Mike N Molly’s will forever hold a place in my heart for a variety of reasons: the type of bar it was, the constant stream of live music it hosted, the fact that you could sneak into last call right before 2 a.m. and get to hang around a bit after the doors were technically locked, or the staff and patrons that made the place feel a particular way.
One of the most recognizable gems of the entire place was the magnificent beer garden. Aside from the countless number of shows I’ve seen out there summer after summer, it was, after all, a place to hang out and drink and socialize with one another. And just when we didn’t think it could get any better, Langston Allston painted a magnificent mural of Chef Ra (read about his work here while you’re at it) on the south wall, facing opposite of the north wall which was always covered in beautiful vines most of the year. The beer garden at MNMs just felt like a cozy pocket in Downtown Champaign that acted as a familiar space for just about anyone patronizing the bar.
Even though the bar closed a few years back, the space remains in a particular way, which is great, but it certainly has been crafted into something different from what it once was. Times change, but the memories of the space remain for those who spent time there. (Patrick Singer)
Photo courtesy of Mike Murphy