Such a fan of the late, great O’Malley’s Pub was Creg McDonald that the Champaign developer ultimately wound up owning the joint.
“There are many traditions and people from that bar experience that immediately bring a smile to my face — most notably, my wife," he says. "If you were to slice me open, I would bleed orange and blue — with a little O’Malley’s green mixed in for good measure.”
For the now-owner of The McDonald Group, going away to college had a profound impact on what would come later.
“The day I stepped foot on the University of Illinois campus in 1982 completely changed the destiny of my life,” he says. “Coming from a very small community and being fairly sheltered, then immediately being exposed to all the possibilities in the world, forever changed who I was and who I would become. It has been those relationships, that I still have to this day, that have carried me through some of the best and worst times of my life.
“My life today is completely a blend of those people and experiences that shaped me during my time on campus.”