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Legendary Landmarks: 3 Spots That Have Crafted Stories, Forged Memories, and Inspired Legends

Exploring the Legacy of Mother Murphy’s

If you went to Illinois State University, you know of a shop that’s nestled in the streets of Uptown Normal, Illinois. A hidden gem that has stood the test of time, capturing the hearts of locals and visitors alike for generations. Mother Murphy’s has been a haven for free spirits offering an eclectic mix of locally crafted glass pieces and quintessential hippie paraphernalia. It’s more than a store; it’s a movement that has shaped generations for over half a century. Enter the embrace of Mother Murphy’s, an iconic establishment that transcends the ordinary, weaving a tapestry of community, tradition, and unforgettable stories. Climb up the stairs to see what treasures you can find!


photo credit: Angela Mcguire

Established in 1968, Betty Anderson and Charlotte (Murphy) Radka founded what would become the Original Rock and Roll Emporium. From selling custom leather jackets to bamboo bongs and everything in between, Mother Murphy’s quickly grew a cult like following that would establish it as one of the oldest headshops in the country.


Having found its roots at the height of the cultural revolution of peace and love, Mother Murphy’s would carry on its hippie culture well into the 21st century. The legacy would be passed onto Mike and Becky Williams who would go on to curate a wide range of unique and rare goods to sell at Mother Murphy’s for over 30 years.

With one foot planted in the past and the other always moving into the future, Mother Murphy’s has always looked to find new ways to entertain and always keep your pleasure in mind. The torch was then passed on to three local friends that would start their chapter at the start of 2020. And that’s the story so far.


Mother Murphy’s

Mother Murphy’s (


Burritos as Big as your head!

a Bamba Mexican Restaurant stands as more than just a place to grab a bite; it’s a cherished haven for students at Illinois State University (ISU). Nestled amidst the bustling campus life, La Bamba has become a cherished tradition for students seeking authentic Mexican cuisine and a welcoming atmosphere.

The sounds of laughter, enjoyment of all hours of the day and the sight of steaming plates of culinary delights create an inviting ambiance that’s hard to resist. The menu boasts a wide array of Mexican delights, from traditional tacos and burritos to more adventurous dishes like carne asada and Chile rellenos. Check out their sushi! Yes, that’s right! Trust us, its delish!


For many students, La Bamba holds a special place in their hearts as a home away from home. It’s not just about the food; it’s about the sense of community and belonging that permeates the restaurant. Whether you’re a freshman just finding your footing on campus or a senior reminiscing about the good times, La Bamba welcomes everyone with open arms.

La Bamba’s popularity among ISU students isn’t a recent phenomenon; it’s a tradition that has been passed down through generations. Alumni fondly recall their days, and nights spent devouring tacos and sharing laughs with friends at La Bamba, and many return to relive those memories whenever they’re back in town.

Pub2: The Ultimate Hangout Spot for Illinois State University Students

Established in 1974, The Pub II has been a part of the ISU community, welcoming students and residents alike for good food, great drinks and a great time

Pub2 isn’t just your average bar and grill; it’s a quintessential hotspot for Illinois State University (ISU) students. With its cozy atmosphere, delicious food, and lively ambiance, Pub2 has cemented its place as a go-to destination for students, families and alumni looking to unwind, socialize, and create unforgettable memories.


Conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from the ISU campus, Pub2 serves as a home away from home for many students. Whether it’s a quick bite between classes or a night out with friends, Pub2 offers a welcoming environment where students can relax and recharge amidst the hustle and bustle of college life.

For many ISU students, Pub2 holds a special place in their hearts as a cherished tradition. Alumni fondly recall their days spent savoring burgers and swapping stories at Pub2, and many return to relive those memories whenever they’re back in town. It’s not just a bar and grill; it’s a part of the fabric of student life at ISU.

Phone (309) 452-0699

Address: 102 N Linden, Normal, IL 61761


Sunday-Monday: 11:00am-11:00pm

Tuesday-Thursday: 11:00am-1:00am

Friday & Saturday: 11:00am-2:00am

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