It's Your Business: Q Smokehouse plans October opening

It's Your Business: Q Smokehouse plans October opening

For those minding their P's and Q's, here's some help in the Q department: Q Smokehouse plans to open in October at 617 E. Green St., C, in the space vacated earlier this year by Qdoba Mexican Grill.

The new restaurant will serve barbecue sandwiches, burritos, nachos, smoked wings, potato croquettes and pulled-pork egg rolls. Its owners are Sean and Qiaozi Mahaffey, who formerly operated Smoke Que & Brew at Champaign's Village at the Crossing.

Sean Mahaffey said customers will be able to choose from 10 toppings for their sandwiches. The smokehouse will also offer five custom sauces.

Hours are expected to be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, Mahaffey said. Delivery won't be offered right away, but may be available later. Late-night hours are a possibility at some point, he added.

In other Campustown restaurant developments:

— Ambar-India plans to occupy the former Wonderdogs site at 605 S. Wright St., C, serving Indian cuisine.

— Niro's Gyros has a sign up at 706 S. Sixth St., C, indicating it will open in the space that formerly housed The Porch restaurant.

— The Beef Stand, at 611 E. Green St., C, has closed after a three-year run.

— Asian Taste has opened in the former Doodles space at 502 E. John St., C, in Johnstowne Centre. It's operated by Hang Tran and her brother, Linh Tran, both of whom came from Vietnam.

Linh Tran, a longtime local resident who works at Advanced Filtration Systems Inc. in Champaign, said his sister arrived from Vietnam about a year ago. She has worked in the restaurant business for 20 years, he said.

Asian Taste serves spring rolls, sandwiches, soup and rice dishes and also has weekend specials. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. The phone number is 384-6070.

New outlet stores

Toys R Us Express and Kay Jewelers are coming to the Tanger Outlet Center in Tuscola.

Toys R Us Express plans to open in September, while Kay Jewelers expects to begin operations in early November, according to Morrie Mendenhall, general manager of the outlet center.

The toy store will occupy about 3,000 square feet in the former Cowgirl Country space located between Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Book Warehouse, he said.

Kay Jewelers will take about 2,400 square feet in the former SAS space between the Bath & Bodyworks Outlet and Corning-Corelle-Revere.

Center plans celebration

The McKinley Fitness Center, at 500 W. Church St., C, is changing its name to McKinley Aquatics Center.

To mark the change, the center is hosting a public celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Allison Elliott, fitness coordinator and personal trainer, said swimming will be free during those hours, and drawings will be held for prizes from merchants including TCBY, Subway and El Toro.

Face painting will be offered for kids, and there will an obstacle course to run. Free family aerobics classes will be offered each hour, and vendors will be on hand.

Elliott said the first 20 people to sign up for memberships that day will have their joining fee waived.

The center is making the name change to emphasize its pools, which Elliott said are the "main draw." The center will continue to operate its gymnasium and fitness facilities.

Roses to share

Blossom Basket Florist is once again hosting "Good Neighbor Day," when it will give away 8,000 roses in bunches of a dozen.

Ron and Debbie Bailey, owners of the business, say they would like anyone picking up roses to bring a nonperishable food item for the TIMES Center Men's Shelter.

They also would like rose recipients to sign a pledge to keep one flower for themselves and give the others to 11 different people.

This year, Good Neighbor Day will be Wednesday, Sept. 4, and the giveaway will begin at 7 a.m.

Those wanting to pick up roses can come to the two Blossom Basket locations — 1002 N. Cunningham Ave., U, and 2522 Village Green Place in Champaign's Village at The Crossing.

Roses can also be picked up at the WDWS/WHMS/WKIO studios at 2301 S. Neil St., C, and at the Busey Bank branch at Windsor and Duncan roads in Champaign. Meadowbrook Community Church is joining those businesses as a sponsor of the event.

This is the 14th year that Blossom Basket has hosted Good Neighbor Day. Last year's event collected more than 1,000 pounds of food for the TIMES Center.

Now hear this ...

Bruce Pea has opened a handcrafted audio speaker business, Ars Harmonia, in Champaign.

He builds each speaker by hand in his wood shop. He figures it takes 47 steps and 11 days to produce each one.

"I'm inspired by a time when audio gear was made with the best materials, attention to detail and a sense of pride that's hard to find these days," Pea said in a release. "Most manufacturers — and consumers — have drifted from these standards."

Pea calls his product Desmond Speakers in honor of Paul Desmond, a saxophone player for Dave Brubeck.

Although the 3-1/2-inch full-range driver in the speaker comes from Japan, the cabinet lumber, packing materials and other components are sourced and purchased in the U.S.

Pea accepts custom orders through his website, by phone and email. The speakers can also be heard and purchased at Glenn Poor's Audio Video at 1745 W. Kirby Ave., C.

The phone number is 689-1028, the website is and the email address is

Ars Harmonia comes from the Latin for "art of harmony."

Whopper of a makeover

Maruti Seth, who operates nine area Burger King restaurants, said renovation has begun on the store at 2110 N. Prospect Ave., C.

When complete, the restaurant will resemble already-renovated Burger Kings in Urbana, Savoy and Tuscola, he said.

To accommodate the makeover, the dining room closed last Sunday, but the drive-through remains open.

The restaurant is expected to return to full operation on or around Monday, Sept. 9, he said.

Seth said the store at 2105 W. Springfield Ave., C, is next in line to be renovated.

He operates two stores each in Champaign and Danville and one each in Urbana, Savoy, Rantoul, Tilton and Tuscola.

Salon opens in Gregory Place

No. 7 Salon & Spa opened July 15 at 700 S. Gregory St., U, in the space just north of J. Gumbo's.

The salon, owned by Erin Christians, has a stylist-esthetician and five other stylists, most of whom are former employees of HairBenders.

Michelle Tool is the stylist-esthetician, and Christians, Tracy Shanks, Dana Germanski, Krissie D'Urso and Denise Richardson are the other stylists.

Services include facials, nonsurgical face-lifts, body wraps, makeup application, manicures and pedicures.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

The phone number is 607-5280, and the website is

Reflect on this ...

Mirror Image Hair Studio is moving into the space at Race Street and University Avenue in Urbana that was once occupied by A Pink Poppy balloons and flowers shop.

The hair studio currently shares space with Mirror Image Barber Shop in the back of that building, at 202 W. University Ave., U.

When the hair salon moves to the front — probably by November — the barbershop will occupy all of the back space.

Carlotta Mason and Laneshia Sargent are co-owners of Mirror Image.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and Monday by appointment only. The phone number is 344-4827.

A body in motion ...

Summer Johnson has started the CU Kids! dance program, offering classes at the Savoy Recreation Center.

Classes are available in ballet, modern dance, tap, hiphop and family hiphop. Sessions start this week, with classes for various ages of kids.

More information on classes, instructors, fees and registration can be found at the program's website,

If the online registration deadline has passed, students can still register by contacting Sharon Armstrong at the Savoy Recreation Center, 359-3550, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, beginning this Thursday. Questions can be emailed to, Johnson said.

Offices open at M2

Three new tenants have taken space in The Enclave on the fourth floor of M2 on Neil, at 301 N. Neil St., C.

They include architect Josh Daly, civil engineer Bryan Bradshaw and Creg McDonald, broker/owner of The McDonald Group Real Estate.

In related news, 15 condominiums in M2 have sold so far this year, bringing the total of sold units to 36, according to Rebecca Motley, vice president, administration and special projects, for One Main Development.

Fifteen units remain available for sale, she said.

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.

Sections (2):News, Business
Topics (2):Food, Retail

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