Solar Eclipse Activities

On Saturday, August 19, Springfield Makerspace will be creating safety viewers and other eclipse-themed craft projects from 1-5 p.m. at the Lincoln Public Library.
On Monday, August 21, you can find the Wyndham Springfield City Centre sales team out and about in the downtown neighborhood handing out “eclipse bags!” They will be stocked with a pair of eclipse glasses, moon pies, and sun chips — much better than glasses recalled from Amazon! Plus they’ll have an eclipse themed specialty drink at The Grille that day.
Radio station WYMG-FM 100.5 is hosting a viewing party at the Bank of Springfield Plaza, located outside of the BOS Center in downtown Springfield. The station will give away 400 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses. Music will be played and food and drink will be sold. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
 
Yoga7even’s Monday/5:30 pm class will transform into a New Moon/Solar Eclipse class! A solar eclipse on the same day as a new moon is a powerful cosmic event making it a supercharged new moon. They will be doing a fun Chandra Namaskar (moon salutes) as well as Surya Namaskar (sun salutes) to invite balancing energy. Let’s release old patterns & focus on a strong intention to invite new possibilities with the new moon!!
If you are traveling south, realtor Phil Chiles of Capital Real Estate Group and his wife are parking cars for the Egyptian Board of Realtors at the Bald Knob Cross.

Meet Downtown’s New NPO- Brian Harhausen

Brian Harhausen was born and raised in Mason City, IL. He later moved to Williamsville, where he attended high school and graduated from in 1996. Shortly after, Harhausen moved to Springfield, where he attended a few community colleges and finally settled down at the University of Illinois- Springfield where he finished his four- year degree in Psychology in 2003.

Harhausen’s first job right out of school was at a special education school in Sangamon County called SAS Ed. He served as a teacher’s aide. “Back then I had no intentions of becoming a police officer,” he said. Harhausen’s career goal was to become a school psychologist, which would require an extra four years of school. He had to make the decision to either further his education and spend more time in school or start a career.

Teacher’s Aide Turned Neighborhood Police Officer

After many conversations with the school police officers at SAS Ed, Harhausen learned that there were multiple job opportunities available at the Springfield Police Department and he decided to go for it. Harhausen applied for a position and landed his first job with the police department in 2007 with their Street Crime Unit, later moving to midnights and finally ending up as Downtown Springfield’s newest Neighborhood Police Officer (NPO) at the start of 2017.

What Role Does an NPO Play?

An NPO is designed to address ongoing issues in specific neighborhoods. Harhausen is responsible for Beat 200 which encompasses the Downtown area. He works with all the businesses, organizations and merchants with whatever issues they might be having. The job was essentially created to be a liaison between a neighborhood and the police department so that there was someone whom people would feel comfortable contacting whenever an issue arose.

According to Harhausen, it is vital for residents and merchants to have a good relationship with the police department because it builds up a trust between the two and it speeds up the process of solving any issues in the area. He urges merchants and individuals to relay any issues to the police department the instant that they occur, so that police know what they are dealing with right away and can quickly address those issues.

The Springfield Police Department has made many efforts to keep Springfield a safe area to live, work and play. Some of these efforts include: bar closing details to ensure that bars close smoothly without incident, alcohol and tobacco stings which reinforce legal protocols, and neighborhood walks so that officers can meet residents individually and introduce themselves to the community. Harhausen believes that Downtown is safe overall. “There is always room for improvement. As businesses continue to thrive, the amount of patrons coming downtown will increase and this in turn will give the perception that downtown is a safe place,” he said. His hope for the future of downtown and the city as a whole is to do anything that helps to facilitate business growth.

Downtown homelessness and panhandling is something that is brought up a lot among business owners and residents. Harhausen believes that downtown partners are on the right track to addressing this nationwide epidemic. “From a police officer’s perspective, there are resources available for those that might be homeless downtown… we can refresh DSI’s program so that people know to donate money to organizations in Springfield that provide services for the homeless, that way residents aren’t giving money directly to panhandlers,” said Harhausen.

Officer Harhausen loves his job regardless of some of the unappealing issues he deals with on a regular basis. “I enjoy tackling difficult issues. One of the things that drew me into education at the beginning was that I could be a part of a person’s personal life, in the sense that I could help them out. In police work I tend to come into people’s lives when they are not in the best situation. It feels good to be able to try and help people out of what ever situation they are in whether it’s good or bad,” he said.

Officer Harhausen is married to Angela and has three children. Hannah is 14, River is 12 and Ava is 8. On his day off, Harhausen enjoys taking his children to the President Abraham Lincoln Museum and going to Obed and Isaac’s with his wife. He has served as a Springfield police officer for ten years.

Contact

The non-emergency number at the Police Department is 217-788-8325. If you are a downtown business and don’t have Officer Harhausen’s digits in your own phone, contact the DSI office at 217-544-1723.

Pajama Brunch and Toy Drive This Sunday at Balen’s

7-year-old Lexi Sonneborn is on a mission to collect and donate 2,000 toys for kids at HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital. A Pajama Brunch and Toy Drive will be held on Sunday from 11:00am-2:00pm at Balen’s Bar and Grill (217 S 5th) with food, music, and fun for the whole family.

Lexi is no stranger to the hospital. She was born premature at only 27 weeks, and spent her first three months in St. John’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and subsequently, her next three Christmases in their Pediatric Care Unit. Her mom Beth is a communications professional and her dad Josh owns several downtown establishments.

Help Lexi keep her New Year’s resolution to give 2,000 toys to kids in the hospital!! Sunday’s event will include a special brunch menu, live entertainment by local musician Dave Littrel, a bloody mary bar, selfie booth, and plenty of chances to win fun prizes.

At 1:30 pm a pajama contest will take place with local celebrity judges awarding prizes for “Most Creative,” “Best Couple or Group,” and “Fan Favorite.” Celebrity judges include 5th Ward Alderman Andrew Proctor, Gina Gemberling (Director of Visit Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau), and Dave Newton (HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital Program Coordinator, formerly of WDBR-FM).

Free Press Coffee House’s pop-up cart will be on hand to keep guests caffeinated and the Itty Bitty Fashion Truck mobile boutique will be set up outside so guests can enjoy some retail therapy.

All toys and monetary donations will be donated to HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.

Downtown Restaurant Week Menus

2017 Downtown Restaurant Week Menus

$10 Lunches$20 Dinners
411 Bar and Grill at 411 E Washington

411 Prime Rib Sandwich
Slow roasted prime rib cooked to your liking served on a hoagie roll and topped with melted provolone cheese and homemade horseradish. Served with a side of Au Jus and our homemade potato chips.

Smothered Chicken
Marinated boneless skinless chicken breast smothered in melted provolone cheese, topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms. Served with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, and seasoned green beans.

*Either selection served with choice of soup or garden salad.
Arlington’s at 210 Broadway

Course I
Choice of soup or salad

Course II
Arlington’s Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with Choice of Any Side: Our breaded pork tenderloin sandwich topped with homemade horseradish dijonaisse, lettuce, tomato, onion, and bread and butter pickles. Served on a Brioche Bun.
OR
“Grill ‘Em All” Burger with Choice of Any Side: 8 ounces of fresh Angus beef topped with a honey/Sriracha chicken tender, bleu cheese, bacon, and jalapeno cream cheese. Your choice of a pretzel or brioche bun.
OR
Southwestern Black Bean Burger: Our homemade black bean burger topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, roasted red peppers and garlic jalapeno goat cheese. Your choice of a pretzel or brioche bun.

Course III
Snicker and Apple Dessert Salad: Snickers, vanilla pudding, cool whip, fresh apples.
OR
Homemade Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies with Sea Salt Caramel Drizzle
Arlington’s at 210 Broadway

Zesty BBQ Pulled Pork and Cheddar Wrap with Choice of Any Side
Our slow roasted pulled pork, marinated in homemade zesty BBQ sauce surrounded by lettuce, onions, and bread and butter pickles wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Savory Herbed Burger with Choice of Any Side
8 ounces of fresh Angus beef topped with cumin bacon, sage aioli, and pickles. Your choice of a pretzel or brioche bun.
Balen’s Bar and Grill at 217 S 5th

Course I
Soup or Side Salad or Small Pretzel Balls with Cheese Sauce

Course II
Asian Napa Salad - Shredded Napa Cabbage • Toasted Ramen Noodles • Candied Almonds and Sesame Seeds • Green Onion • Sesame Soy Vinaigrette • Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken Breast
OR
Mel-O-Burger -8 Oz. Burger Patty • American Cheese • Bacon • Mel-O-Cream Glazed Donuts • House BBQ-Spiced Potato Chips

Course III
Choice of one of our 8 Booze Infused Milkshakes.
Augie’s Front Burner at 109 S 5th

Course I
Caesar Salad with garlic herb croutons – romaine lettuce – parmesan cheese tossed in Augie’s legendary Caesar dressing.

Course II
Pork Belly Stir-Fry
Asian vegetables – basmati rice – house pork belly

Course III
Lemon Curd Chocolate Shell
Maldaner’s at 222 S Sixth

Course I
Vegetarian Option
OR
Non-Vegetarian Option (Both to be decided)

Course II
Caesar Salad: Classic combination of romaine, asiago cheese, garlic croutons and homemade Caesar dressing.
OR
Wedge Salad: Little gem lettuce, bacon, chopped tomatoes and house blue cheese dressing.

Course III
Vegetarian Risotto: Wild mushroom ragu finished with parmesan cheese.

Course VI
Lemon Curd Tart: Topped with whipped cream and toasted almonds.

*MENU SUBJECT TO CHANGE- based upon local availability of ingredients
Balen’s Bar and Grill at 217 S 5th St

Asian Napa Salad - Shredded Napa Cabbage • Toasted Ramen Noodles • Candied Almonds and Sesame Seeds • Green Onion • Sesame Soy Vinaigrette • Sweet Chili Glazed Chicken Breast

OR

Mel-O-Burger – 8 Oz. Burger Patty • American Cheese • Bacon • Mel-O-Cream Glazed Donuts • House BBQ-Spiced Potato Chips
$35 Dinners
Café Andiamo at 204 S 6th St

Lasagna served with garlic bread

or

Avocado Turkey Melt served with fries

Or

Build Your Own Calzone - up to three ingredients

Or

New York Pastrami Sandwich served with fries
Augie’s Front Burner at 109 S 5th

Course I
Soup of the Moment
OR
Poached Pear and Candied Walnut Salad: bleu cheese crumble – mixed greens – champagne vinaigrette
OR
Caesar Salad: garlic herb croutons – romaine lettuce – parmesan cheese tossed in Augie’s legendary Caesar dressing

Course II
Half Roasted Miller Farms Chicken: mashed potatoes – baby vegetables – aged balsamic vinegar
OR
Faroe Island Salmon: butternut squash risotto – brussel sprouts – cucumber & tomato vinaigrette
OR
Flat Iron Steak: roasted red potatoes – broccoli – bleu cheese bacon butter

Course III
Crème Brulee
OR
Apple Crisp
The Globe at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel at 701 E Adams St

French Dip: ½ pound of savory thinly sliced rib-eye, horseradish aioli, on a toasted hoagie roll served with au jus for dipping served with house made chips

or

Cattleman burger: ½ pound of local certified Angus beef, bourbon-chili BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, tobacco onions on toasted brioche bun served with house made chips
Driftwood at 11 W Old State Capitol Plaza

Course I
Shrimp Scampi Tacos: Purple cabbage garlic slaw and scallion pesto with chili flake
OR
Veggie Tacos: Purple cabbage garlic slaw and scallion pesto with chili flake

Course II
Corn Chowder: Onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and lime with basil sour cream
OR
Kale Salad: Shaved kale, lemon preserved Caesar, crispy parmesan and chickpeas

Course III
Seared Pork Chop: Balsamic glazed mushrooms, seared pork chop and mushroom risotto

Course IV
Bonnie mini whoopee pies (1 each) – red velvet, Boston cream and chocolate.
The Grill at City Centre at 700 E Adams

The Classic Club with layers of turkey, ham, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, lettuce, tomato and basil mayonnaise served on toasted sourdough bread. Pair with either a soup or salad.
The Globe at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel at 700 E Adams

Course I
Red pepper and Gouda bisque
OR
Mixed greens, crumbled bleu cheese, crumbled smoked bacon, grape tomatoes, ranch dressing

Course II
Frisco Melt: ½ pound of local certified Angus beef, Swiss cheese, sauteed onions, Thousand Island dressing on grilled Sourdough bread served with house made chips
OR
Garganelli Alla Vodka: Onion, dill, smoked salmon, peas, cream sauce with touch of tomato, parmesan cheese

Course III
Brownie alla mode
OR
New York cheesecake with brandied cherries
Obed and Isaac’s at 500 S 6th St

Chicken Salad Sandwich: Homemade chicken salad sandwich served on wheat berry bread with a bowl of vegetable barley soup.

OR

Chicken Parmesan Sandwich served with your choice of side.
The Grill at City Centre at 700 E Adams

Course I
Apple Cranberry Spinach Salad: Sliced Granny Smith Apples, sun dried cranberries, toasted almonds, goat cheese, baby spinach and a honey balsamic vinaigrette
OR
Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Bacon

Course II
Grilled Shrimp Skewers: Marinated in zesty Chimichurri, grilled and topped with a fresh Pico de gallo over Rice Pilaf and Green Beens
OR
Maple Grilled Pork Chop:Topped with a warm apple compote, Buttered Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Vegetable

Course III
New York Style Cheesecake served with raspberry sauce and whipped cream
OR
House Made Bread Pudding: Rich bread pudding with a bourbon caramel drizzle
Z Bistro at 220 S 6th St

Crunchy Southwest Poor Boy
Crunchy southwest egg rolls, lettuce, tomato and Z Bistro’s poor boy sauce all topped onto a toasted hoagie. Served with homemade garlic parmesan chips and a drink.

OR

Cilantro Lime Burger
A quarter pound burger topped with Swiss cheese, tomato, jalapeno, lettuce, cilantro aioli and finished with a fried onion ring on top of a paesano bun. Served with the soup of the day and a drink.
Jojo’s Street Quisine at 213 S 5th St

Course I
Appetizer Platter: Assorted cheeses and fresh fruit

Course II
Mixed greens with almonds, apples, bleu cheese and a cranberry vinaigrette

Course III
Roasted tomato and basil soup with parmesan frico

Course IV
Pan seared tenderloin of beef with mushroom thyme risotto and basil pesto

Course V
Lobster tail with sautéed asparagus and garlic butter sauce

Course VI
Caramel apple bread pudding with ice cream
Maldaner’s at 222 S Sixth

Course I
Vegetarian Option
OR
Non-Vegetarian Option (Both to be decided)

Course II
Caesar Salad: Classic combination of romaine, asiago cheese, garlic croutons and homemade Caesar dressing.
OR
Wedge Salad: Little gem lettuce, bacon, chopped tomatoes and house blue cheese dressing.

Course III
Filet of Beef With chef’s choice of accompaniments.

Course VI
Lemon Curd Tart: Topped with whipped cream and toasted almonds.

*MENU SUBJECT TO CHANGE- based upon local availability of ingredients
Mangia at 518 E Adams St

Course I
Mangia Insalata:Field greens, dried cranberries, almonds, mozzarella, cherry tomato and strawberry vinaigrette.
OR
Pasta Fazool:Ditalini pasta, cannellini beans, Italian herds and spices and tomato broth.

Course II
Veal Osso Buco: Braised veal shank and risotto alla Milanese.
OR
Lobster Carbonara:Vermicelli, shrimp and lobster, pancetta, shallots, English peas, roasted garlic cream, egg and fresh grated romano.

Course III
Tiramisu: Espresso soaked ladyfingers, sweet mascarpone and cocoa.
OR
Spumoni Bomba: Spumoni gelato coated with a chocolate shell.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday Celebration

Downtown Springfield is celebrating the birthday of one of its most beloved presidents by hosting celebratory events at multiple Springfield historic sites. Here is the full line up:

 

Old State Capitol State Historic Site

Feb. 11 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The site will celebrate the contributions that women on the home front made during the Civil War. Women portraying the Soldiers’ Aid Society will demonstrate rolling bandages, knitting warm clothing for sick soldiers and more.

Noon – 2 p.m. There will be supplies for visitors to make Valentine’s cards with a discussion on Victorian courting customs

6 pm – There will be a free presentation about Lincoln’s surprising support for a constitutional amendment that would have protected slavery.

Feb. 12 – 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The Old State Capitol welcomes the Springfield International Folk Dancers. They will present the music and dance of Lincoln’s era, complete with chances for visitors to join the performance if they want.

 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Feb. 12 – Free admission to the Museum. Lincoln’s stovepipe hat and a 28-diamond necklace he gave to Mary will be on display that day and for the rest of February.
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. The Liberty Clarinet Quartet, part of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, will perform. Actors portraying characters from history (such as Mary Lincoln and a Civil War soldier) will greet museum visitors and answer questions.

Noon – There’s a $30 luncheon with a presentation by the author of “Lincoln’s Greatest Journey.”

2 p.m. –  A free presentation with two authors of books (one of them a murder
mystery) introducing readers to daily life at the executive mansion.

Feb. 13 – Living history interpreters will visit.

Lincoln Home Federal Historic Site at 426 South 7th Street

Author Dan Van Haften will be signing copies of his newly released book, The Ultimate Guide to the Gettysburg Address.

Feb. 11 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Feb. 12 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

 

2016 Best of Downtown Award Nominees

Alex Block (center) was named DSI’s Volunteer of the Year for 2015.

The Annual Dinner Committee is excited to announce this year’s nominees for downtown’s annual awards featuring the people and places that raise the bar in downtown. This year’s process included soliciting nominations from the public, so thank you!

The recipients, including DSI Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award–and the first-ever Window Decorating Contest winner–will be announced at DSI’s Annual Gala “Downtown Springfield’s Blooming” on Wed., January 18.

Reserve your tickets today>

 

 

Best Facade/ Signage

Lincoln Herndon Exterior Renovation

Floyd’s Thirst Parlor

Urban Sassafras

Public/ Private Partnership

Frank Lloyd Wright Mural

Springfield Art Association & Ace Sign Co. Art Bus Benches

UIS & Villas of Downtown

Best Event

SOHO Music Festival

Downhome Festival

Blues and BBQ

Best Retail Business

The Card*ologist

Urban Sassafras

Wild Rose

Best Restaurant

JoJo’s Street Cuisine

Obed and Issac’s Brewery

Stop and Roll Sushi

Best Nightlife

Floyds Thirst Parlor

Obed’s Beer Garden

The Hoogland Center

Creative Promotion

Arlington’s Murder Mystery Dinner

Floyd’s Thirst Parlor “Make Cocktails Great Again”

Urban Sassafras Insta-Sales & Thanksgiving Giveaway Event

Downtown Advocate

Alicia Bibb

Brian Wojcicki

Rep. Tim Butler

Innovative Business Concept

Stop and Roll Sushi’s Hours and Offerings

Business Incubator Innovate Springfield

Milk & Honey Fresh Market for Growing Veggies & Reusable Bags

Best Not for Profit Initiative—

Springfield Black Chamber’s Pop-Up Happy Hour

100+ Who Care Fundraising Event at the Gin Mill

Illinois Stewardship Alliance Farm to Table Series

 

 

Coloring T-Shirt Parties at What the Shirt

I’ve coached my son’s First Lego League team for four years, and each year we’ve tried to get savvier about designing our team T-shirts: it shouldn’t take a lot of time away from programming the robotics missions and the project development, but it should be a fun, team-building exercise.

This fall, the seven kids on our team, Carpocalypse, designed, colored and had their own personalized T-shirts in hand in a matter of hours — all while eating snacks, laughing, talking about memes and other topics of interest to middle schoolers.  That’s because What the Shirt? on the Old Capitol Plaza has a new line in their business of “witticisms you can wear” — Coloring to a Tee Parties. It’s like ripping out a page of a coloring book, coloring it, and then having your own piece of wearable art at the end.

Connor is the proprietor of What the Shirt? on the Old State Capitol Plaza.

It’s a great party idea for birthdays, cabin fever escapes over the coming winter, adult get-togethers with BYOB, and yes, Lego League teams. Here’s how it worked for us: we wanted our T-shirts to have the same design, so the kids looked through all of the selections to pick a fish-themed shirt. Every person then colored in their fish the way they wanted, using the markers provided.

Connor Alexander, the proprietor at What the Shirt?, designed the team name on his trusty computer — and used the same lettering to print out personalized names for the back of the shirts, so that the kids could color those in as well. It took less than 15 minutes for each T-shirt to be imprinted with the design, right before our eyes.

Want to give it a try for the holiday season? On Wednesdays of the Holiday Walks, What the Shirt is giving $10 gift certificates off a Coloring Party with each purchase. On Saturdays, you can participate in a pop-up Coloring Party.

~ Lisa Clemmons Stott

Iles Middle School’s Carpocalypse FLL Team

Investing in downtown: City mulls how to proceed under TIF extension

Now that the tax increment financing district for downtown has been extended, Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development is examining priorities for how the money should be spent.

The city is talking with Downtown Springfield Inc. and other businesses and developers to decide how to invest the $30 million in TIF money that it estimates will be available over the next 12 years.

“It seems like the growth areas are retail, because you want to be able to walk from door to door to door and have someone in each one of those for the feel of it,”

“There’s so many old buildings, you can’t just create that out of thin air. There’s a scene and experience you can create with that. It’s there, it’s just not fully utilized.”

“But I think we as a city need to identify types of target businesses we want and then package some incentives behind it and say here’s what we can bring forward to help facilitate the missing elements of that.”

“We need to create a plan and vision of what downtown might look like, as opposed to what we want today and that might change tomorrow. We need to solidify a long-term plan.”

Read the entire story by Mary Hansen in the State-Journal Register