Fighting Illini Watch Zones! in Chicagoland will be open for the 2020-2021 Fighting Illini Football (and *fingers crossed* Basketball) Season!


Individual location Covid-19 protocols, capacity, and RSVP options available below.  


The Chicago Illini Club will not be staffing these events as we have in the past. But, we will confirm game video with sound for every #ILLINI game!


Chicago Illini Club Fighting Illini Watch Zones: 

All locations are limited to tables/parties of 6 or less per State Requirements.


Benchmark (as The Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern is closed for the season with no Cubs fans) -  Old Town - Street side patio, and indoor seating with opening roof and garage door windows! (OPEN, open air seating: walk ups suggested, DRESS WARM and pick-up/carry out)

  • Three floors of 6 foot spaced tables.  Indoor, Outdoor, and Open Window Seating available (weather permitting.)
  • Masks, temperature checks, and contact information for contact tracing required for admittance. 
  • Full menu accessible via QR code. Including Vegan options! Let your server know you are ready to order by putting on your masks!
  • Don't want to stay for the game? Enjoy the Benchmark- Gameday Takeaway special! 12 mini burgers, 24 bone-in wings, and 2 pizzas for 50 dollars! Add a bottle of Fireball, and a 24 pack of domestic beer or hard seltzer for only 50 more dollars!
  • Reserve your table at

Joe’s on Weed Street - Lincoln Park - This Chicago Institution is owned by a fellow Illini Alum! (Temporarily Closed due to Covid Protocols - rooftop open sporadically)

  • Indoor seating, and outdoor seating with heaters (weather permitting).
  • Full Menu! Must wear ask to enter, and to move around the bar.
  • Call early! Reserve your table at or call (312) 337-3486

The Weather Mark Tavern - South Loop - This Illini owned and operated, sailing themed bar is a one of a kind in Chicago. (OPEN, available for pick-up, delivery, & patio seating

Orange and Brew Bottle Shop and Tap Room - Downers Grove - This Illini Alum owned craft beer joint is perfect for every beer lover, and is a great venue to stop by for a drink, grab a 4/6 pack. (OPEN, take away only due to Covid Protocols)

  • To-Go Sales
  • Curbside Ordering/Pickup
  • Limited capacity! Call before you go: (630) 541-3880 

Click here to view the 2020-2021 Fighting Illini football schedule.


Bars, Pubs, and Restaurants interested in participating in the Watch Zone program should contact the Gamewatch Zone Committee at