It's Your Business: White Horse returns with new location, menu

It's Your Business: White Horse returns with new location, menu

A familiar watering hole has changed locations and is building its menu around sausage.

That's right: The White Horse Inn has moved to 510 E. John St., C — the former home of Coslow's, Panera Bread, Bar Louie and most recently The Fire Station — and is serving up 12 kinds of sausage, along with sauerkraut or red cabbage.

"We wanted to try something different," said general manager Daina Mattis. "You can't really get this in Champaign."

The White Horse Inn — which had been at Second and Green streets in Champaign for decades — closed there in late July.

It reopened Wednesday evening at its new location and began serving food Thursday.

"I love burgers and fries, but you can get those at any bar around here," Mattis said. "You can't get German sausage, handmade with no additives."

The sausage served at White Horse in made by Continental Gourmet Sausage of Glendale, Calif.

Some of the varieties include Swiss bockwurst, bratwurst, knackwurst, Hungarian, andouille, vegetarian sausage, Nurnberger, Krakauer and Debreziner.

Dinner plates, which sell for $8.70, include two sausages, sauerkraut or red cabbage and a side. Lunch plates offer the same combination for $5.95 but with only one sausage.

For folks who aren't sausage fans, there are other choices: fish and chips, salad, potato pancakes, chicken wings and about a dozen types of appetizers.

The White Horse is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, On weekends, it offers a breakfast plate of eggs, sausage, bacon, toast and hash browns from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mattis said the White Horse will offer karaoke Wednesday nights and "we hope to have live bands on the patio on Friday afternoons."

The White Horse moved because the John Street spot was "a better location, closer to campus," Mattis said.

She said the current owners relaunched the White Horse at its Green Street location in 2008 and closed it in 2010, with the intention of moving to another spot. They reopened on Green Street in January 2011 and continued to operate there until July.

The White Horse is owned by Daina's husband, Aidas Mattis, along with Blair Schober and Tim Hoss Jr.

Coach to open gymnastics center

Just a few weeks ago, we reported on the opening of the Champaign Gymnastics Academy at Country Fair Shopping Center, Champaign.

Now there's word of another gymnastics school opening in west Champaign — the Hayasaki Gymnastics Center, operated by former University of Illinois men's gymnastics coach Yoshi Hayasaki.

Hayasaki's new school will be at 309 Tiffany Court, on the north side of West Springfield Avenue west of Staley Road. The center offers more than 7,200 square feet of physical training space, men's and women's gymnastics equipment, a tumble track, a trampoline and a viewing and observation area.

Classes there begin Tuesday, Sept. 4 — after Labor Day — but an open house will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 so the public can see the facility and meet the coaches, said Hayasaki's wife, Lisa.

Then on the following three days — Aug. 27 through 29 — students can try out the mats from 3 to 7 p.m., so the coaches can assess and evaluate their skills. That will help parents choose the right class for their child.

Classes will be offered for toddlers up through elite athletes. The classes include a preschool gymnastics program focused on learning through play and girls' gymnastics classes in which the girls are grouped according to ability level.

Hayasaki was the UI men's gymnastics coach from 1974 to 2009. After retiring, he worked on international projects for Wolfram Research.

The center's website is

More movement

More programs are coming to the newly remodeled McKinley Fitness Center, 500 W. Church St., C.

The latest: Movement Arts of Champaign/Urbana is offering instruction in dance and kung fu.

Movement Arts was started this year by Aaron and Abigail Chen, former professional ballet and modern dancers. Aaron recently finished teaching modern dance at Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss., and also travels nationally as a choreographer and teacher. He holds a black belt in Lung Shou Pai kung fu.

Movement Arts will hold classes at McKinley Fitness Center in the afternoons and evenings, as well as during the day for the home-school community.

Movement Arts will hold free classes Aug. 27 to 30 for those interested in taking dance or kung fu. Classes include:

— Kung Fu Kids (ages 4 to 6), 5 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28.

— Kung Fu Club (ages 7 to 11), 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28, and Thursday, Aug. 30.

— Kung Fu Academy (ages 12 to adult), 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 28, and Thursday, Aug. 30.

— Intro to Dance (ages 3 to 6), 3:45 to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29.

— Ballet I (ages 7 to 10), 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29.

— Ballet II (ages 11 and up), 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 29.

— Contemporary Modern (ages 11 and up), 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 29.

Membership in the fitness center is not required, but McKinley members will receive 10 percent off tuition.

For more information, see or call 274-8382.

Chance to get cracking

Cracked, the new food-truck business that provides breakfast on the go, will celebrate its grand opening today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During those hours, the Cracked truck will be parked in the lot next to FuBar Lounge, 306 E. Green St., C — and a string band, Black Coffee Fridays, will be playing.

Cracked co-owner Jeremy Mandell said that with the start of the University of Illinois school year, the Cracked truck will likely be parked near Mathews Avenue and Stoughton Street in Urbana from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and on Green Street in Campustown between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The business, which specializes in breakfast/lunch sandwiches, has updated its menu, adding the Hungry Chief breakfast burrito, the new Plan "B" grilled veggie wrap, a modified Underdog hot-dog sandwich and the reinvented Vegasm, which now features spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, a fried egg, cheese and pesto on a baguette.

Cracked continues to offer its other sandwiches, plus its sides of beignets and tater-tot variations. Beverages include coffee, tea and soft drinks, including some from the Homer Soda Co.

Mandell said Cracked also offers catering services for private events. The business can be reached at 567-303-EGGS.

Tutoring service moves

Elizabeth Sotiropoulos thought she'd be in medical school in New York at this point.

But getting engaged and family health problems kept her in Champaign-Urbana. For the past two years, she and her husband, Taso, have been operating a tutoring business.

On Wednesday, Illini Tutoring moved into the Business and Technology Center at 701 Devonshire Drive, C.

The business provides tutoring in math, science and writing and help with test preparation. The tutors work with students in middle school, high school and college, Sotiropoulos said.

Sotiropoulos received a bachelor's degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Illinois. She was accepted into Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, but decided to defer for a year because she and Taso were engaged and she wanted to work and save money.

"I put my degree to good use by tutoring because I really couldn't find a job in the area. I hung up some fliers around campus and started getting students," she said.

After the Sotiropouloses got married, they planned to move to the Bronx, but Elizabeth's father and grandmother became Ill.

"I wanted to be in town for my parents, so I made the difficult decision to not go to New York," she said.

But email inquiries from people who heard about the tutoring service began pouring in.

"By October, my tutoring schedule was packed and I quit my 'real job,'" she said. "I started referring students to my husband, and by April, we were both booked with students. Now we subcontract tutors to work with students who need help in advanced university courses."

Sotiropoulos said she and her husband try to explain concepts in a way students can understand. They try to relate concepts to everyday life or personal interests such as sports, TV and music.

"We don't promote any secret strategies or magic tricks," she said. "We teach students how to study efficiently and commit material to long-term memory."

This year, Illini Tutoring is also offering Walk-In Homework Help. For one hour a day — 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday — students can drop in and get help with math, science and writing homework questions.

The Illini Tutoring website is The phone number is 714-8395.

New at Lincoln Square

A new Edward Jones financial services office has opened in Urbana's Lincoln Square Village near the center of the mall.

The office, located just north of the 88 Broadway space, is staffed by financial adviser Neil Richardson and senior branch office administrator Jill Pankau.

Richardson, who lives in Villa Grove, has worked at other Edward Jones offices in the Champaign-Urbana area since March.

Originally from Manchester, England, he came to the United States because his wife — who had gone to college in Manchester — is from Gibson City.

The first day of business at the new office was Friday. An open house is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 18.

"It's an awesome location," Richardson said. "The whole of Urbana knows Lincoln Square."

The office's phone number is 328-2352.

Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 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.

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MadGasser wrote on August 19, 2012 at 11:08 am
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I have got to get down to the White Horse for some sausages. This is fabulous news!

Sid Saltfork wrote on August 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I hope they still serve sausage, biscuits, and gravy for breakfast.  Before it was the White Horse Inn, it was Cocks Pub at the old location.  Down the street one way was Panama Red's; and the other way was Steak N' Shake, the Red Lion, and Ruby Gulch.  Green Street had good food, and great music.  Pork and the Havanna Ducks, Champaign, REO, and a long list of others.  Good pool tables, and fish sandwiches at the Deluxe also.

jdmac44 wrote on August 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

The image of a lead balloon comes to mind...

americanproud wrote on August 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Sid is right.  I remember with great fondness the businesses in those days.  Those really were the days!