It's Your Business: Hickory Point Bank plans new look for new home

It's Your Business: Hickory Point Bank plans new look for new home

Hickory Point Bank is getting ready to transform the old Champaign National Bank building in downtown Champaign into its new home.

Part of that transformation will involve a dye job — or rather, a stain job.

The building's familiar yellowish-orange brick "will be stained to a natural red," said Steve Tock, Hickory Point's community bank president for the Champaign region.

The copper band around the top of the building will be removed, and a new cornice resembling stonework will be fashioned for the roofline, he said.

Work on the $1.85 million project is expected to start late this month or in early January and last six months, Tock said.

When the new location at the northwest corner of Randolph Street and Park Avenue opens, Hickory Point Bank will continue to operate its office at 701 Devonshire Drive, C.

But the downtown location will serve as the main local office since it has more room.

Tock said the bank leases about 5,000 square feet on Devonshire Drive but will have nearly 16,000 square feet on the first floor and lower level of the downtown location.

"We're going to occupy the entire first floor and grow into the lower level," he said, noting that safe deposit boxes will be downstairs.

The bank plans to market 7,900 square feet of office space on the second floor early next year, figuring it might be attractive to law firms, title companies or other businesses. That space will have a separate entrance on the east side with elevator access.

The main entrance to the bank will be on the building's southwest corner, Tock said. Those entering will see teller stations in front of them and find a fireplace just to the right of the entrance.

The lobby will feature electronic display technology, a flat-screen TV over the fireplace and a refreshment center, said Susan Abbott, the bank's director of marketing.

"We want to make sure customers feel warm and welcome," she said.

Two drive-thru lanes and an ATM lane will be on the north side of the building, with vehicles entering from Randolph Street, Tock said.

When the bank moves in next summer, it will have been 20 years since Champaign National left. The building was most recently occupied by Community Elements, which provides mental health services.

Hickory Point has 15 employees in Champaign, and it's been a tight fit on Devonshire Drive.

"We've not had the space to accommodate wealth management and trust and ag services" on a full-time basis, Abbott said, though the bank makes those services available by appointment.

Once the bank is downtown, it expects to have representatives from those areas located there.

"For us, there's not a better place to be than downtown Champaign," Tock said. Not only is it centrally located within the community, but it has once again become a focus of activity.

"We've seen low points in downtown Champaign, and now we're seeing revitalization and growth," he said.

Improve your golf swing

Patrick Leary is planning to close his Golf Etc. shop at 907 W. Marketview Drive, C, and open Golf Tech Studio at Willow Pond Golf Club in Rantoul in mid-March.

Golf Tech will offer FlightScope Doppler-radar swing analysis, a service that Leary provided at Golf Etc.

But at Willow Pond, Leary will be able to offer both indoor and outdoor swing analysis.

Kevin Applebee bought the Willow Pond golf course last year and is remodeling the pro shop.

Applebee said the snack bar is being converted to Applebee's 19th Hole, a sports bar that's expected to offer big-screen TVs and video gaming. He hopes to open that between Feb. 15 and March 1.

He is also remodeling the golf course's former pool building to accommodate Golf Tech.

Golf Tech builds, sells and repairs golf clubs and modifies them for players.

"Kevin will handle soft goods, shirts, bags and balls at the pro shop, and we'll do the clubs, the fittings and repairs (at Golf Tech)," Leary said.

Applebee is president of Flooring Surfaces in Champaign, which plans to open a factory outlet store in Savoy next spring.

Applebee said the store — located just north of the former Busey Bank building in Savoy — is expected to open March 1, "as long as the weather cooperates."

He said a Busey Bank ATM is already "up and operating on the property."

Well, blow me down!

Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen opened Friday at 910 W. Bloomington Road, C, just west of McDonald's.

Popeye's Cajun-inspired menu includes bone-in chicken, chicken strips, popcorn shrimp and chicken po' boys, with side orders such as red beans and rice, Cajun rice, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., franchisee Rick Walimohammad said.

Walimohammad said he has hired about 120 employees at the Champaign location. His business, Springfest Co., also has two stores in Springfield, two in Bloomington and one in Peoria.

Orange you hungry?

You may be, once Wayne Brucks ticks off the favorites at Orange & Brew Saloon & Grille.

The sports bar opened Dec. 6 in the former Buttitta's building at 1201 S. Neil St., C.

Brucks, who co-owns Orange & Brew with Dan Manolakes, said the food favorites so far appear to be pork chops, pizza, the nacho platter and the twice-baked potato casserole.

The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, opening at 11 a.m. and closing as late as 2 a.m., Brucks said.

Orange & Brew has a party room for large groups and a game room for kids and adults, plus parking to the north and west.

Its staff include 25 full-time employees and 55 part-time workers.

Next spring, Brucks and Manolakes plan to open the Level 2 Entertainment Center on the building's second floor. That space is expected to feature a walk-out stage, high-top tables and a rooftop beer garden.

The phone number for Orange & Brew is 355-1201, and the website is

Doing it Daly

Josh Daly has opened his own architectural firm, Mode 3 Architecture, with offices on the fourth floor of the M2 on Neil building at 301 N. Neil St., C.

Daly said it's his third career endeavor — "the biggest move of all." Most recently, he was architect for I Construction in Champaign, and before that, he was an architect for Henneman, Raufeisen & Associates.

One of Daly's newest projects: a five-story apartment building for Campus Property Management at 309 E. John St., C. Work on that started this past week.

The building will have parking on the ground level and four floors of apartments above. Altogether, the building will have 16 units — 12 two-bedroom units and four four-bedroom units, with each of the 40 bedrooms having its own bathroom.

One of the building's unusual features: 10-by-18-foot balconies on the north and south, Daly said.

Chiropractor makes adjustment

Dr. Janine Fruhling will move her chiropractic business, Fruhling Chiropractic, from the Shoppes of Knollwood in Champaign to 1800 Woodfield Drive, Savoy.

She'll begin taking patients at her new location on Dec. 30. The clinic's phone number is 351-0936.

Help from Heritage

Heritage Enterprises took over management of the Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton in November.

"The Illinois Knights Templar Home will remain locally owned," administrator Kathy Laube said in a release. "We chose Heritage to help us manage the day-to-day operations of the building" and provide additional resources, she said.

The home provides skilled nursing care and is licensed for 75 beds. It also offers independent-living options, with 10 apartments and four townhouses.

The home was founded in 1954 by the Masons.

Heritage Enterprises, based in Bloomington, owns or manages 40 facilities in Illinois, including Heritage Health in Gibson City and Hoopeston, Country Health Care & Rehab in Gifford, the Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home in Mattoon and Colonial Manor in Danville.

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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