It's Your Business: Studio Helix a new shape of gym

It's Your Business: Studio Helix a new shape of gym

After several months of a "soft opening," the new Studio Helix has debuted in downtown Champaign.

A grand opening was held last weekend in the building that once stored drapes and before that housed a Sears store.

"It's a different business model," said owner Laura Kalman of the health and wellness studio.

Forget the idea you have of a traditional gym, in which members pay a monthly fee to use the equipment. At Helix, everyone must establish a relationship with a trainer. Members see a trainer, a minimum of once a week, and have use of the facilities, she said. They offer pre- and post-rehabilitative exercise, sports-performance training, weight-loss management and other lifestyle programming.

The building, at 324 N. Neil St., has been completely remodeled, including a second-story loft in which the studio recently hosted a music and salsa dancing event. For that space, Kalman said, she and personal trainer and manager Terri Mason are trying to think of ways to incorporate movement-based activities there, be it swing dancing, belly dancing or yoga.

Studio Helix is a reorganization of what was formerly known as Lifelines Health in the Country Fair shopping center in Champaign.

Kalman bought the building in 2005 and has been renovating it ever since.

The studio can be reached at 356-7475 and

Now open

Rural King has now opened its new store in the former Steve & Barry's building in Champaign.

The store, 913 W. Marketview Drive, C, was also once a Wal-Mart. It carries everything from jeans and boots to fertilizers and seed, automotive parts and accessories and pet supplies.

The store, which can be reached at 403-1011, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Steve & Barry closed its store in fall 2008. Walmart was in the building from 1991 to 2005.

Custard to go

Here at The News-Gazette, we are all abuzz about a new feature at Jarling's Custard Cup at 309 W. Kirby Ave., C.

If you haven't heard, a drive-through window on the east side of the building debuted last week.

The question on everyone's mind, however, is does this mean Custard Cup will be open all year round?

"Will we extend our season? That's not something that will happen in '09. We might look at it with the 2010 season," said Christy Jarling, who owns the business with her husband, Doug.

She and Doug have been considering adding the window for a while now, and with the repaving and restriping of the parking lot, they figured now was a good time to give it a shot, especially as the season starts to wind down.

"It's a test run," Christy Jarling said.

The signage and such is all temporary right now. If there's a good response – meaning, lots of folks use it – more permanent signs and structures will be installed in the spring.

Jarling's Custard Cup is open noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The drive-through window, however, will close at 9:45 p.m.

As for this year, Jarling's in Champaign will close on Sunday, Nov. 22. And it will reopen on the first Friday in March 2010. The Custard Cup at 2507 N. Vermilion St., Danville, closes Oct. 11.

Raffle hall

Marvin Turner of Danville has opened a new raffle hall at 1506 N. Cunningham Ave., U, once home to a bingo hall operated by the Urban League of Champaign.

It's called Belgium Raffle Hall #2 (#1 is in the Vermilion County town of Belgium). The games they play are just like bingo, but the cards do not spell out the word bingo.

Turner operates the business and net proceeds go to Chanute Air Museum and the Apostolic Christian Church in Champaign, he said.

The hall pays winners $100 on regular games, and also runs special games and progressive jackpots that pay out more. The hall is open every day except Monday and Thursday. Doors open at 4 p.m., and games start at 6:15 p.m. and continue until about 9 p.m.

Wal-Mart remodel

Last week the Wal-Mart at 505 S. Dunlap Ave., Savoy, unveiled its recent remodel with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new layout features wider aisles, new paint and new signs. The electronics and the frozen food departments have been expanded and the produce department was redesigned.

There's also a new department called Celebration Station in which you can find party supplies such as greeting cards, balloons, gift wrap and more.

Name change

The Blue Star Inn at 409 W. University Ave., U, is now America's Best Inn & Suites.

Are you opening a new business or changing an existing one? Christine des Garennes can be reached by phone at 351-5388 or 800-252-3346; by e-mail at; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.

Topics (2):Art, Community Events
Categories (3):News, Miscellaneous, Business