rattle off a long list of predictions based on third-string defensive linemen and what the offensive coordinator has been eating for lunch this summer, we decided to provide fans with some information you can actually use.

For the next five weeks we will be highlighting some of the best places in Chicago to watch your favorite Big Ten team do battle if you can't make it to the stadium. We start with the Fightin' Illini and Durkin's Tavern.

Durkin's, located at 810 W. Diversey, is just an option-pitch away from the Brown and Purples lines. Formerly a haven for Purdue fans, the bar shifted its allegiance to Illinois simply because that's what the customers wanted. General manager Joe Magoonaugh said he isn't sure why Illini fans started flocking to the bar, but the majority of the bar's staff members are now U of I alums as well.

Joe Magoonaugh.jpg

Durkin's is equipped with enough flat screens to watch every Big Ten game, but priority goes to Illinois as long as they are playing. Magoonaugh said the bar generally fills to capacity to take advantage of the all-you-can-drink deal for $20 during the game. Bartenders also give away t-shirts and have fully-loaded confetti cannons for the rare occasion when the Illini scratch out a victory.

Some other hot spots for Illinois fans to celebrate, or down their sorrows, are the School Yard, 3258 N. Southport, and Rebel Bar & Grill, 3462 N. Clark. If we missed any of your favorite U of I watering holes, let us know.

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Bobby / August 14, 2010 3:36 PM

Durkin's might be the worst Illini bar ever.

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