It's Your Business: New restaurant coming to Campustown

It's Your Business: New restaurant coming to Campustown

A University of Illinois undergraduate is planning to open a new restaurant in the heart of Champaign's Campustown.

Spicy Tang, a restaurant serving Asian fusion food, is expected to open in January, in time for the spring semester, said Martin Wan, a UI senior from Shanghai, China, with a double major in mathematics and economics.

The restaurant, now being renovated, is on the south side of Green Street between Sixth and Wright streets. The space at 611-A E. Green St., C, is just east of Campus Florist and just west of Pho Cafe Thai Kitchen.

Wan said Spicy Tang customers will be able to choose from two types of soup — one spicy, the other not. They can also select what vegetables and other ingredients, such as meatballs, they want in it.

"It will be very student-oriented," he said of the restaurant. "It's really for the benefit of students going between classes who don't have a lot of time for eating. Yet it will be very personal, in terms of their choice of food."

Wan said he wants the restaurant's formula to be straightforward.

"One thing I really focused on was trying to make a simple platform, so it will be simple for me to operate the restaurant even while I'm away," said Wan, who plans to go to law school after completing a bachelor's degree.

The restaurant, which will be open for lunch and supper, will have a "modern, contemporary" decor using lots of wood, he said.

Wan said he expects Spicy Tang to employ about five. He said the name has a dual meaning, since Tang is the name of a Chinese dynasty as well as a word for soup.

O Tannenbaum ...

Remember the old Moore Christmas tree farm south of Urbana?

It's now owned and operated by BE Farms, a collaboration of August Borchers and Jacob Emberton.

They are selling choose-and-cut Christmas trees, as well as pre-cut trees, wreaths and swags, through Dec. 24.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with three exceptions — they'll be closed on Thanksgiving, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Friday after Thanksgiving and open only limited hours on Christmas Eve.

The tree farm is at 1128 County Road 1500 E, U. The easiest way to get there is to take Philo Road south to Old Church Road, turn left (east) and take the first right (south) on County Road 1500 E. The farm is a half-mile down the road, on the left.

The phone number is 649-6020, and the website is

Toys for less

For the sixth year in a row, Ron and Joy Meyer will open Meyer's New and Used Toy Store for the four Fridays and Saturdays preceding Christmas.

It's an affordable place for people to find toys, with one-third of the items selling for less than $5 and almost everything priced under $25, Ron Meyer said.

The Meyers spend much of the year traveling to flea markets and yard sales to acquire the toys. Then beginning in late October, they spend six days a week washing, cleaning and checking the toys to make sure they're in good shape.

It's a labor of love for the Meyers and their daughter Dee-Dee, who figure they have nearly 4,000 items on display.

There's a separate room full of Barbie merchandise, plus plenty of other brand names, including G.I. Joe, Thomas the Tank Engine, Fisher-Price, Playskool, Hot Wheels and Matchbox.

The store is located north of Urbana at 2812 E. Oaks Road. To get there, take U.S. 45 a half-mile north of Farm & Fleet, then turn east on Oaks Road and go 1 mile to the Meyer place. For further information, call Meyer at 369-3425. If there's no answer, call 367-2327.

Hours of the store are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 28-29, Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13 and Dec. 19-20.

New places to eat

Paxton Record Editor Will Brumleve reports that Market Street Events has opened at 121 S. Market St., Paxton. It will provide weekly buffet-style brunches with live music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, beginning today.

The business provides on-site and off-site catering and also hosts wine tastings the first Friday of each month.

Ben Grice, the owner of Market Street Events, plans to open The Humble Hog barbecue restaurant at 125 S. Market St., Paxton, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band will perform there that afternoon.

Next spring, Grice hopes to open the Harvest Brewhouse restaurant and brewery at 102 S. Market St., Paxton.

"We're still looking at an April opening, but we still have a lot to do there," he said.

Now in Sunnycrest Mall

Design Decisions, a full-service hair and nail salon, has opened at 1717 S. Philo Road, Suite 17-A, U. It's near the Follmer Law Office in Sunnycrest Mall.

Owned and operated by Lawanda Moore, the salon will offer manicures and pedicures, haircuts, perms and relaxants, sew-ins, braid services, extensions and color services. It will also offer eyebrow waxing.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

The phone number is 974-0206.

Contemplate this

Reflect Yoga Therapy, a new yoga studio in downtown Champaign, has scheduled an open house Dec. 6 that will feature aerial and acro yoga demonstrations, mini body therapy sessions, raffle prizes, refreshments and offerings from local business partners.

The open house will be from noon to 6 p.m. at Reflect Yoga Therapy, which is located inside Studio Helix on the second floor of 324 N. Neil St., C.

The yoga studio is concluding four days of aerial yoga teacher training today. It plans to begin offering aerial yoga in December or January.

I've been a good kid ...

The Champaign Center Partnership, which represents businesses in the downtown, mid-town and Campustown areas of Champaign, is offering places for children to mail letters to Santa.

Until Tuesday, children can bring their letters to North Pole mailboxes at:

— WDWS/WHMS/WKIO studios at 2301 S. Neil St., C.

— Latte Da in the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C.

— Gameday Spirit at 519 E. Green St., C.

The locations will change weekly, with new locations being announced on the website, according to Erin Lippitz, the partnership's executive director.

When they mail letters, kids can also enter a contest to be a judge for the Parade of Lights float contest and ride with Santa in his sleigh during the parade on Saturday.

The contest ends Tuesday.

Green and flourishing

Green Purpose, a Champaign-based organization providing recycling and consulting services, has moved across the street — from 807 Pioneer St. to 808 Pioneer St..

"It's been a wonderful transition for us," said CEO Steven Rosenberg, noting that the move enabled Green Purpose to expand from 5,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet.

That has enabled it to process an increasing number of materials at a much higher rate, resulting in gains in both volume and efficiency.

"We've been very focused on a large eco-capitalistic approach to recycling," Rosenberg said.

That means maximizing profit from recycling and reducing the costs involved, he said.

Green Purpose also has been touting a line of recycling bin decals that make it easier for company employees to understand recycling streams.

The adhesive labels are a cheaper alternative to buying new recycling containers, Rosenberg said.

The group is also selling Green-o-Gram posters, to be put in high-traffic areas to educate workers about waste and recycling.

Rosenberg said Green Purpose's products are being used in 33 states.

Recently, Green Purpose launched the first "Race for Zero Waste" competition, aimed at stimulating commercial recycling.

The competition started Nov. 15 and will end April 1, 2015 — with the winner announced on April 22 (Earth Day).

The five contestants — Kraft, Rockwell Automation, Plastipak Packaging,Silgan White Cap and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District — will be judged on several metrics, including: waste and recycling, employee participation rates and educational promotion.

These days, the big focus at Green Purpose is helping businesses with non-standardized recyclable materials.

"We want to get as many businesses as possible in the county and state involved in our universal recycling system," he said.

"We've come up with a standardized set of labels and posters that identify (recyclables) by word, color and picture, so that it's completely intuitive for any person to identify what material goes into any container," Rosenberg said.

"There's so much waste generated when people don't know what material goes where and the material ends up in the wrong place," he said.

Green Purpose also provides consulting services to businesses to increase the efficiency of recycling collection.

The enterprise helps companies meet their waste diversion goals by doing a waste audit analysis and providing training and education.

The website is, and the phone number is 954-1450.

Still coming to Urbana

Tim Leek of Leek & Sons Funeral Home, Danville, said he still plans to build a funeral home on West Bradley Avenue in Urbana near Goodwin Avenue.

"Everything is still moving forward," Leek said last week. "The plan is to break ground in the early spring."

He said he expects construction to take six to nine months.

His father, J. Carlyle Leek Sr., got into the business in 1956 with Parker & Leek Funeral Home in Danville. Two years later, he started Leek & Sons Funeral Home at 304 E. Williams St., Danville, where the business remains today.

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 (1):Entrepreneurs