It's Your Business: Cafe Latino opens across from Menards

It's Your Business: Cafe Latino opens across from Menards

Empanadas, anyone?

A new quick-serve restaurant and coffee shop, owned by Oscar and Aurora Ramirez, has debuted in north Champaign.

You can find Cafe Latino at 515 W. Town Center Blvd. in the shopping center across from Menards.

In addition to a range of empanadas (such as Cubano-style or Brazilian-style), they cook up sweet and zesty crepes (chorizo or dulce de leche), sandwiches such as turkey cranberry or Southwestern chicken, and more. Sides are salads, but also yucca chips or sweet plantains.

Plenty of churros, pastries and ice cream flavors are on hand, as well as coffee drinks such as cafe con leche and caramel lattes.

It's open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant can be reached at 355-6689.

New digs

Two stores are debuting their new looks.

Old Navy has finished its relocation to Market Place Mall in Champaign and held a grand "reveal" celebration over the weekend. It's now located in the Bergner's wing of the mall, in space previously occupied by Hallmark, New York & Company and Go All Out.

The new space was designed to have wider aisles and centralized fitting rooms and an updated, modern look.

The store previously was located off Town Center Boulevard near Prospect Avenue.

Kohl's, at 109 Convenience Center Road, C, recently completed the remodel of its store. The home and juniors departments have been redesigned, along with the children's, jewelry and shoe departments. Also updated: fitting rooms, customer service and checkout areas and restrooms.

The Wisconsin-based company plans to remodel about 100 stores across the country this year.

Day care in Fisher

After Fisher's only child care center — the Sunshine Christian Preschool — closed last December, members of the Fisher Community Church rallied to open a new Christian-curriculum-based preschool in town.

The church already offered a program for school-age children, from 5 years to 12 years old, said Staci Benson, administrator for both programs.

"We wanted to also serve the younger ones," she said.

The Christian Kids Care Early Learning Center, 100 E. Randolph St., is housed in the same building that the Sunshine Christian Preschool was in, and the center was able to hire three employees from the shuttered school.

The center opened July 1 and has 24 children enrolled. The center offers care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years and can accept up to 50 children.

The curriculum is Christian-based, meaning, for example, the children hear Bible stories, and teachers then apply the stories to the classroom.

The center can be reached at 897-1911.

Farm stand closed

Mike Griffet, 67, has closed the farm stand that he's operated for more than 20 years off West Springfield Avenue in Champaign.

The Champaign man said health concerns and other issues forced him to close the business.

He sold produce from Indiana, Tennessee and elsewhere, outside Lil' Porgy's Bar-B-Q. He also sold Christmas trees there during the winter months.

New hours

The IDEA Store, which accepts donations of and sells a slew of arts-and-crafts supplies, has new shopping and drop-off hours.

The weekday hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The store also will now be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The store, on the second floor of 28 E. Springfield Ave., C, is run by the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation. More information is available at

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