It's Your Business: Villa Italian Kitchen coming to town

It's Your Business: Villa Italian Kitchen coming to town

Villa Italian Kitchen is coming to Market Place Shopping Center in May, opening in the space formerly occupied by Sbarro.

The Champaign store will be one of 40 Villa Italian Kitchens to open soon in regional malls as the result of a recent deal with General Growth Properties, which owns about 120 malls including Market Place.

"This deal covers nearly a third of our portfolio and allows us to introduce Villa to a broader customer base," said Alan Barocas, GGP's senior executive vice president of leasing.

Villa Italian Kitchen has more than 250 locations worldwide. It serves Neapolitan, Sicilian and stuffed pizzas, as well as stromboli, pasta, hot sandwiches and salads.

According to the restaurant's website, Villa Italian Kitchen traces its roots to 1964, when it opened its first pizzeria next to the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.

Currently, the closest locations to Champaign-Urbana are in White Oaks Mall in Springfield, at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind., and in Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis. There are also several Villa Italian Kitchens in the Chicago area.

Iroquois Federal open in Savoy

Iroquois Federal Savings & Loan has opened the doors of its new branch in Savoy.

The office, at 108 Arbours Drive, is the same place where Busey Bank once had a branch.

Scott Perkins is the branch manager. According to Iroquois Federal's website, lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays. The drive-up is open the same hours, and the ATM is available 24 hours a day.

The phone number for the branch is 359-6065. Iroquois Federal also has offices in Watseka, Danville, Hoopeston, Clifton and Osage Beach, Mo.

Into Buffett's fold

Bloomington-based Snyder Real Estate, which has a branch office in Champaign, will affiliate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices on May 6, according to Julie Roth, managing broker of the Champaign office.

Snyder has been affiliated with Prudential Real Estate in recent years. But Roth said some Prudential agencies have been invited to become part of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

The local office, at 2500 Village Green Place, C, has 17 agents, while the main office in Bloomington has 85 agents, Roth said. Snyder Real Estate will continue to provide residential, commercial and relocation services.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliates now operate in 37 states with 750 offices and nearly 28,000 agents. Based in Irvine, Calif., Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was named "Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year" by consumers in a Harris Poll EquiTrend study this year of the largest real estate networks.

Thai plus ...

Sunny Pook has taken over ownership of the Y Eatery at the University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St., C.

In a flier announcing the change, Pook said that since 1985, the Y Thai Eatery has served "generous servings of delicious Thai dishes at affordable prices,"

Under new management, the Y Eatery will add several Chinese cuisines to diversify the menu, he said.

The restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Pook founded Hot Wok Express in Urbana in 1991 and eventually sold the restaurant business to Tai Yong.

Local store closes

A longtime provider of computer products and services has closed its store in Champaign.

Computer Deli, which was located at 39 E. Marketview Drive in Market View Shopping Center, closed March 28, said owner Todd Guttschow. But devotees of the business can still get computer parts, cables and accessories, plus repairs and diagnostics, at Computer Deli stores in Bloomington and Springfield.

"Over the last two years, market changes in the industry have been rapid and dramatic," Guttschow said. "Competition has increased and margins have decreased, making it more difficult to run a business profitably and still provide the high level of service we're known for."

The new competition came primarily from the Internet, he added.

The Champaign store opened in 2004, and Guttschow called it "a good location, a good town." He said its employees were well-respected for their expertise and he hopes they won't have difficulty finding jobs, given their talent. By the time the Champaign store closed, the employee count there was down to two, he said.

The Bloomington store, at 1306 E. Empire St., can be reached at 309-661-8266. The Springfield store, at 2922 Constitution Drive, can be reached at 217-726-7100.

Guttschow said Computer Deli's first store, in Bloomington, opened in 1998. The company once had a store in Peoria, but that store recently closed, he said.

Same places, new name

The First National Bank of Ogden is merging with Sidney-based Longview State Bank, and the new bank will be known as Longview Bank, effective May 3.

The combined bank will have $175 million in assets and offices in Sidney, Ogden, Royal, St. Joseph, Villa Grove, Camargo and Newman. The bank will have 52 employees following the merger.

John Albin, chairman of Longview Capital Corp., the holding company for the banks, cited four reasons for the merger: proximity of locations, fewer examinations and audits, expanded trust services and more services for customers.

"Both banks are well-capitalized and financially sound," he said.

In addition to Longview Bank, Longview Capital Corp. also owns the State Bank of Chrisman, First National Bank in Georgetown, Bank of Gibson City and Midwest AgriCredit Co. in Danville.

Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227; 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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