It's your business: Smokehouse becoming sports bar in Tuscola

It's your business: Smokehouse becoming sports bar in Tuscola

The country farmhouse look is on its way out at the former Smokehouse restaurant in Tuscola.

Remodeling is under way to turn the place off Interstate 57 into a modern-looking sports bar and nightclub catering to young adults.

The transformation from Smokehouse to Sonny's I-57 Sports Bar is the work of Natasha Osborne and her fiance, Sonny Halimi, who are leasing the premises and hope to open it as a sports bar the first or second week of April.

Osborne said the sports bar will serve sandwiches and appetizers and will have six TVs and a dance floor with a DJ on weekends and live music occasionally.

Osborne, 26, and Halimi, 30, originally moved to Tuscola to take over the former Dixie Truckers Home, now Four Seasons Family Restaurant. A mother of four, Osborne said she and her fiance were attracted to Tuscola's schools and business opportunities.

"We fell in love with the whole town," she said.

She and Halimi are also the new operators of the Amishland Buffet inside the "red barn" building next to the Smokehouse, and they have a Four Seasons restaurant in Effingham.

Before moving to Tuscola, they also operated a Four Seasons restaurant in Paris.

Osborne said she and Halimi decided to turn the former Smokehouse into a nightclub and sports bar because they didn't see places like that catering to the younger crowd in Tuscola.

Their future plans for the Four Seasons in Tuscola include adding a pizza and pasta buffet for the kids, she said.

Radon testing service expands

Anthony Tate, operator of Urbana-based 21st Century Service Radon Testing, said he has expanded his business from home testing to also include testing in schools and commercial buildings.

He has been in business for five years and serves all East Central Illinois areas.

For more information, call 239-7044.

Shoe shop from south of the border

Elegancia Shoes & More has opened at 1508 S. Neil St., C, next to Merry-Ann's Diner.

The store sells Andrea shoes from Mexico, handmade children's clothes and christening gowns.

The owners, Jose Luis Hernandez and Berenice Fuentes, formerly worked for El Toro restaurant.

Hernandez said the store can order shoes from a catalog if customers don't find what they want in the store.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Another way to pay your hospital bills

Carle Foundation Hospital is now offering an online bill payment service, which will accept payments on MasterCard or Visa, hospital officials say.

Carle says patients using the system will be asked such personal information as the last four digits of the Social Security number of the person responsible for paying and the patient account number.

Patients of Carle Therapy Services, Carle surgicenters and Poolside Aquatic Therapy can use the same Web site to pay their bills.

The Web site is secure and can be found at

hospital/billpay/default.asp. More information is available from patient accounting at 326-2900.

Open house

The public is invited to an open house from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Ludwig Equipment, 2914 Hundman Drive, C.

The business, open for a year, sells Dixie Chopper mowers. Equipment demonstrations, special financing and snacks will be available at the open house, said Dulcy Ludwig, manager.

For more information, call 355-0833.

More for babies

T.J. Maxx says its store at Market View Shopping Center in Champaign is expanding its baby merchandise selection by 50 percent.

The baby department carries clothing, toys, blankets, linens, books, videos, shoes and other accessories for babies, and gets new items weekly, the company said.

Are you opening a new business, or changing something at your existing business? Debra Pressey can be reached by phone at 351-5229 or 800-252-3346; by e-mail 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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