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The Hub, a new gastropub opens near campus

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The Hub, a new gastropub opens near campus

A burger at the new gastropub, The Hub near campus.

A burger at the new gastropub, The Hub near campus.

A burger at the new gastropub, The Hub near campus.

A burger at the new gastropub, The Hub near campus.

By Jessica Bursztynsky, Contributing Writer

The Hub, located at 601 S. 1st St, opened its doors to the public on September 22, aiming to set new standards for the Champaign-Urbana restaurant culture.

Located in a newly renovated building, the executives at The Hub are hoping to attract a wide range of patrons. Executive Manager Ivan Samayoa believes the name, “The Hub,” says it all.

“The Hub being the central point location of an interest point, so the name kind of says what we are,” Samayoa said. “We are kind of a place for everyone to gather; so college students, locals, professors, undergrads, graduate students.”

The Hub serves gastropub style food, meaning classic dishes such as burgers, mac and cheese, salads, sandwiches and shareable dishes, but with an individual taste and presentation.

“We put our own little spin on everything, that’s where the gastro comes from,” he said. “It’s taking the original product and being able to put our own interpretation on it.”

The current menu is a condensed version of the fuller menu, which will slowly be added on after a presence in the community is established. Partnering with Executive Chef Terrah King, Samayoa wants to provide the public with “the right product,” by pricing the best food at the lowest possible price.

““I think the drinks are pretty cheaply priced for a college student, the music is pretty good in there and the food is cheaply priced,” Nicole Ramos, an AHS senior, said after having dinner at The Hub.

In an attempt to appeal to students, there are several large television screens around the building for sports games and a DJ for Saturday nights and larger events, such as Halloween and Unofficial.

Ramos and Enrriqueta Solis, a senior in Business, both agreed that the building had potential to fit in the CU bar atmosphere, but that it will probably be focused for weekend crowds.

“It was actually that (bar) type of environment, but as for during the week, I don’t know,” Ramos says.

There are also daily specials, ranging from Wednesday’s $5 burgers to Friday’s $5 taco meals, and happy hour drink deals from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We want people to come in, we want people to see what we’re about,” Samayoa said, referring to the late-start happy hour. “We’re on campus, we have budgets. We wanted to give (students) something a little nicer, that’s still cozy, not pretentious, to have a place to hangout, eat, drink.”

The Hub will be adding a whiskey bar and lounge to the second floor, which is also used as a space for overflow dining and private events. Samayoa also said adding a brunch menu is “definitely going to happen,” but he cannot confirm a date yet.

The Hub is open on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 11:30 to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Carry out orders can be placed by calling the restaurant at 217-239-7080.

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