Downtown Guide to Date Night

One of downtown’s cutest couples, Emily and Chef Corey from Long Nine Junction 

Did you know that the average American couple spends 132 hours a year deciding where to eat?! Well, the weekend is fast approaching and no one has time for indecision. Our downtown neighborhood is full of activities for all of you lovebirds out there. We’ve outlined a few itineraries to get you out and about enjoying the cooler temps, delicious meals, drinks… and each other!

“Chills and Thrills” Date Night

The 6th street block between Monroe & Adams is full of charming boutiques; however, one particular shop stands out during the Halloween season, as it hosts more than just living customers. The Roost was investigated by the Capital Area Paranormal Society in 2016 and they found the presence of “others.” A child was heard moaning from the basement. Lights go on & off for no reason. Shop inventory is playfully moved about. Watch the video of their investigation and then make this your first chilling stop of the evening.

Afterwards, make reservations for Lincoln’s Ghost Walk: Legends & Lore, where you will learn about the bizarre stories surrounding Lincoln’s life in Springfield. This is an approx 90 min lantern-lit walk that will surely having you snuggling up to your loved one for comfort.

All of that walking will give you a good reason to indulge your appetites, so head to Arlington’s on Broadway. Although not haunted, this restaurant & bar celebrates the silliness of the season all year long by greeting you with their mannequin “Natalie.” You never know what costume Natalie will be wearing or where she will be sitting! Enjoy a fully stocked bar and we suggest choosing one of the many burger options on the menu.

“Lincoln Lovers” Date Night

Lincoln’s Home in Springfield offers tours until 5pm, so start a little early for this date and share a learning experience about our sixteenth president, the guy you just “might” take for granted if you’ve lived here long enough. The home has been preserved in a stunning matter, as well as the neighboring houses around it. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the gravel street while holding hands and taking in the way of life so long ago.

Cross 7th Street and bask in all of fall’s charm in Obed & Isaac’s beer garden. Sit by the fire, enjoy a local brew, share a brick oven pizza, and maybe even a game of bocce ball.

Fun fact: Lincoln loved Shakespeare. He carried copies of Shakespeare plays with him wherever he went. Coming up on November 2nd and 3rd, you can catch Fritz Klein’s one man show featuring Lincoln’s speeches, letters and historical research about him synthesized with elements of the Shakespeare plays he loved. The play will be held at The Old State Capitol.

“Friday Night Lights” Date Night

For this experience, we’re suggesting a few classics, mixed in with a couple new trends. Start your evening perusing Recycled Records, the buyers and sellers of new and used vinyl, cassettes, movies and other knick knacks for more than 26 years. Chat with brothers Mark & Gary during your visit, as their stories & knowledge of music is plentiful.

Next, stop by the Plaza just south of The Old State Capitol for a friendly game of “bags.” Recently, DSI (thanks to many generous sponsors) installed cafe lights along the entire brick pathway, which makes for a picturesque and romantic game for two. Plus a great background for a couples’ selfie.

Directly off the Plaza is Robbie’s Restaurant, where they have live jazz music every Friday evening. This has been a steady offering for the last 18 years, as the Springfield Area Arts Council organizes these performances with proceeds from the evening’s 50/50 raffle going to the arts non-profit. We suggest a pre-dinner drink here while enjoying this free show.

For dinner, head to a fairly new addition to downtown, VELE, on the corner of 6th & Monroe. Chef Justin Richardson has created a menu of modern Italian options including seafood, pastas & steaks, all with deep flavors. The atmosphere is open & social where you are bound to run into an acquaintance or two, but if you are looking for a private place to play footsie, there are corner tables for two that are perfect for date night.

“Adams Street” Day Date

If a day date is what you prefer, you won’t have to go much further than Adams Street. Begin with coffee & breakfast at Cafe Moxo, where you can sit outside and enjoy the falling leaves of this tree-lined area.

Walk the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market until 12:30pm, where you’ll find local vendors of meat, veggies, flowers and even arts & crafts. Halloween at the Market, the final Saturday in October, is always a favorite as it is filled with special activities. The parade of costumes, from adult, to child to 4-legged friends, will make you and your date smile all morning.

After the market, enjoy an afternoon beer at Buzz Bomb Brewery, where you can feel the air on your face as they have a large upward sliding door that opens to the sidewalk. Take a tour of their tap room on the first floor, or head up to the 2nd floor bar and engage your date in a friendly competition with the board game of your choice (the owners have provided you with endless options). As for brew options, we suggest the Maple Vanilla Porter, which is only available seasonally.

Underneath the Purple Rain Fundraiser for DSI

Today would have been Prince’s 60th birthday; break out your ruffled shirt and eyeliner and join us in celebrating this musical legend!

We love Prince’s “Purple Rain” message about love & faith conquering chaos. Our hometown has had it’s share of chaos lately. We believe that a strong downtown will make the Springfield area stronger. All proceeds from this event will go toward our mission of revitalizing the historic downtown and, by association strengthening our whole community. Besides, what greater way is there to enjoy the early-summer evening than partying “Like it’s 1999?” Please plan on attending and supporting this event by clicking on the link below to purchase your tickets.

Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. Ribbon Cutting

Downtown Springfield welcomes its newest locally-owned brewery that puts the Buzz in the brew! The guys from Buzz Bomb have done a beautiful transformation of the previous Bar Oasis at 4th and Adams.

Join DSI and The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce for the official ribbon cutting for the newest member of the growing “Adams Family” in our beautiful center city.

Read Est. 1821’s coverage of Buzz Bomb’s origins

Follow Buzz Bomb’s Facebook page>

DSI’s 25th Annual Dinner

Tickets are on sale now>

Ticket prices increase on January 16, 2018.

More than 500 of downtown Springfield’s biggest fans gather once a year to recognize buzzworthy neighbors and businesses who are keeping Springfield cool, hip & creative. Join us to support our ongoing and accelerating efforts to revitalize downtown!

Check out this year’s Best of Downtown nominees – winners are announced at the Dinner>

5-6 pm VIP Pre-Party for guests of Corporate & Business Tables at the Doubletree

5:30-6:30 pm Reception for individual ticket holders at the BOS Center

6:30-8:15 pm Banquet & Recognitions at the BOS Center including 2017 Downtown Awards for Excellence, entertainment by aerial performers Divas in the Air and house band FreekBass, with Mayor Langfelder’s State of the Downtown Address

8:15-9:30 pm Dessert Reception at the Doubletree to celebrate the 2017 Award Winners

DSI Seeks Marketing Support

Downtown Springfield, Inc. (DSI) has initiated a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to identify a vendor, agency, consortium or contract employee (Agent) who is/are qualified to provide day-to-day marketing services showcasing Downtown Springfield as a growing, vibrant neighborhood & business district.
The duties require an Agent who has demonstrated experience in multimedia content creation and distribution. Agent will work closely with the DSI Executive Director and Promotions Committee to plan and execute marketing activities for the association.

Download the Request for Proposals for Marketing Services 2018

Timeline
Request for Proposal Released – January 11, 2018
Questions Due – January 29, 2018
Proposals Due – Friday, February 2, 2018 by 5 pm
Interview Period – February 7-9, 2018
Planned Contract Award Date – February 12, 2018

DSI Board of Directors meeting

The monthly meeting of DSI’s Board of Directors. The officers for 2018 will be elected by the Directors at this meeting. All members of DSI are welcome to attend the monthly board meetings. To put something on the agenda, please contact the Executive Director, Lisa Clemmons Stott, at 217-544-1723 or by email.

DSI Board of Directors Meeting

The board members for 2018 will be certified by the Nominating Committee.

All members are welcome to attend the monthly meeting of DSI’s Board of Directors.

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