As you are probably aware — especially if you've been there for days looking for a good parking place — new-chain-restaurant-crazy Bloomington-Normal is at it again and that new Jason's Deli is a hit.
So many people have been dining there in its first three weeks, parking has occasionally bled over into its neighbor's lot — the Veterans at Vernon Steak 'n Shake, already hugely popular in its own right.
Employees at Jason's Deli report having to occasionally slow down the ordering line to ensure tables for customers as they get their food. A popular feature — free self-serve ice cream — has been so popular, the spigots have struggled to keep up.
One report indicates the corporate office in Beaumont, Texas, did not expect its new B-N location, in its first week, to instantly out-do locations in places like Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando and Denver, and to post the highest grossing sales among all 240 Jason's Delis restaurants in 28 states.
As one customer, Michael Stanton of Bloomington, was chuckling last week, his stomach fully replenished: "Maybe BloomEATon-Normal would be a better name for the community ..."
Mountains, finally no more: Remember January when the snows were so huge and the plowed mounds rimming parking lots around Bloomington's State Farm headquarters getting so massive, we suddenly had mountains on the prairie?
Here then is "breaking" — or maybe "melting" — news: The last “mountain” at the insurance behemoth's Corporate South headquarters has finally melted – it was officially declared gone on May 13 – leaving just a large mound of grit, dirt and random rocks as the final salute to Winter '14.
Thus, congratulations to John Quiram of Hudson. Of the more than 1,000 readers to make a guess of the "mountain's" melting date in a “contest” launched in this space back in early February, John nailed it with his guess of May 13.
Others who were very close: Ciarra Kohn of Bloomington, and Steve Wynn of Wapella, who guessed May 12; Michelle Ringler, Danvers, and Rhonda Hill, Bloomington, who guessed May 14; and Meghan Quinn and Tom Hankins, both of Normal, Jennifer Gembicki, Farmer City, and Rickie Weinheimer, Ellsworth, who guessed May 15. (A time-lapse photo montage of the mountain, from its most massive on Feb. 5 to its final meltdown on May 13, appears on today's Flick blog.)
As “winner,” John Quiram gets an exclusive, ever-popular “Got Flick?” drinking glass, to be filled with — what else? — a free Blizzard.
This one's from Dairy Queen, though.
Today's thought to think by (as overheard at Coffee Hound one day last week): “You always know when you are in Bloomington — the wind speed and gas prices always seem just a bit higher.”
Not so groovy?: As road resurfacing season begins again, after a hard, rough winter, patience remains a virtue and also a quality some apparently may be running short on.
As witnessed by the sign at Eagle Crest Road and Interlocken Drive in east Bloomington (thanks to Jason Wood for snapping a picture), after the road was stripped in early May and not immediately re-surfaced, one growingly impatient traveler opted to also make an editorial judgment on the orange public service sign by hand-scrawling the note: "So pave the damn road already!"
The road, by the way, got resurfaced last week.
Michael Collins, Now #SIStrong, too: If you opened a Sports Illustrated last week, you might have also seen how a singularly horrific, midnight car accident at Main and Empire back on March 29 has amazingly evolved into an upbeat, planet-wide phenomenon.
There in the May 19 edition, on page 16, is a half-page story with photos, on Michael Collins, the 22-year-old ISU senior and Normal West grad who was killed while riding in a car struck by an alleged drunk driver, and how a “pay-it-forward” campaign orchestrated by a friend, Hailey Lanier, has led to hundreds of acts of kindness covering 46 states and 15 countries. The actual SI page appears on today's Flick Blog.)
As Jeff Collins, Michael's uncle, put it on Facebook: "Sports Illustrated? We know that smile is as big as ever in heaven ... MCStrong forever."
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