It's Your Business: New Entry of Entrees

It's Your Business: New Entry of Entrees

Miga restaurant in downtown Champaign offers modern American cuisine with Asian touch

Miga, the newest restaurant to open in downtown Champaign, eventually plans to offer karaoke and lunch — but for now, it's concentrating on dinner and late-night drinks.

The restaurant — the latest creation of Jin Park, who also owns the Sakanaya restaurant on Green Street in Campustown — opened Sept. 5 in the space on Church Street just west of Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works.

Miga offers "modern American cuisine with an Asian touch," Park said.

The entrees includes rib-eye steak, chicken and orange-glazed salmon steak, and noodle and rice dishes include Buddhism Bi Bim Bap and Soy Cream Louisiana Chicken Pasta.

There are also a variety of appetizers, soups and salads, including a sashimi salad.

For now, Miga is open for dinner from 5 to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week and remains open until 2 a.m. for drinks. Eventually, the restaurant plans to have a limited late-night menu, said bar manager Nick Nakamura.

Miga also anticipates being open for lunch at some point, but that may not come until 2015, he added.

The new restaurant, in part of the M2 on Neil building, has an interior design featuring "industrial elements."

Wood, brick and concrete play a major role, and black, gray and beige are the predominant tones.

Diners can choose to sit at a long wooden table with wooden benches or at smaller tales with padded seats.

There are also two private dinner rooms that eventually will be equipped for karaoke. One accommodates about nine people in a large curved booth, while the second room accommodates about 14.

Miga employs about 30 people altogether. Its executive chef, Jae Jin Lee, was recruited from the W Hotel in Seoul, South Korea.

The restaurant's phone number is 398-1020. General manager Jennifer Kropfel said there's ordinarily no need to make reservations, but they are encouraged for larger parties and on weekends.

Scotsman expands trade

Paul Edward Montador, who has been selling The Scotman's Kitchen baked goods at Urbana's Market at the Square, has now arranged for some of his products to be sold at local stores, including Strawberry Fields and Common Ground Food Co-op, both in Urbana, and Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in Champaign.

Montador, a native of Edinburgh, Scoland, said he makes "traditional Scottish baked goods with a healthy twist — everything is organic, natural and sourced locally."

The baked goods include six varieties of shortbread, six varieties of tarte tatin and several types of chocolates.

Montador, who worked as a chef and caterer in the United Kingdom, initially came to the U.S. in 2010 for a six-month stay. After returning to the United Kingdom, he came back to the United States in late 2011 and has been here since.

His business partner — and fiancee — is Anastasia Barrack, and they use a commercial kitchen in Savoy to prepare their treats.

The shortbread varieties include the signature flavor, as well as rum and raisin, vanilla coffee bean crunch, lemon poppyseed, chocolate chip and — believe it or not — chili cranberry.

Two-bar bags are being sold at Strawberry Fields and Curtis Orchard, while six-bar gift boxes are available at Common Ground.

The tarte tatin — which Montador describes as an upside-down fruit tart — is available in apple and cinnamon, peach and rum, peach and brandy, strawberry rhubarb, kiwi and mango and apple and raspberry. Those are sold individually.

The chocolates include "coconut munro" and "brandy mont d'or." Both names have personal meaning to the chef.

The latter — meaning "mountain of gold" — is also a play on his last name, while "munro" refers to a large Scottish hill.

"If you climb a hill of a certain height, they say, 'You've bagged a munro,'" Montador said. "I've bagged four of them."

The chocolates are usually sold in bags of four and are sold at Curtis Orchard, he added.

Montador said he's working on a couple new chocolate concoctions: a Blarney Stone chocolate made with Baileys Irish Cream and green coconut that looks like moss, and Angel Share chocolates made with Scotch whisky.

Montador and Barrack try to include a little Scottish wit and wisdom on the shortbread boxes, which include "The Musings of Sir Eddy" — a doff of the tam to Montador's dad.

Their online business is at

Open-ended closing

Neil Browne said he doesn't know how the "going-out-of-business" sale at Browne's Fine Jewelry in Champaign will last.

"I'm not exactly sure how much longer we'll be open. ... October or beyond, we don't have a specific date yet," he said.

It's been nearly 35 years since Browne's opened — initially at 115 W. University Ave., C, where Christie Clinic's parking lot is.

The store was there for three years, then moved to 1502 S. Neil St., C, where it remained 17 years before relocating to its current space at 302 W. Kirby Ave., C.

Browne said that when the store opened, he and his first wife, Dalal, were both designers and did repairs. As time passed, they got more into merchandising.

Today, the merchandise mix is "probably 70 percent diamonds, 20 percent color gems and 10 percent metals."

The biggest change in trends over those years, he said, was probably the rapid transition from yellow gold to white gold in the early 1990s.

"Probably moving the store to a freestanding location was the biggest thing that happened," he said, referring to the move from South Neil to the corner of Kirby and State Street.

Something he'd like to forget: "Two different ice storms that shut us down for Valentine's Day." One shut them down for three days. Another forced them to close on Feb. 13 and not reopen until almost the end of Feb. 14.

The most unusual order? Probably a brooch that displayed a map of the world, with a stone set in every country that the customers had visited. Dalal carved the design into wax and it was cast into gold, Browne said.

Browne said he got into the jewelry business after graduate school, when he couldn't find a job during a recession in the late 1970s.

A native of Milford in Iroquois County, he managed to get a job at Overstreet's in Danville, and there he taught himself to be a goldsmith.

"We just appreciate all the support we've had over the years, the loyal customers and all the engagement rings we've done," he said.

He credited Dalal for helping him build the business and said she has "come back to help us with the sale."

Browne said he plans to retire after closing the store — but adds there are "three or four things I'm thinking about doing — teaching business, playing golf, and there's a patent I want to pursue."

Under the hood in St. Joe

Matthew Phillips of Homer has opened St. Joseph Automotive & Diesel in the space formerly occupied by Mike's Garage & Towing at 703 N. Fourth St. in St. Joseph.

"We do everything bumper to bumper on a car except for body work," Phillips said.

That includes engine diagnostics, transmission diagnostics, diesel diagnostics and repairs in all those areas.

Phillips had been a co-owner of Midwest Automotive & Diesel in Champaign but sold his shares in that to his partner last spring. He opened the St. Joseph business on Aug. 14.

The shop has three bays, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 469-2018.

Phillips said he does a lot of work on car and truck fleets, but also tries to cater to individual needs locally.

"The main thing about working in a small town is making sure everyone is taken care of the way they should be taken care of," he said.

Phillips graduated from the automotive diesel and industrial program at Universal Technical Institute in Chicago and later worked at Ford of Champaign and Worden-Martin before becoming a co-owner of Midwest.

Though automotive repair is his principal line of work, Phillips and his wife Casey, also have an information technology and marketing business, Accelerated Business Designs, as well as MJP Ventures, a house rental and real estate investment firm, he said.

Back in the printing biz

Leon Odendaal has purchased Express Print Center in Champaign, changed the name to Xpress Print Plus and moved the business to 510 N. Cunningham Ave., Suite 10, U.

The business uses high-speed production digital and wide-format printing equipment used for banners, vinyl, yard signs, car magnets and vehicle wraps. Services include a full bindery, graphic design and direct-to-garment printing.

Odendaal, who previously owned and operated PDQ Printing of Urbana, bought Express Print Center from its previous owner, Jamie Craig.

Xpress Print Plus is a family-owned business, and its employees have more than 80 years of combined experience.

A grand opening celebration is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, with tours, prizes, hot dogs, chips and soda.

Plus, the business will celebrate its grand opening all that week — Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 — with tours and a free cookie available from 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of that week.

Popping up in Urbana

Brigitte Pieke, owner of the Klose Knit shop in Urbana, and five of her customers are planning a "pop-up shop" at [co][lab], 206 W. Main St., U, from Thursday to Sunday.

They will sell knitted items, including hats, scarves, shawls, socks, sweaters, gloves, mittens, baby clothes, washcloths and toys, using the slogan "The Future Is Handmade."

Hours will be 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, contact Pieke at 344-2321.

Different days for resale

The Carle Auxiliary Resale Boutique will change its hours of operation, beginning Sept. 30.

The boutique, at 810 W. University Ave., U, at the northeast corner of Lincoln and University avenues, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed Sundays and Mondays.

That's a big switch from current hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Proceeds raised by the boutique are used to support the Carle Auxiliary Guest House, student scholarships, baby shirts for newborns and professional excellence awards for Carle nurses.

Boutique picks charities

Items remaining for donation at the end of this fall's One Week Boutique will be given to Crisis Nursery and His Kids Closet.

One Week Boutique — a consignment sales of kid's clothing and toys and baby equipment — runs through Tuesday at the Leonhard Recreation Center, 2307 W. Sangamon Drive, C.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, with most items half-off that day.

The event helps families to make money by selling their gently used items.

Items are priced by the consignor and generally sell for about one-third the regular retail price. Families earn 65 percent to 70 percent of the sale price.

One Week Boutique was launched 10 years ago by Urbana native Donna McGuire Pepper and her husband Cam, along with her parents, Richard and Kay McGuire.

New approaches at Milo's

Milo's restaurant in Urbana has expanded its offerings of appetizers, entrees and fall-inspired desserts.

"We've added a few more approachable items to our dinner menu, such as fish and chips and spaghetti and meatballs," said Jane Anderson, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Obdulio Escobar.

Milo's opened at Urbana's Lincoln Square in 1997 and moved to its current location at 2870 S. Philo Road in August 2008.

Power of pink in Tuscola

The Tanger Outlet Center in Tuscola has scheduled a breast cancer awareness event from 1 to 4 p.m.  Oct. 5.

Guests are encouraged to stop by the center's "Shop Pink" headquarters, next door to the Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, where they can get a free risk assessment screening from Mills Breast Cancer Institute staff.

They can also register to win door prizes, including a $250 shopping spree at Tanger Outlet Center, and enjoy light refreshments.

"PinkStyle" savings packs will be available for purchase there. Proceeds benefit Carle Center for Philanthropy/Mills Breast Cancer Institute and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The first 250 guests to register at the Shop Pink headquarters will receive a complimentary pink reusable shopping bag. To register, call the Tanger Outlet Center, 253-2282.

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.

Sections (2):News, Business
Topics (3):Food, Restaurants, Retail