National bagel-chain restaurant Einstein Bros. Bagels will open a location at University and Lincoln avenues in Urbana this summer.
Boast Restaurants, made up of Marc Bralts and Ryan Oas, is the franchisee developing the quick casual restaurant here.
"Me and my wife have long been customers and fans of the brand," said Bralts, a Cleveland resident whose background is working in the health care field.
Bralts was in town last spring to visit family and run the half-marathon. After the race, he said "a bagel sure would be nice. ... It occurred to us, hey, (Einstein Bros. Bagels) might be a good fit here."
He connected with Oas, a longtime friend in the restaurant business with whom he had talked for a year about opening a restaurant. They scouted locations around town and liked the University/Lincoln building because it is on the northern border of campus and close to Carle Foundation Hospital and Provena Covenant Medical Center, Bralts said.
The restaurant's menu includes options from plain bagels to Nova lox bagels and egg sandwiches. Coffee drinks are also available.
The restaurants typically have seating for about 40 or 50 people. Outdoor seating is being considered for the Urbana location, but where it would be located has not been finalized, Bralts said. He estimated an opening date of mid-July to mid-August.
Bralts said he plans to live in town and manage the restaurant.
Einstein Bros. Bagels is owned by Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, which also owns the brands Noah's New York Bagels, Manhattan Bagel, Chesapeake Bagel Bakery and New World Coffee. Einstein Bros. is the largest of the brands, according to Kevin Kruse, vice president of franchise development at Einstein Noah.
There are about 350 company-operated Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurants across the country. In 2007, the company started expanding via franchising and licensing.
"A natural growth for our brand development was through franchising," Kruse said.
The company now has 15 franchisees signed up to build more than 70 restaurants. Bralts signed up for three in the Champaign County area, according to Kruse.
Another franchisee is actively pursuing a location in Peoria.
New realty firm
Realtor Tom Cain has left Re/Max to launch his own real estate firm called Cain & Company, 101 N. Dunlap Ave., Savoy.
Cain grew up in Savoy and started in the real estate business in 1989 with his father, T.L. Cain, in the same building housing his new firm. After his father retired, Cain joined Re/Max in 1994 and was there until February of this year.
His new independent firm, which includes five staff members in addition to Tom Cain, will be taking over all the space in the Savoy building. His son, Tynan Cain, is also working with him.
"It's neat to be home," Cain said.
The company will focus on residential real estate but may also handle some leasing and commercial, Cain said. Cain & Company can be reached at 359-5646 or http://www.champaign-real-estate.com.
Ajacks Home Improvement of Champaign is now offering deck remodeling. The company, which has done interior and exterior remodeling in the area for 10 years, decided to add the new division after a lot of customers inquired about deck work that entailed more than power washing, said owner Jack Moore.
Ajacks can rebuild decks, apply finishes or re-top decks with a nonwood material. The business has a shop in downtown Champaign.
"I'm real proud of the fact that we buy locally," Moore said.
The business can be reached at 352-0964 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamptons Kitchens and Appliances, 711 N. Mattis Ave., C, will host a Viking outdoor grilling traveling exhibit and demonstration on Friday.
The event will include cooking demonstrations about basic grilling and smoking, plus tips on how to choose the right grill, how to understand equipment and how to choose and design an outdoor kitchen. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Two weeks ago, we reported that the Great Frame Up in the Shoppes of Knollwood was closing.
Since then, the folks at Framer's Market, 807 W. Springfield Ave., C, have been getting calls from customers thinking that their store was closing. They're not – business has been steady, reported owner Rob DeLong.
Framer's Market is open for business from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and can be reached at 351-7020 or http://www.framersmarket.net.
Christine des Garennes can be reached by phone at 351-5388 or 800-252-3346; by e-mail at email@example.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.