New restaurants and entertainment coming to Bloomington-Normal


The Palace Cinemas makes renovations in hopes to open in 2015

With the new year upon us, many students are welcoming changes into their lives. Whether you’re a senior preparing to attend college in the fall or a younger student planning classes for next year, 2015 promises to be special.  Bloomington-Normal also is planning to transform and bring in new attractions.

These attractions include new restaurants, such as Red Robin, Chick-fil-A, Pub America, and D R McKay’s Bar and Grille.

Red Robin will be located on the southwest corner of College Avenue and Veterans Parkway and share a building with Chick-fil-A. The chain is based in Colorado and features a menu of almost two-dozen burger choices and an endless amount of steak fries. The menu also includes salads, soup, appetizers, entrees, desserts and a full bar. Senior Cody Rogers has been to Red Robin before and enjoyed his experience, “I walked in to Red Robin not expecting anything but a glorified Steak ‘n Shake, but I realized it was a lot different. I thought the quality of the food was better.”

Chick-fil-A will also be located on the southwest corner of College Avenue and Veterans Parkway and share a building with Red Robin. Carrie Kurlander, vice president of public relations, said Monday to the Pantagraph, “Normal provides a tremendous growth opportunity for Chick-fil-A to serve our customers fresh, hand-crafted food with genuine hospitality.”

Pub America will be located on Main Street in downtown Bloomington. The Pub is Route 66 themed and will serve traditional pub entrees, such as burgers and fries.

D R McKay’s Bar and Grille will be located on North Hershey Road and will serve “home-cooked comfort food,” according to owner Don Jones. Burgers, hot pulled pork, pulled chicken and Italian beef sandwiches, wraps, salads and soups are just some of the dishes D R McKay’s will offer.

Also to come to BloNo are newly renovated movie theaters. Both the Palace and the Galaxy are planning for some major changes to bring to the movie experience.

Wehrenberg Theatres’ Galaxy 14 Cine got a liquor license and will be adding an adults-only theatre. In this theatre they will provide dine-in-seating which will enable movie-goers the opportunity to order from a menu and have the food brought to them while watching their movie. The proposed food/beverage menu includes an assortment of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza, baskets, nachos and desserts with prices generally ranging from $8 to $16.50. A variety of red and white wines, 16-ounce draft or bottled beer, adult milk shakes and alcohol shots also will be offered with food orders.

Carmike Palace Cinema 10 is undergoing a major renovation. It is expecting $3 million to $6 million in changes, including a full kitchen, upgraded bathrooms, and added a bar and tables in the lobby. Like The Galaxy, they will also have servers waiting on customers at their seats or in the lobby dining area.

Whether you’re looking for a night out or wanting to go see a movie, 2015 is sure to bring some of the best chains to Bloomington-Normal.