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drawing of Kam's


We say Kam’s, 14-year major leaguer Darrin Fletcher says ... war.

One winter night in 1985, the home of the drinking Illini was the battleground of the snowball fighting Illini.

It started outside Kam’s, just before closing time, with a perfectly thrown strike from Fletcher to the pour soul who happened to exit the bar first. “Lo and behold,” Fletcher says, “the first guy out was Jack Trudeau.

“I let go of a perfect strike down to second base and delivered a nice blow to the shoulder and neck of the star quarterback. Needless to say, he wasn’t too happy and ran in and got some of his buddies to come out for backup. And thus began the epic snowball fight between the baseball players and football players.”

Kam’s is also where ...

— Ernst & Young’s Donna Ross Daniels experienced a sudden surge in popularity when she landed a part-time job tending bar.

“After my first year, having spent a fair amount of time at Kam’s, I was hired as a bartender there. My logic: I likely would be on one side of the famous square bar or the other, so why not get paid for it?” she says. “It was amazing how popular I became — certainly when I was inside the bar but also outside because many knew I was bartender there and would likely be able to order drinks faster from whoever was working. “Having returned to Kam’s several times since graduation, I noticed it still looks — and smells — the same.”

Rita Garman and future husband Gill met for “10 o’clock class,” as the future chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court called it.

“I met my late husband Gill in a labor economics class when we were juniors. The class met Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at DKH. We would walk after that 9 o’clock class to Kam’s for coffee.

“Frankly, we did not notice the smell of stale beer or the stickiness of the floor. We loved the white ironstone mugs that the coffee was served in. Of course, we mostly loved the company.”

— Future Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Matt Cushing learned an important lesson. “I know everyone says you don’t go to a bar looking for love,” he says, “but I met my wife at Kam’s my sophomore year so Kam’s holds a special place in my heart.

“We spent many nights there since she worked as a bartender, celebrating everything from football wins — not enough — to her graduation. We just hit 18 years of marriage so I guess you can sometimes find love in a bar.”