Bottoms Up: Students flock to Wednesday beer and chicken


Kristi Thies, owner of Bottoms Up Bar & Grill, poses for a portrait with a basket of fried chicken Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, in Jacob. Kristi and her husband, Jason, have owned Bottoms Up since 2009. Located on Neunert Road in Jacob, the bar and grill serves half and whole fried chickens on Wednesday nights. (Ryan Michalesko | @photosbylesko)

By Mitch Brown, Staff Reporter

Every Wednesday students come in droves to Bottoms Up. This bar might not sound familiar, because Bottoms Up is 30 minutes away down back roads in Jacob, Illinois.

Jacob, Illinois is an unincorporated community that runs along 3 miles of railroad track. The locale is the only nearby bar, the next closest bars are in Murphysboro.

Bottoms Up is unanimously known as “Beer and Chicken” by SIU students. Libby Dwyer, a senior studying recreation management from Princeville, said she learned, during the interview, the establishment’s name is not in fact “Beer and Chicken.”


The bar serves half a fried chicken for $3. Half a chicken is a leg, wing, thigh and breast. They have sides like mac ‘n cheese or coleslaw for $1. There are also beer specials, most notably $1 Natural Light cans.

Alex Wessel, a senior studying automotive technology from Waterloo, said the drive is well worth it, because of the atmosphere.

“Where else do you eat in a barn?” Wessel said.

The outside seating area, which is a barn, was packed with students. The barn has long rows of tables, bags boards and a jukebox.

Charlotte Metz, a senior studying agribusiness economics, said the chicken is great but it is not the reason why you go to Bottom’s Up. 

“You come for the environment, the culture and the socialization,” Metz said.

Getting away from campus is nice, said Nick Osborn, a sophomore studying aviation.


On Wednesdays students play bags and groups pass footballs outside.

Out of the individuals interviewed, no one could specify who convinced students from the university to venture so far from Carbondale. 

“I heard about Beer and Chicken from older students,” Justin Michaels, a senior studying automotive technologies from Monee, said.

Kristi Thies, owner of Bottoms Up, said they don’t advertise to Carbondale but rely on word of mouth.

Thies said the Wednesday chicken special was already popular before she purchased Bottoms Up a decade ago. Students have brought their parents and some go there for their 21st birthdays, she said. 

“I really like the students. Some of them have my cell number and want to get a beer when I’m in town,” Thies said.

Mallory Rutz, a senior studying radiological sciences, said she comes back to Bottoms Up because it reminds her of home.

“I’ve been coming here since I was born,” Holeman said.

Staff reporter Mitch Brown can be reached at

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