I assume "B-N" refers to Bloomington-Normal? Took a little detective work to figger that out, but I think that's what you meant. Pretty slim pickins between there and Springpatch. You definitely don't want to waste time at the Dixie Trucker's Home in McLean, since they were taken over by a multinational conglomerate a number of years ago.
The Dr. of BBQ took us to dinner last winter at the Chesapeake Seafood House
. I know seafood is not the first thing you think of when it comes to the Springfield dining scene, but these guys did a pretty good job. Granted, it ain't cheap, but the pricing isn't outrageous either. Plus, it fits your other criteria; they're just off Dirksen Pkwy., near I-55, and they serve dinner until 10pm, Monday through Saturday.
Looks like you can get off southbound I-55 at Clear Lake Avenue (exit 98-B), head west about half a mile and it should be right there.
A couple of cheaper options, Gabotoni's
serves a good thin crust pizza and old school "red-sauce' Italian dinners, and D'arcy's Pint
is a big ol' Irish sports bar serving, what some people say is, the town's best Horseshoe sandwich. I've had better, but unfortunately the names of those places escape me at the moment. Both places fit your after 7:30 requirement, but they're a little further off the interstate than Chesapeake Seafood House. Of course, in Springfield, that's really not a big deal. We're not talking about a sprawling metropolis here.
Just occurred to me, if you're not adverse to a few dozen stuffed animal heads watching you eat, the Westwoods Lodge
has some outstanding Pub Grub. They've got some real interesting variations on bar food classics. The Dr. Of BBQ took abe_froeman and me there last summer. I had a fantastic venison burger. They're open until 9:00pm, and they're about eight miles further west of Chesapeake Seafood. Totally worth the trip.
Of course, if you don't mind eating in your car or hotel room, you can always get a real
meal from The Dr.
himself. He's open until 8:00pm and serves the best dang 'Que in town. Heck, introduce yourself, drop my name, and he might even let you eat, standing up of course, right there in his immaculately kept trailer! You wouldn't be the first Roadfooder welcomed into the Doc's smoky world. I know ChiTownDiner has been a guest, and several others, if I'm not mistaken.
When I started writing this post, I didn't think I'd have this much to offer, but I come to realize The Dr. has introduced me to a lot of amazing places over the years. Thanks Doc!
SC, have a great trip. Hope you find something good to eat.
Buddy Chesapeake Seafood House
3045 E. Clear Lake Ave.,
(217) 522-5220 Gabatoni's
300 E. Laurel St.
(217) 528-9629 D'Arcy's Pint
661 W. Stanford Ave.
Springfield, IL 62704
(217) 492-8800 Westwood Lodge Pub & Grill
2406 W. Jefferson St.
(217) 698-9256 The Dr. Of BBQ
2709 S. 6th St.