Black Dog Smoke & Ale House is notorious for serving up some of the best BBQ in the midwest. With a variety of sandwiches, burgers and platters, the small restaurant satisfies local BBQ lovers in the Champaign-Urbana area. University of Illinois students and lifelong townies alike flock to this tiny, hole-in-the-wall joint when they need some classic BBQ pork and corn bread.
Tue dinner specials tonight in Urbana: TX dip sandwich, smoked turkey club/platter, and smoked artichoke dip w/chips. pic.twitter.com/ep3yPcPRLr
— Black Dog Smoke (@blackdogcu) October 6, 2015
Because of its high popularity and nationally praised menu, this southern-meets-midwestern joint has a constant crowd. It’s location in the former Tod & John’s tavern space at 201 N. Broadway Ave has attracted huge crowds since its opening. The only slight downside to the restaurant is the minimal seating and never ending crowd. If customers don’t arrive early or order to-go, the wait time can be a big turn off.
— Black Dog Smoke (@blackdogcu) October 2, 2015
Rumors about Black Dog opening a new location to solve this crowd control issue have been swirling around the community for months, and the glorious truth has finally come out. Black Dog has indeed expanded their unique dining experience to new territory. The restaurant decided to open a second location in Champaign in the former railroad freight station at 116 N Chestnut Street. Similar to the original location in Urbana, the new restaurant is an older building with a lot of character and offers essentially the same renowned menu.
There are a few new menu items, such as salmon, beef ribs and turkey, that are offered at the Champaign restaurant everyday, not just as specials. BBQ nachos (#dead) and green beens are available as side order options all day as well.
At its initial opening last spring, the array of BBQ was offered only for take-out. This fall, however, customers can enjoy the famous feast inside the new space. The Champaign location seats more than double the Urbana location and has its own parking lot. The kitchen is set up in a more efficient way and there are two smokers to cook the delicious BBQ. Frequent customers are incredibly satisfied with the new alternative and are excited to see what future opportunities it brings to the downtown Champaign area.
“I am not sure of what to expect in the future, but I really couldn’t ask for things to be going better than they are,” said owner, Michael Cochran.
With locations in both Champaign and Urbana, the ultimate question remains: Which doghouse will you choose?