It's Your Business: Dr. G's store to concentrate on brain

Watch for a new store to open in the west wing of Urbana's Lincoln Square.

Dr. G's BrainWorks, The Brain Fitness Store & More expects to open Nov. 9 in the space just west of Unique Baby Gifts.

The store will carry board games, card games, interactive games, two- and three-dimensional puzzles, puzzle books and trivia books.

It's "a store solely focused on brain fitness, brain stimulation and cognitive development for all ages," according to a release from Nani Baker, the store's general manager and director of marketing and sales.

Dr. G's is — dare we say it? — the brainchild of Dr. William Gingold of Urbana, a psychologist and gerontologist.

The store, which occupies about 1,500 square feet, will have space for customers to sit and play demonstration games from the store's library, Baker said.

Products include games of strategy, trivia, language, mathematics and memory, as well as games to develop fine and gross motor skills.

Plus, special screening, training and coaching services are expected to be available at some point.

Baker said Gingold is interested in eventually franchising Dr. G's Brainworks.

A grand opening for the Urbana store is scheduled for the week of Nov. 9-16. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The store's phone number is 607-2427.

Big player in trucks

Rush Truck Centers is preparing to take over the operations of Prairie International Trucks, including the Prairie International dealership at 808 W. Bradley Ave., C, and the Interstate Trailer and Equipment facility at 606 W. Anthony Drive, U.

The changeover is expected to come at the end of this month, according to managers of the local centers.

Rush, based in San Antonio, Texas, calls itself the largest network of heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships in North America, with more than 80 locations.

Prairie International has locations in Springfield, Decatur, Normal, Quincy and Champaign, as well as Interstate Trailer in Urbana, a body shop in Virden and an in-service location in Greencastle, Pa., according to Dick Kennedy, general manager and parts manager for the Champaign location.

The Champaign location, which employs 27, includes full-service parts and service departments, as well as truck leasing and sales of new and used trucks.

Andrew Harders, general manager of Interstate Trailer in Urbana, said he expects Rush to provide increased training for technicians as well as increased tooling.

Interstate Trailer, which employs 15, provides full-service collision work for trucks and buses, as well as full-service trailer repairs and light diesel truck maintenance.

Rush Enterprises, the parent company of Rush Truck Centers, is publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange. Its dealerships represent several major truck and bus manufacturers, including International, Peterbilt, Isuzu and Ford.

In its second-quarter report, Rush Enterprises announced it had completed dealer acquisitions in North Carolina and Ohio and was planning to buy Midwest Truck Sales dealerships in Missouri and Kansas as well as some International dealerships in Virginia.

On Sept. 26, the company announced the acquisition of International commercial truck dealerships and Idealease commercial vehicle rental and leasing businesses in several Illinois cities, including Kankakee, Joliet, Ottawa, Chicago, Grayslake, Carol Stream and Huntley, as well as the Indiana cities of Indianapolis, Gary and Brazil.

Chicken and more

Pickens Chicken & Soul Food opened Sept. 5 at 904 N. Fourth St., C.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It's closed Mondays and Tuesdays, according to managing partner/investor John Hammond.

As the name indicates, the restaurant specializes in chicken. Among other items on the menu: okra, peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, deep-fried Oreos and deep-fried cinnamon rolls.

The $9.95 Sunday plate special includes an entree, two sides, a roll or corn bread, cake and a soda.

Sandwiches and combos are available through the week, and catfish fillets, salmon croquettes and shrimp are offered as Friday dinners.

The restaurant can accommodate about 15, and food is available for carryout. The restaurant also does catering, Hammond said.

Others involved in Pickens Chicken & Soul Food are owner Tiana Harris and chef Dartaevion L. Baity, according to Hammond, an Urbana resident who was previously general manager of the Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Kankakee.

Baity received an associate degree from Chicago's Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in 2012.

Roberts is Thunderstruck

Thunderstruck Design is the new name that Roberts Design Co. adopted for itself, effective Oct. 1.

Company owner Rod Roberts said the name reflects a repositioning of the company that will provide additional services to clients and a greater depth of graphic design and brand marketing expertise.

"As we move forward, we will incorporate an enhanced focus on digital marketing, website design, social media development and management and consultation services," he said in a release.

Roberts said he chose the name Thunderstruck because of his interest in the weather and because it describes how creative ideas "often strike out of nowhere."

Thunderstruck Design recently moved to a 1,200-square-foot office on the seventh floor of Huntington Towers, 201 W. Springfield Ave., C. It was previously in a smaller space on the ninth floor.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment after hours. The phone number remains 356-5179, and the website is http://www.thunderstruckdesign.com.

Small world after all

The J.C. Penney store at Champaign's Market Place Shopping Center is one of 565 J.C. Penney stores that opened a Disney Shop on Friday.

The shops range from 800 to 1,100 square feet and feature Disney-themed plush toys, dolls, figurine sets, sleepwear and children's clothing.

On Monday, J.C. Penney closed its catalog centers, including the one in Danville.

Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at dodson@news-gazette.com; 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):Entrepreneurs, Retail

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