If you miss having a Dog 'n Suds in Champaign, a short drive will now get you a limited selection of Dog 'n Suds food in Paxton.
Richard Dobkins, owner of the Paxton Marathon station at 1080 W. Ottawa St., added to the station's convenience store this spring and put in a Dog 'n Suds Express and Hot Stuff Pizza.
Dobkins said he's not carrying the full Dog 'n Suds menu, because he doesn't have a grill or fryer. But he has several kinds of hot dogs and root beer floats.
The station has indoor seating, and a drive-up window is being added, he said.
Dobkins is a Marathon jobber with a warehouse in Champaign and main office in Cissna Park. He also operates a gas station in Philo.
Dobkins said his station in Paxton is right off Interstate 57, and he decided to add food there because in the past, motorists could find food only on one side of the interstate and gas only on the other.
"I wanted to fill up both their gas tanks and their bellies," he said.
Dobkins said he originally wanted to put in a Dairy Queen franchise, but couldn't work out a deal with the Dairy Queen franchisees in Ford and Iroquois counties. He later got in touch with the person who obtained the trademark rights to the old Dog 'n Suds chain and worked out a licensing agreement, he said.
That gave him three popular kinds of food to offer - hot dogs, ice cream and pizza.
"Dog 'n Suds gave me some ice cream with root beer floats and gave me a proprietary product that so many people remember," he said.
The new 5,800-square-foot building that housed a short-lived Dog 'n Suds on Town Center Boulevard in Champaign is for sale.
Opening soon in Mahomet
Niro's Gyros, a gyro and sandwich restaurant chain, will open a new location in Mahomet in mid-July, said owner Mike Naser.
It will be located in the Apollo Mart Shell station on North Lombard Street, off Interstate 74, Naser said.
Naser has five Niro's Gyros locations, including two in Champaign and Urbana, and is also adding another location in Normal this summer, he said.
New in Urbana
A new Valvoline Express Car Lube & Wash has opened at 212 N. Vine St., U, in a new building by the Schnucks plaza.
It is offering quick lubes, transmission services, coolant flushes, tire rotations, fan belts, headlights and taillights, said one of the owners, Scott Peters.
Peters, also the owner of Dyno-Tune in Urbana, opened the Valvoline shop with Ron Hoyne of Champaign and Jim Bryant of St. Joseph.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The car wash, a touchless automatic, is open 24 hours.
There will be a grand opening June 14 with a crushed car contest, and the shop is tentatively scheduled to host the Valvoline NASCAR on June 21, Peters said.
Organization's new shop opens
Homeworks, the new home improvement retail store operated by Habitat for Humanity of Champaign and Piatt Counties, has opened at 40 E. University Ave. in downtown Champaign. Hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The store carries handcrafted art for the garden and recycled building materials, doors, windows, fixtures and furniture. It also has some new items for sale. The store is a fund-raising venture for Habitat, an organization of volunteers that helps people in need build their own houses.
Store adds new items for babies
Skandinavian Link, a store at 1707 W. Kirby Ave. in Champaign's Old Farm Shops, has added a new line of items for babies and toddlers made by Baby Bjorn of Sweden.
Store owner Anna-Britta Wahba said she is now carrying Baby Bjorn merchandise, including baby carriers, diaper bags, backpacks, safe steps, baby seats, potty training items, bibs, smocks, cups and spoons.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m Saturday.
Are you opening a new business or changing something at your existing business? Debra Pressey can be reached by phone at 351-5229, or 1-800-252-3346; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , or regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.