Midwest Living Review
The Esquire Lounge is one of downtown Champaign's mainstays, a neighborhood tavern that's been in business longer than the trendier new establishments that have sprung up around it. With its plentiful outdoor seating along both Walnut and Chester streets, it fits right in with the new downtown vibe, however. Regulars say the Esquire's owners are regulars in the place, too, never failing to greet their faithful customers. Many of the employees have been working at the Esquire for years, so the service is excellent. Food orders come fast. The Esquire serves most of the standard pub fare at low prices (a hamburger is $4.25, and a ribeye steak is $7.25), including veggie options like the portobello sandwich. The beer list isn't encyclopedic, but it includes a good range of domestic, import and craft ales, lagers and stouts. Some of the selections recently included Two Brothers Domaine Dupage, Dark Horse Crooked Tree India Pale Ale and Young's Double Chocolate Stout. The Esquire is famous for its free baskets of peanuts. Customers traditionally discard their peanut shells onto the table or the floor, so don't be surprised if you notice a crunching sound as you walk around. There's a room with billiard tables and another dominated by the long bar. Even when the Esquire is hopping, it feels like there's plenty of room to hang around. Sandwiches, appetizers, large salads and pizzas cost $4$9.