Watson’s Shack & Rail to Open in Downtown Champaign

Watson’s Shack & Rail will be opening in Downtown Champaign this fall. They’ll be taking over the space at 211 North Neil Street formerly known as Boltini Bar and Lounge. Watson’s will be serving up Nashville hot chicken, fresh biscuits, tomato pudding, smashed potatoes smothered in their house made gravy, just to name a few.


They will also be offering wine, craft beers and micro spirits along with cocktails and frozen drinks.

The Watson’s team is headed up by Chef Mark “Shades” Hartstein, Sean Baird who was once a partner in the Cracked Food Truck and Alec Gillespie of Roland Realty. The guys plan on building a brand new kitchen and remodeling the bar and dining room. How exciting!

Most exciting is that the owners plan on sourcing local foods! They have a passion for teaching consumers about sustainable farm practices and “setting an example of how affordable food can be made with higher standards of integrity.” as quoted by the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette.

The food scene in downtown is really heating up and I think Waton’s will really add something new. I’ll keep you updated on the opening!


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