Website spotlights locally owned C-U restaurant choices

Website spotlights locally owned C-U restaurant choices

CHAMPAIGN — A team of University of Illinois students and graduates launched a website last week that aims to introduce users to locally owned restaurants in Champaign-Urbana.

Users of Noshfolio — — can select a restaurant by using filters to choose desired cuisines and sections of town.

They can also see photos, read about the restaurants and view menus before trying a place out.

Dominic Hahn, who came up with the idea, graduated from the UI in 2011 with a degree in neuroscience.

In a Noshfolio release, Hahn said when he moved from Chicago to Champaign for school, he kept discovering local restaurants he wished he had found earlier.

He began assembling a team for the website in January. The team includes Hahn's brother, David, plus brothers Siva and Krisha Nalla, Mitch Bartlett and Hannah Pitstick.

The site includes 66 locally owned restaurants, and Noshfolio's team said it hopes to feature every local restaurant eventually.

Ameren schedules open house on power line routing in Tolono

TOLONO — Ameren Transmission has scheduled an open house on the routing of a high-voltage transmission line Oct. 10 at Unity High School in Tolono.

The open house is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m.

Maps showing the primary and alternate routes for the Illinois Rivers electric transmission line will be on display.

The main line is to run from Palmyra, Mo., to west of Terre Haute, Ind. That line would run through Quincy, Meredosia, Pawnee, Pana, Mount Zion and Kansas, Ill.

A separate 28-mile section in Champaign County is to run from the Rising substation northwest of Champaign to the Sidney substation.

People attending the open house can discuss the project one-on-one with Ameren staff.

They can also use a geographic information station to see where the primary and alternate routes lie in relation to their properties.

Later this year, Ameren Transmission plans to file a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission, requesting a certificate that would allow construction of the line. The filing will include both the primary and alternate routes.

Frasca International inks deal to sell flight simulators in China

URBANA — Frasca International has announced eight new flight simulator contracts in China this year.

Five of the simulators are for Cessna C172 G1000 aircraft, and three are for Piper PA44 Seminoles, according to a release from the company.

Nanshan Flight Academy ordered six flight training devices, and Binzhou Flight Academy and Hubei Sky Blue International Aviation Academy each took delivery of one.

Based in Urbana, Frasca has been active in the Chinese aviation market for more than 15 years.

The company has a factory-trained support center in Beijing.

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ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm
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I searched for "Mexican" in "Downtown Champaign" with one checked preferences box (alcoholic drinks).


Zero results.


I searched again, expanding my results base to  "Champaign" and got one (1) result.  I assume it's the one (1) result they want me to have.  


I doubt anyone's so dumb as to think there's only one Mexican restaurant in Champaign. But dumb people are easily separated from their money, so there's that.


Thanks for the story. I don't expect to use this website ever again. I assume no one else will too.

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Your right.  I entered "bar", and "downtown Urbana".   It gave me Black Rock Pizza, and the Iron Post.  Both are good; but Bunny's, the Black Dog, and others were not listed.  Maybe; the results are based on owner input, or customer input?  I don't know if I want all places listed though.  It is nice to still have some townie places off of the beaten path.

Tutone wrote on September 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

perhaps if you investigated the site a bit more you would learn it's up to the owner to get their business listed on the site.  i don't know if there is a fee involved or not.  if the owner will contact the website they will come out to the business and interview the owner and take pictures, then create a webpage for them. as a new website there are not many places listed on it but given time to could be very useful as they add more businesses. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Jimmy John's better jump right on it.

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on September 23, 2012 at 2:09 am
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Hey, maybe they'll beat Google Maps on this functionality. I have my doubts.

Noshfolio wrote on September 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm


Thank you so much for your comment. As the article stated at the end, we are hoping to feature all local restaurants on our site eventually.

As a small, young company with limited resources and people on the team, we're working hard to cover all restauarants as quickly as we can, but all of this takes time because of our focus on rich, high-quality content.

We've certainly improved our processes and refined our operations, but unfortunately things still take at least 20+ hours of professional work for us to complete each profile.

Again, thank you for your comment, and we hope you can patiently watch us complete the site in the next few months!


Team Noshfolio

aantulov wrote on September 23, 2012 at 6:09 am

Still waiting for that "made in the USA" colume from the News Gazette.

It sure would be nice if instead of giving away millions of our tax dollars to rich, Mayor Gerard limited the give away to doctors, dentists and culinary school graduates. Doctors and Dentists tend to invest in locally owned restarants & bars. Good food keeps people spending. Check out "Plant" in Ashville, NC.

Yes, he is giving away millions of our tax dollars.  Would somebody go to a meeting and ask them to list on the website everyone getting a "deal" and mark their property with a giant "CW" for corporate welfare. Like that new hotel downtown- millions over time.

Gerard- what a stroke.

Himiko wrote on September 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Guys, I really admire the idea. I miss Champaign Taste and have been hoping someone would take over a niche something like it.

But if it takes you 20+ paid-employee hours to provide less information than what Yelp and Urbanspoon get for free from people who can use their existing Facebook accounts to leave commentary (without the overhead of convincing them to make a separate account on your site), I can't see how your business model can possibly survive.

In addition to the lack of coverage (which isn't going to go away soon if you can only handle 2 businesses per employee per week), your "map" feature seems nonexistent in Firefox 15... at least, I can't get it to show me anything but the gray box with arbitrary-looking divider lines through town and nothing displayed in it.

In contrast, a couple clicks in Google gets me dozens to hundreds of restaurant dots laid out on a zoomable interface that links straight to numbers, hours, reviews, and more.

You're not providing anything the free services aren't already providing, and you haven't done most things as well as what the free services already do.

What's going to be the "knock your socks off" type of information and/or features that will make it worth restaurantgoers' while to even remember your URL, let alone go to the trouble of making a localized account with you?

Noshfolio wrote on September 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm


Thanks for your comment. We believe we have a few things you will not get at any of the other services. 

1. Rich content with higher quality photos and recommendations

2. In-depth stories about the business and people behind it (which we understand not everyone will be interested in reading)

3. Complete menus, with specific suggestions and better quality images.

4. All of the above done in a much cleaner, simpler interface design 

We realize we're not doing something completely mind-blowing that "knocks your socks off". But at the same time, we've had a large number of people express passion for the above distinctions. 

We created this product because we didn't enjoy reading long, overwhelming reviews on sites like Yelp. There's so much information out there today on the web, but we believe very few services speak simply to the user in an engaging way.

We realize not everyone will fall in love with what we do, but we do seem to be getting positive responses from those who want that simplicity and quality content. 

In the meantime, we are still working on more features that will make users happy and continue to separate us from other services. We hope you will give us another try in a few weeks when another round of updates are here!


Team Noshfolio

Orbiter wrote on September 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

Noshfolio, good luck with your venture. Seems a unique approach. Crowdsourced restaurant reviews tend to be loaded with shill postings (both pos and neg), and ultimately the consistency of your approach may make your site well worth reading.

Until you suddenly find your work being plaigerized by a hundred offshore sites with no attribution.  But good luck nevertheless.

Jsmith68 wrote on September 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Rob for more insightful thoughts.