Thursday, November 30, 2023

Thrift Shop

 The North Illinois Thrift Shop is having a 75% off sale this week, with pandas and chipmunks on the corner of Illinois and Main to advertise it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Big Chill Sign

 The old Dairy Queen sign in downtown Carbondale has been replaced with a brand spankin' new Big Chill neon sign. The plan is to light it up for the first time this Saturday, before the Lights Fantastic parade starts.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Bed Bath and Beyond

 According to this, empty Bed Bath and Beyond stores are hot commodities on the rental market with landlords charging up to 50% more for the space. there has not been a lot of large retail space built since 2008 so these spaces are a hot commodity. Not sure how quickly it willl rent in Carbondale, given that the Macy's location has sat empty for a couple of years.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Christmas Lights

The city has very efficiently moved from Halloween to Christmas. Driving home the night before Thanksgiving, I noticed the Halloween street banners had been replaced with Lights Fantastic ones and all of the downtown Christmas lighting had been installed.
After past Lights Fantastic parades , some of the floats have been left for viewing along New Era Road and on the grounds of the Park District's Hickory Lodge. It is likely too late to do so this year but maybe next year the floats could be left in the Washington Street Event space. Power has been installed there, in order to run the stage shows so it could be run to the floats and, after the Lights Fantastic parade, that space, both the grassy area and lot, sit pretty empty so why not put them to some use duirng the holiday season?

Friday, November 24, 2023

Black Friday Traffic

 Was out driving around this morning and did not see significant amounts of Black Friday traffic. Of course, I did not go into any stores nor did I venture to the east side of town, where most of the chains are located, which spend the most money trying to get people into stores for Black Friday. 

Oh and this weekend is not the busiest sales day of the year. That honor now goes to the saturday before Christmas, when everyone is doing their last minute shopping.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Wendy's Really Closed

 The windows at the Wendy's on East Walnut are papered over and all of the exterior signage is gone. In addition a UHaul truck was packed in front of the entrance so imagine items are getting removed from the building.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Bucky Murals

 By my count there are at least 4 murals celebrating or referencing Buckminister Fuller. There is the geodesic dome mural on the side of my building at 207 West Main Street and one on the rear of the buidling 5 doors further to the west. You have to drive the alley that runs paralled on the south side of West Main to see it.

There is one on the rear of the 301 Artspace building on West Walnut and anotehr one ont he back of a housing unit on South Washington that is visible from the railroad tracks or parking lot abuting them. 

That's a lot of Fuller memoraliazation apearing within the past couple of years.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Asian Massage

 It looks as if asian massage spas are the new payday loan or vape shops in town. I counted 5 of them in town this evening, assuming there is one still in University Mall. One on the west side, one out by Reed Station Road, one on East Main just past the Square and a relatively new one in Eastgate Shopping Center.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Wendy's Closed

 Carbondale Wendy's has closed. According to the company website, the closure is temporary but when you do a search on the main website with the 62901 zip code, the closest Wendys to show up is in Herrin, which does not bode well for the future of the Carbondale location

Lights Fantastic

 The annual Lights Fantastic parade takes place Dec 2 with street closure starting at 5 p.m. and probably re-opening about 8 p.m. Illinois, Main and Walnut are all expected to close with detours around the downtown area.

The annual cookie walk through downtown will take place that afternoon and I would expect the annual chili supper in the civic center as well.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Town Square Parking Lot

 In order to control some of the problems in the Town Square parking lot the city has been occasionally blocking entrances and exits to the lot late at night. Not sure how effective it has been and the crowd that gathers there apparently has moved across the street onto the sidewalk in front of ABC Liquors.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


 Stix is trying to reopen yet again. According to this, the current holder of the liquor license no longer has any connection with the business. The new applicant, Greg Knoob, has either owned or been associated with several bars in Carbondale over th eyears, including previous incarnations of Stix as well as Levels. Based on past experience, city staff recommended denial of the license application.

Stix' status remains up in the air as the Liquor Control Commission canceled its meeting last night, due to the applicant not being able to attend.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Practice Pad

 The Practice Pad has moved from its location on the west side of the Square next to Fringe to the empty Carbondale Tourism location on the south side of the Square. Several years ago, the Practice Pad moved from what is now the Cellar beer garden annex to the west side location so almost a homecoming.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Town Square

Police are still getting way too many calls to the north side of the town square parking area. The number of people drinking and partying there is such that the police get called an average of once a night and have scheduled extral patrols for the area. 

Thursday, November 9, 2023

BigLots Closing

 Heard that the Carbondale BigLots is closing in the near future. Apparently the landlord opted not to renew the lease, hoping to land a tenant that would be willing to absorb a sizable rent increase, which given the rental market in Carbondale, was probably not the wisest move. BigLots hopes to relocate to the empty Bed Bath and Beyond location or, barring that, a spot in Marion.

Not sure why local landlords still think that busineses are beating the bushes to relocate to Carbondale. That retail space put in behind the IHOP still sits empty 5 years later.

Northwest Historical District

 Appears the Preservation Commission is looking into the creation of a Northwest Historic District for Carbondale. I assume that would be the near Northwest encompassing houses in the area of Memorial Hospital, some of which date back to the early 1900s.

Monday, November 6, 2023


 Fire near the corner of Sycamore and Oakland. Would be willing to bet it is the 2 story apartment just west of the intersection on the south side. It had sustained some fire damage a couple of weeks ago and was just waiting for someone to come finish the job.

Fire department had it under control after a couple of hours.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Taste Bud's Snacks

 Taste Bud's Snacks quietly opened last September at 1400 West Main. Have not stopped in but it appears to deal in exitic candy, at least exotic for this area, such as Japanese Kit Kats and Lay's chips, as well as Ramune soda and retro style candies such as Chick o' Sticks.

I have seen other stores like this, such as Grandpa Joe's ,do pretty well so glad to see a similar operation open in Carbondale

Saturday, November 4, 2023

SauSea's Buffet

 Replacing the now shuttered Golden Corral, SauSea's Seafood on S. Illinois has added a buffet to their offerings. Right now, ony things like macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, spaghetti and meatloaf on it, no seafood, which is rather surprising for a place that focuses on seafood. Restaurant says seafood will come later.

Update:  according to the restaurant's Facebook page, the buffet set up will only happen occasionally and will be announced in advance.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Rage Room

 I hear a rage room will open in downtown Carbondale sometime in the near future, likely in one of the empty storefronts near Trax. Rage rooms, for those not familiar, are busises which allow people to work off anger and frustration by breaking things such as plates, cups, electronics equiptment, etc. You break it but you don't have to buy it and the owner cleans up after you.