Friday, April 16, 2010

CU Bars in the news; Best Bar: Crane Alley

From WCFN 49, Illinois

Best Bar: Crane Alley

Featuring Air Wood!

Crane Alley is located at 115 West Main Street.

Aaron Wood, Crane Alley general manager: "The longer we're open, the busier we keep getting. Even as short as a few years ago, people would come in and say they've never heard of us."

Jennifer Ketchmark: But this is a place you shouldn't miss. It's called Crane Alley, and that space between buildings was an inspiration.

Aaron Wood: "The alley is named by the city, Crane Alley. It's just nice, it's cozy in here, and there's a constant breeze."

And that setting draws a crowd.

Aaron Wood: "Our lunches, we fill this alley up pretty decently, as well as happy hours throughout the week."

And on the plates of just about every diner are these sweet potato fries!

(SOT) "They're delicious."

(SOT) "Crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside, sprinkled with brown sugar."

And the fries can't be the only focus. The burgers are also buzz worthy.

Aaron Wood: "Half-pound burgers, fresh pattied daily, and we put minced garlic into them, we have our own little mix that adds to the flavor of them."

And my photographer Alan really enjoyed that burger—really!

Another dish we checked was their salmon, which was flaky and fresh.

And, let's not forget this is also a bar.

Aaron Wood: "You'll be able to find any variety of beer at anytime. We have 16 rotating draft lines, we carry over 200 bottles at all times."

Hey, kids of the 80s and 90s, do you remember pop rocks? They have martinis with pop rocks around the rims, and believe me, this will leave you with a pop!

Aaron Wood: "We have a vast martini list, wine menu, pretty much something for everybody."

You'll also find something else inside to roll along the time.

Aaron Wood: "We have pool leagues that come in, two different nights of the week, and it's just a nice change of pace after you have dinner."

And there's another nook of this bar that you must see: their upstairs lounge.

Aaron Wood: "We do a lot of private parties up there, rehearsal dinners, birthdays, class reunions."

Perfect sweet potato fries, and outdoor dining done right, is why this place made our list of Best Bars.

Aaron Wood, general manager: "We're open every day 11 a.m. To 2 a.m., we do a full menu throughout the hours. ... vast majority of all our foods are made from scratch."

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