Nature's Table (1971-1979) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Nature's Table (1971-1979)
Fuller Form: Nature's Table Coffee House and Restaurant


Historical Note: Nature's Table was a small health food restaurant and jazz club in Urbana, Illinois, that was operated by Terry Masar from 1979 to 1991. It was located on Goodwin Street across from the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to providing customers in the local and campus communities with reasonably priced meals, inside the restaurant patrons could attend live shows and also view and purchase art produced by local artists.  Featuring live performances by many local and regional bands, the restaurant created a lively environment for budding new musicians and artists.  Nature's Table was known for attracting nationally recognized jazz artists, such as Von Freeman, Herb Ellis, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Peter 'Madcat" Ruth, and Jon McNeil, who frequently performed there. It was also considered a home for many local jazz, blues, alternative rock, and bluegrass ensembles, including a young Alison Krauss. Nature's Table was built on campus property, and in 1991 the university forced the closure of the restaurant and venue to make way for a new Chemical and Life Science Lab building.  Numerous reunions of the Nature's Table staff and the artists who frequently played there took place after its closing until Terry Masar passed away on October 23, 2011.
Sources:

"About the Table." Sean Kutzko. http://naturestable.net/about/ (accessed September 3, 2015).

"Nature's Table." Jeff Michel. http://www.cujazz.org/natures_table/Nature's_Table_book.pdf (accessed September 3, 2015).

Note Author: Elizabeth Hartman



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