It's Your Business: Birkey's sets grand opening at new store

It's Your Business: Birkey's sets grand opening at new store

Birkey's Farm Store, which opened its new store on Urbana's High Cross Road on March 3, is planning a grand opening celebration April 4 and 5.

The new building is nearly 63,000 square feet — roughly double the size of Birkey's former Urbana store at 1801 E. University Ave.

Of that, the repair shop takes up about 33,000 square feet, while the office, showroom and parts department occupy 30,000 square feet.

Regional Manager Jeff Hedge said the most common remark he hears from customers is about the store's size and openness.

"One of the most bizarre comments we got, now that we moved all our (farm and construction) equipment out there, was, 'Where'd you get all this? Surely all this was not sitting at the other store,'" Hedge said.

But it was, just more densely packed.

The new store, at 2202 S. High Cross Road, U, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. It employs 42.

Store manager Brian McCoy said the two-day grand opening will begin April 4 with a ribbon-cutting at 9:30 a.m. followed by formal tours of the store.

Also on the schedule that day: a planter clinic at 10:30 a.m., an equipment leasing clinic at 11:30 a.m. and a precision farming clinic at 2 p.m.

About 33 different vendors — including Case-IH, Kubota, Grasshopper and Stihl — will have booths at a "mini trade fair" set up inside the shop from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day.

Equipment demonstrations will be held at 2:30 p.m., and a fish fry is set for 5 to 7:30 p.m.

On April 5, tours will again be offered at 8 a.m., and there will be activities for kids that day, including a bounce house. Hot dogs, chips and popcorn will also be available. Plus, consumers can try out some of the equipment that day.

Birkey's began planning the new store in 2011 and bought the land on High Cross Road in September 2012, recognizing the store's primary customer base is on the east side of Urbana.

Champaign-based Birkey's also has stores in the Illinois communities of Hoopeston, Gibson City, Mattoon, Oakland, Bloomington, Galesburg, Macomb, Polo, Prophetstown, Henry and Annawan, as well as Williamsport, Ind.

Birkey's opened its Urbana location in 1986 after acquiring the agriculture franchise formerly held by Power Equipment. That property on East University Avenue is now up for sale.

Arches in Campustown?

Remember when McDonald's had a restaurant on the north side of Green Street between Sixth and Wright streets in Campustown?

Prepare for deja vu. A building permit has been issued for $725,000 in renovations for a McDonald's restaurant in JSM's Technology Plaza building at 616 E. Green St., C.

Jill Guth, JSM's director of commercial leasing, said she couldn't comment on the matter.

McDonald's had a store at 624 E. Green St., C, throughout much of the 1970s and '80s.

The new development comes on the heels of Wendy's returning to Campustown after a long hiatus. It reopened on South Sixth Street, not far from the old location at Sixth and Green.

So if everything old is new again, what's next? The return of the Co-Ed Cinemas?

The return of 301 Mongolia

Speaking of surprise returns, 301 Mongolia reopened for business in downtown Champaign on Monday, according to its Facebook page.

The restaurant at the northern end of the M2 on Neil building at 301 N. Neil St., C, closed last August, ostensibly for the expansion of Dublin O'Neil's.

"It was a better decision for the company to reopen (301) and put a little more passion into it," said Amit Chopra, who owns both restaurants. He said he wanted to preserve the intimacy of Dublin O'Neil's and feared expanding it might destroy that.

Chopra told The News-Gazette last summer it was conceivable he might reopen 301 Mongolia at another location. "It's a great concept, the business did well, and it's a concept I believe in," he said then.

After Aldi is said and done ...

You might look for signs of life soon at the old Aldi store at 701 N. Mattis Ave., C.

Urbana developer Paul Tatman said Friday that the Tatman family recently bought the building from Aldi, but has no immediate plans for it.

Aldi vacated that space upon opening a new store at 801 W. Interstate Drive, C, near the Champaign Walmart store.

Clothing for tykes and more

SooQ Yang has opened Charm Beauty & Fashion in Champaign's Royal Plaza, 505 S. Neil St., C.

The shop is located between Piccadilly Beverage Shop and Jodi Albert & Associates.

Yang said the shop, which opened March 1, specializes in clothing for babies and children under 4 years old. It also carries blankets, dresses and jewelry. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The store's phone number is 352-1312.

Three weekends of doughnuts

Pandamonium Doughnuts is planning a "pop-up donut shop" on three consecutive weekends at [co][lab], 206 W. Main St., U.

The pop-up shop starts this coming weekend and continues March 28-30 and April 4-6.

The shop opens at 5 p.m. Fridays, 8 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. Sundays until Pandamonium sells out of doughnuts.

Popcorn and candy in Rantoul

Russell and Denise Myers of Gifford have opened a shop selling flavored popcorn and old-fashioned candy in Rantoul.

Their business, which opened March 3 is called Pop-a-licious Gourmet Popcorn and is located at 620 E. Champaign Ave., across from Rantoul Township High School.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Denise Myers said popcorn is sold by the bag. Flavors include seasoned butter, caramel and cheese, but you can also get a mix of caramel and cheese popcorn or a "trinity" mix of all three flavors.

Myers said the candy shop portion of the business sells all sorts of old-time candies, including Boston baked beans, orange slices, nut chews and even candy cigarettes.

New to The Salon House

Blessed Beginnings, a hairstyling business owned by Samantha Gavin Rosaliano, is scheduled to open Monday in Studio 108 of The Salon House, 2918 Crossing Court, C.

It's one of several new businesses that have opened there or will soon open, according to a release from The Salon House.

Hairstylist Jillanna D. Mercer plans to open Jillanna's Headquarters in Studio 120 of The Salon House on April 1.

Recently opening there were:

— T.L. Jones Salon, owned by hair stylist Tonia Jones, who specializes in color and permanent hair straightening. Her salon is in Studio 102.

— A Journey Esthetics owned by esthetician and professional makeup artist Anjie Jones, who focuses on the health and wellness of skin. Her business is in Studio 106.

— Ciree Hair Design, owned by hair stylists Renee Noice and Cindy Durbin Wible. Noice and Wible have worked side by side since 1994, and they opened Ciree in 2003 at Country Fair Shopping Center. Now they're in Studio 107 of the Salon House.

More than just coffee and tea

A partnership between Rogards Office Plus and Herriott's Columbia Street Roastery is expanding its offerings of beverages.

Last year, the two firms gave area businesses a freshly roasted alternative to single-serve coffee systems such as Keurig. Their venture supplied businesses with single-serve coffee pods and brewers.

Beginning this month, the partners are making available a new brewer that makes cafe-style specialty drinks.

In addition to coffee and tea, users can choose from a variety of drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, mochaccinos and hot chocolate.

Columbia Street Roastery installs and services the brewing equipment, and Rogards is the sole distributor for the coffee pods.

For details or to set up a trial, contact Rogards at 359-1795.

Remnants tagged for His Kid's

One Week Boutique has announced that after its spring sales event in Champaign-Urbana, remaining items that have been designated for donation will go to His Kid's Closet, a new nonprofit group that operates in four Champaign schools.

His Kid's Closet collects donated clothing items and redistributes them to kids in need through local schools, churches and other organizations.

"Teachers and social workers become aware of families in need before others in the community see it," sad Donna Pepper of One Week Boutique in a release.

The collaboration was made possible with the assistance of

Help for the not-so-tidy

Dana Cohen has founded Your Simple Home to help people declutter their possessions and simplify their homes.

Besides helping people get rid of belongings and organize drawers, closets, shelves and cabinets, she also helps folks develop systems to prevent clutter from building up.

Cohen, who has a master's degree in social work, made two international moves within a year that she says helped her learn about minimalism and simple living.

The phone number for Your Simple Home is 220-7003. Its website is

Feeling punchy?

Power House Boxing Gym has moved to 2200 Kickapoo Drive, Suite D, in Danville.

The gym is offering classes in boxing, aerobics, mixed martial arts, muay thai and martial arts for men, women, youths and senior citizens.

Hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Membership prices for adults 18 and older are $75 per month. Discounts are available for students from kindergarten to high school and for senior citizens.

Javier Delgado is the owner and head coach. The phone number is 597-0143.

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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billbtri5 wrote on March 16, 2014 at 8:03 am

that's a great column Don...