It's your Business: Birkey's plans new building for Urbana store

It's your Business: Birkey's plans new building for Urbana store

Birkey's, the Rantoul-based farm equipment and construction equipment dealer, plans to move its Urbana store to a new site next year.

The dealership is preparing to build a new store at 2202 S. High Cross Road, across the road from and a little south of Village Inn Pizza, said Jeff Hedge, vice president of Birkey's.

If work gets under way on the project this fall, Hedge hopes the new facility can be open by late spring or early summer next year.

The 20-acre site will give the store "three to four times more room" than the current location at 1801 E. University Ave., U, he said.

The new building is expected to be 55,000 to 60,000 square feet, though the company is still finalizing the design.

Birkey's handles both Case-IH agricultural equipment, such as tractors and combines, and Case construction equipment, such as dozers, excavators and forklifts.

It's the first facility Birkey's has built from the ground up in many years, Hedge said, noting the company has usually grown through acquisitions.

The new facility will have more showroom space and a service center with greater capacity than the existing store, Hedge said.

Birkey's employs about 36 in Urbana. With the new facility, Hedge said he expects that number to grow to the mid-40s.

Birkey's has 11 ag stores in Illinois — in Urbana, Hoopeston, Oakland, Gibson City, Bloomington, Macomb, Galesburg, Polo, Prophetstown, Annawan and Henry — and one in Williamsport, Ind.

It has four construction equipment stores — in Urbana, Bloomington, Galesburg and Mattoon.

The company has had the Urbana store since 1986, when it acquired the ag franchise formerly held by Power Equipment.

New department launch

Looking for something different for your decor?

Classic Home Consignment, located in Champaign's Round Barn Centre, will open a new department, called Redefined, on Monday.

Redefined is described by store manager Jennifer Holleman as "an eclectic home furnishings department" that will offer items ranging from "antiques to mid-century modern to contemporary."

You can expect to find furniture, lamps, art, home accents and jewelry there.

Two dealers — Chris Christenson of Tolono and Andrew Durst of Urbana — will supply the department.

Christenson has been buying and selling antiques for 20 years and has been an antiques appraiser for a Springfield-based company. Christenson sells antiques, refinishes furniture and does freelance interior design.

Durst's design interests are industrial, mid-century modern and classic. He designs and builds custom lighting, using vintage pieces as a foundation.

Classic Home Consignment, at 1912 C-D Round Barn Road, C, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Salon gets new owner

Ivan Richardson has purchased The Studio Salon, Photography and Day Spa from Michael and Rachel Ryan.

The salon opened in Urbana's Gateway Shoppes at Five Points in early 2011, with Richardson having only a partial interest at that time.

Tami Richardson is now the general manager, and Jillian Heflin is manager of the salon.

"Our spa side has a new esthetician and two massage therapists," Tami Richardson said. "We also have a nail area where we do manicures and pedicures. Our spa also has a hydrotherapy dream tub, which helps heal and detoxify the body."

Richardson said she's looking for a photographer for the photography studio, which has the capability of shooting videos and commercials.

The Studio Salon, at 202 E. University Ave., Suite H, is open Tuesday through Saturday and by appointments only on Mondays.

The phone number is 954-1606, and its website is

The Studio also has a Facebook page.

Chinese on-the-go

Shanghai 1938 is the latest Champaign restaurant to launch a mobile food truck on the University of Illinois campus.

The Shanghai 1938 On-The-Go Truck stops at Green Street and Mathews Avenue in Urbana — near the Mechanical Engineering Building — from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Most entrees are $5 and are served with white or fried rice. The truck also offers appetizers, including pork egg roll, crab rangoon and dumplings.

In November, Chinese bun with pork filling will be added to the menu.

Wei Guo Huang, owner of Shanghai 1938, said the restaurant added the food truck because it wanted to offer "a practical and affordable menu of hot, fresh and delicious Chinese food at a convenient location."

The restaurant is located at 2504 Village Green Place in Champaign's Village at the Crossing.

Huang said the truck can be booked for corporate and school events as well as campus gatherings. The contact number is 351-8886.

New chiropractor in town

Ken Nieman has opened University Chiropractic on the fourth floor of Church Street Square in downtown Champaign.

He occupies the chiropractic office formerly operated by Joseph Hanoka, who had practiced there for many decades, said Church Street Square owner David Meyer.

Nieman said he previously was employed by a physician, Michael Foreman, in Chicago for 17 years. Nieman learned that Hanoka's practice was for sale and purchased it Sept. 25. He opened the office Oct. 5.

Nieman graduated from the National College of Chiropractic — now called the National University of Health Sciences — in Lombard in 1979.

He offers chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage and X-rays at the office. University of Illinois students and staff with valid ID can get 10 percent off all services, he said.

Hours of the practice are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and by appointment on Saturdays. The phone number is 356-7077.

50 years for Ott's

Ott's Drive-In in Rantoul celebrated its 50th year in business on Oct. 23, with drawings for gifts, prizes and certificates.

The restaurant was founded by Othmer Mayer in 1962. Today it's operated by the father-and-son team of Doug and Matt Mayer.

Ott's is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Besides serving burgers and fries and bacon and eggs, it serves soups, sandwiches and pies.

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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