It's your business: Sea Boat lands 2nd location in Champaign

Sea Boat restaurant will be bringing its popular fish sandwich and an expanded menu to a second location in Champaign.

Qaiyim and Baseemah Abdullah, who own the original Sea Boat at 1114 N. Market St., C, have leased the former Denny's dry cleaning building at 403 W. Kirby Ave., along with a new partner in the second Sea Boat, Curley Lee of Champaign.

Qaiyim Abdullah said he and his wife hope to have the new location ready to open in early March. The location at Market Street and Bradley Avenue, open for 13 years, will remain open for carryout service.

The new place will allow the Abdullahs to offer the dine-in service they've wanted to add, but don't have room for at Market Street.

"We're sort of landlocked here," Abdullah said. "We can't expand to seating."

The Kirby Avenue Sea Boat will offer the same menu as the Market Street restaurant, and that includes shrimp, chicken and fish, with the specialty being the fish sandwich – two pieces of walleye on a wheat bun with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce.

Both the Market Street and Kirby Avenue Sea Boat menus will offer some new soup selections, likely to be clam chowder, broccoli and cheese and possibly a seafood or chicken gumbo, Abdullah said.

Paying your bills

Working in the home mortgage lending business, Donna Greene says she saw a need for an easier way for some of her customers to pay their bills. She put her idea into the name of a new business that opens Monday at 902 N. Country Fair Drive, C, called Easy Pay.

Greene says Easy Pay offers electronic bill payment options for customers to pay their mortgages, utility bills, credit cards and other kinds of bills. Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card, she added.

"We are hooked up to a network of over 10,000 billers," she said.

Easy Pay can also load existing debit cards or issue new ones, and is offering Western Union money orders and transfers, along with notary, copying and faxing services.

Greene, who is also a loan officer with Revere Mortgage, said her mother, Lue Patterson, a retired teacher, will be running Easy Pay.

Through her work at the mortgage company, she's run into several people who don't have checking accounts and buy money orders to pay their bills, Greene said.

She's also noticed people scrambling to avoid late payments and figured she could help them out with electronic payment options at a fee much lower than late-payment penalties, she said.

Easy Pay is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 398-9729.

Cooking for you

Michael Murphy of Paxton has started a new personal chef service called What's for Dinner.

Catering to working families lacking the time to cook, he will come to your home, cook two weeks' worth of dinners and stock them in the refrigerator and freezer. He also does the grocery shopping and the cleanup, he said.

Murphy, originally from Texas, has a degree from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and has worked in restaurants in Chicago, Denver and Champaign.

He plans to offer his services throughout Champaign, Ford and Iroquois counties, he said.

For more information, see his Web site at www.whats-for-dinner.org or call 379-0114.

New ownership

Nancy Strunk is the new owner of Claymore Realty in Champaign.

Strunk, a real estate professional since 1979 who formerly worked for Younger and Son, Miller and Miller and Hallbeck Realty, bought the business from L. Joseph Shidaker.

Shidaker started Claymore in 1991, and will remain active with the business, Strunk said.

Claymore employs eight real estate professionals and handles both residential and commercial real estate transactions.

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 dpressey@news-gazette.com; 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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