H.H. Gregg, the Indianapolis-based electronics and appliance chain, is targeting a "late summer to fall" opening for its new Champaign store at 718 W. Town Center Blvd.
The store — which will occupy the former Linen-N-Things space — will be the chain's first location in central Illinois.
The 35,000-square-foot store will have more than 100 flat-panel TVs on display, said Jeff Pearson, the company's senior vice president of marketing.
It will also sell washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens and microwaves; laptop and tablet computers; cameras, camcorders and home theater equipment.
H.H. Gregg will have a Verizon phone store inside, and the business will also sell Tempur-Pedic and Serta mattresses.
Pearson said the store is expected to employ about 50 people as managers, sales associates, customer service representatives and warehouse associates.
He said one difference between H.H. Gregg and some competitors is that H.H. Gregg uses a commissioned sales force. The company maintains that those working on commission are more likely to take time to learn about products and help customers choose what best fits their needs.
Southwest (Champaign) barbecue
Smoke 'Que & Brew has opened in the former AnSun Restaurant at the Village at the Crossing in southwest Champaign.
The restaurant, owned and operated by the Mahaffey Group, serves up barbecue sandwiches with cornbread and two side dishes, as well as platters that boast larger portions.
The meats include pork, beef, chicken and smoked sausage, said Ken King, the consultant who helped Sean Mahaffey rebrand the restaurant.
"It's not the old Chinese place anymore," said King, who described the new decor as "eclectic country."
Six different barbecue sauces are offered, including one King described as "incendiary."
Ten side dishes are available, including barbecued baked beans, macaroni and cheese, baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato casserole.
Desserts include fruit cobblers, brownies and a "deep-dish" chocolate chip cookie, served with ice cream.
Lunch sandwiches are in the $6.50 to $8 range, with platters running about $1 more, King said. Kids' meals are also available for $4.99 and $5.99, depending on the meal size.
As for the "brew" part, the restaurant offers a dozen beers on tap, King said.
Smoke 'Que and Brew, at 2411 Village Green Place, C, is open seven days a week. Hours are 11 a.m. to either 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., "depending on business," King said.
The business has hired about 30 employees, he said. The phone number remains 355-3855.
Staffing office moves to Champaign
Professional Labor Support, a company that provides skilled-trades staffing for contractors, has moved its local office from Mahomet to Champaign.
The firm is now located at 3356 Big Pine Trail, Suite C, in the Pinehurst Commons office park just off Olympian Drive in north Champaign.
Professional Labor Support got its start in Mahomet on Jan. 1, 2010, said Aaron Haunhurst, one of the owners and regional manager for the Champaign office.
The company subsequently opened offices in Indianapolis and Appleton, Wis.
Haunhurst said the business supplies contractors with electricians, welders, pipe fitters, carpenters and other skilled labor.
The local office employs five and occupies about 2,400 square feet — more space than what it had in the basement of the Re/Max building in Mahomet, Haunhurst said.
The phone number for Professional Labor Support is 239-0757, and the web address is http://www.pls.co.
Prom/pageant store slates grand opening
Michelle's Bridal Shoppe has scheduled the grand opening of M2, The Place for Prom and Pageant, for 10 a.m. Dec. 26 — the day after Christmas.
The 5,000-square-foot addition to the shop at 2210 N. Willow Road, U, will feature more than 1,000 prom and pageant gowns and hundreds of shoes and accessories.
Hours will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
More information is available at M2prom.com and at michellesbridalshoppe.com.
Are you opening a new business or changing an existing one? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.