Wendy's is returning to Urbana after a seven-year absence — with a new franchisee.
Mike Allegro, who owns the Wendy's in Champaign's Campustown, plans to build a new one on Cunningham Avenue, just south of Arby's, according to Gateway Shoppes developer Ivan Richardson.
Allegro opened the Campustown store at 608 S. Sixth St. in February and said late last year that he hoped to open a Wendy's in Urbana in mid-2013.
Contacted last week, Allegro said he was traveling and might have more to say this week.
Allegro operates 16 other Wendy's restaurants in northeastern Illinois, with four in Kankakee County, five in Will County, four in Cook County and three in DuPage County.
Urbana has been without a Wendy's since September 2006, when the location at Race Street and University Avenue closed. That's now the site of Windy City Express.
New space for Concept
Concept College of Cosmetology plans to move to Gateway Shoppes this summer from its current location in downtown Urbana, according to Janet Trosper, who owns the college with her husband Paul.
The cosmetology school will take the space vacated by The Studio Salon, 202 E. University Ave., C, at the end of April. Concept College has been located at 129 N. Race St., U, for 17 years.
"We put a lot of improvements into the old space, but it's an old building," Trosper said. "This is all new, all state-of-the-art. It's like a blessing."
Everything will be on one floor, rather than two, making it easier for both students and clients, she said.
Trosper said she has told state regulators that the new place will be ready for inspection June 17 and she would like to be open July 8. That way, students can come to the new location when they return from summer break.
Hours for clients are expected to remain the same: 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 9:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
Golden Goats grazing again
Remember the Golden Goats — the machines outside Jerry's IGA stores that gobbled your aluminum cans and paid you for them?
The machines have been put out to pasture for a few years, but some of them are grazing again, under new ownership.
The first two returned to service are outside Carpet Master Carpet One at 1040 Bloomington Road, C, and Helbling Auto Body at 501 E. University Ave., C.
According to Chris Greenwold, one of the new owners, the machines pay 25 cents per pound for aluminum cans.
Since January, about 60,000 cans have been deposited in the two machines, he said.
The machines were formerly owned by Ted Roberts, but they were recently acquired by Greenwold, Rich Jarboe and Travis Heath.
Now they're scouting for locations for two more machines. Greenwold said he would prefer spots outside businesses in Urbana, Savoy, Mahomet and Rantoul.
Businesses interested in providing space can contact him through the Central Illinois Recycling website, http://www.cirecycle.com.
Each machine takes up roughly the space of one parking place, he said.
Greenwold said he believed the machines were first put into operation in 1991 and one was still operating in 2010.
He said he and his partners consider the Golden Goats "more of a service than a business." He added he has great childhood memories of getting money for his cans from the machines.
"When I was a kid, I thought they were the best thing in the world," Greenwold said. "That's how I got my Nintendo."
Victoria's Secret has begun a major remodeling of its space at Champaign's Market Place Mall and has moved to a temporary location in the J.C. Penney wing near the children's play area.
In other news from Market Place, General Manager Dennis Robertson reports that White House | Black Market opened Thursday in the northern part of the former Abercrombie & Fitch space.
Next up: Pink, which is scheduled to open June 7 in the southern part of the former Abercrombie & Fitch space. It previously was within Victoria's Secret.
Gigi to come downtown
Mary Murphy recently started a business, Gigi Downtown, that offers events and promotions targeted at women.
Murphy said last week that she plans to open an office at 12 E. Washington St., C — just west of CompleteCare Pharmacy — by the end of this month.
The business has a membership program, known as Pink Diamond, that women can join for a monthly fee of $7. They receive membership cards that qualify them for special deals from participating businesses, she said.
Gigi Downtown also sponsors special events, including a "Ladies and Laughter" event June 20 at Jupiter's at the Crossing.
Murphy said she has worked in interior design consulting off and on for 10 to 12 years and also formerly operated the Firewater Cafe in Decatur.
Gigi Downtown's website is http://www.gigidowntown.com. The phone number is 493-9270.
Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at email@example.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.