It's Your Business: Center's growing at great clip

It's Your Business: Center's growing at great clip

Next up in the Carriage Center's growing lineup: a popular hair-cutting business, a nail salon and a casual restaurant.

— Franchisee David Hands of Peoria and his wife Tanja are opening a Great Clips store at 2023 S. Neil St., next to the new Ace Hardware store and behind the new Starbucks, on June 3.

Hands said the Champaign Carriage Center store will be his 15th salon, joining sites in the Peoria and Bloomington areas.

Hands first got involved with the hair-cutting business nine years ago when he was laid off from his job.

"My wife and I decided to get involved with Great Clips, and it has proven to be a great investment," he said. "We noticed there is a huge population here in Champaign-Urbana. We did so well in Normal around the Illinois State University campus. ... This is a vibrant business market, and we will strike a chord for people who want convenience."

When the Champaign store opens, Hands said the business will offer $5.99 haircuts for the first month.

Great Clips Inc. was established in 1982 in Minneapolis and has grown to more than 3,900 salons,

— Next door to the Great Clips store in Carriage Center will be a nail salon, Salon Xpression.

Partners Michael Nguyen of Champaign and Tony Ly of Chicago plan to open the salon at 2027 S. Neil in June.

Nguyen, who currently works at Modern Nail Salon, said Salon Xpression will have six employees.

"I have been doing this work for a number of years, and I decided it was time to venture on my own in the business world," Nguyen said.

— Tim Harrington, commercial services director for Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty, said that Slim Chickens closed on the purchase of the last available lot remaining in the Carriage Center project on May 9.

Slim Chickens opened in 2003 in Fayetteville, Ark., with a focus on chicken. The menu includes fresh chicken tenders, Buffalo wings, sandwiches, salads, wraps, a variety of iced teas, frozen lemonade, fried pies and authentic Southern sides.

Harrington said the freestanding building will be located between Wendy's and Moe's Southwest Grill.

The restaurant is expected to open late this summer.

Dollar General adds locations

Champaign has a new Dollar General store.

The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company held a grand opening for its store at 3001 W. Bradley Ave. on May 14.

Spokesman Nolan Miles said the company looked for places where it could offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice.

"We also take demographic trends, competitive factors and traffic patterns into consideration," he said.

One advantage of the new store is its proximity to Parkland College.

The Bradley location is the third Dollar General store in Champaign. There is also one store in Urbana.

Also, a Dollar General was to hold its grand opening at 902 N. Main St., Georgetown, on May 14.

Company spokesman Nolan Miles said the store will employ between six and 10 people, depending on the need.Miles said there are currently 12 Dollar General stores in Vermilion County.

LeRoy's new old restaurant

The Old Bank Restaurant and Bar will soon open in downtown LeRoy.

Owners Ken and Nanam Yoon Myszka and Stu Hummel hope to open the restaurant at 201 E. Center St. sometime this summer.

The building, which once was the home of the original Old Bank Inn restaurant, has special memories for Ken Myszka.

"I grew up in the area, and it was one of our favorite restaurants to go to as a kid," he said. "My dad actually bought the building when it was vacant six or seven years ago, and he did all the rehab and remodeling work."

He said the three-person team also owns Epiphany Farms, Anju Above and Epiphany on Main, all in Bloomington, as well as two farms in the Bloomington, Downs and LeRoy area.

Myszka said the Old Bank Restaurant and Bar will offer a variety of what he calls "delectable Midwestern classics."

"We're going to have an amazing burger, fish sandwiches, meatloaf, ribs, an awesome barbecue, gumbo and great soup," he said.

The restaurant will have 20 employees and initially will be open for dinner only Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Consulting firm opens

Alan Grusby of Champaign recently launched a new consulting firm, Grusby and Associates, out of his home.

Grusby is a food and feed industry consultant with more than 40 years of hands-on experience, being involved with everything from working at a slaughterhouse to U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections and setting up laboratories.

The Champaign man retired from the Archer Daniels Midland Co. after a 26-year career there. Working with corn and soy protein ingredients in meat, dairy and bakery applications, he has worked with processing facilities in 46 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and, more recently, China and Russia.

Apria at new location

Apria Healthcare has moved from Glenn Park Drive on Champaign's west site to a new site at 407 Devonshire Drive in south Champaign.

Apria offers a range of home respiratory, home infusion therapy and home medical equipment services.

Bakery now open

Tea Time Bakery, the business at 307 N. Long St. (U.S. 45) in Tolono that we first told you about in March, is now open for business.

The bakery, owned by Tuscola resident Tami Welsh, is initially only open on weekends.

The building was the home of Judy's Sweets until September 2015.

Magazine honor

Illinois Meetings + Events magazine, a leading industry publication focused on the meetings and conventions industry in Illinois and the Midwest, honored Visit Champaign County with a Reader's Choice Award as the best convention and visitors bureau outside Chicagoland.

Meetings and events planners were asked to nominate suppliers, vendors, venues and CVBs that they consider the best leaders in the industry.

Nominations were received from readers and finalists selected before the winners were announced on May 3 in Chicago.

"Meetings and conventions are our bread and butter," said Leah Longueville, Visit Champaign County director of sales. "Our staff, alongside our various hotel partners, work hard every day to attract and retain business. Meetings and conventions are a valuable part of driving travel and tourism to our area."

In this fiscal year, Visit Champaign County has worked with 42 small to medium-sized meetings in the Champaign County area. With each having an attendance of less than 220 people, these conferences have collectively resulted in an estimated economic impact of more than $1.7 million.

Contact Tim Mitchell at 217-351-5366; 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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