KAMS was established at 608 E. Daniel Street (later to be the C.O. Daniels Building) on February 10th, 1933 as “The Annex” by the Kamerer family.
The business started out by serving food and non-alcoholic beer to students during prohibition, but just a short 10 months later prohibition ended and The Annex started selling beer.
Over the years nicknamed “KAMS” by students, eventually Kamerer’s Annex was officially renamed KAMS. Over the years, Kam’s ownership changed from the Kamerer’s to Gene Fiedler and Leo Gordon, and in 1969 KAMS was sold to a new ownership group that renamed the bar “Dooley’s.”
In 1975, Jack Kamerer wanted to bring KAMS back to campus. So he remodeled Stan’s Gridiron and a store front next door, and on September 27th 1975 the new KAMS opened at 618 E. Daniel Street .
This new KAMS was the "Home of the Drinking Illini," a slogan coined by bar manager Mel Coleman.
Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, ownership included Ed Novak, Paul Piaskowy, Leo Furla, Kenny Bilger, Tim Murphy, and Eric Meyer. Meyer began as part owner in 1991, and became sole owner in 2006 until he sold the business in 2018. In 2020 KAMS opened at it's 3rd different building on campus, now located at 1st and Green Street in Champaign.