Two new stores are coming to Champaign's Market Place Shopping Center this spring, and a few stores there are moving to new locations.
Bare Escentuals plans to open a store just off center court in the Macy's wing in March, said Dennis Robertson, Market Place general manager.
The 1,100-square-foot store will carry the company's bareMinerals line of cosmetics and skin care products, including eye shadows, blushes and lip glosses, said Bare Escentuals spokeswoman Alison Reid.
Meanwhile, Francesca's Collections plans to open next to Claire's Boutique in the J.C. Penney wing, probably in April, Robertson said.
The Houston-based retailer, which got its start in 1999, sells women's clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts at more than 200 boutiques in 41 states. Merchandise is geared to women between 18 and 35 years old.
The Buckle, which sells casual apparel for young men and women, plans to move to a new location in the Sears wing on Jan. 30, Robertson said. Until then, it will continue to operate from its location in the Penney's wing.
Look for Cookies by Design to move too. The store, which occupies the place where Francesca's Collections will go, is slated to move next to The Illini Shop in the Bergner's wing.
WildCountry to consolidate at Market Place
WildCountry, the apparel and equipment store that targets outdoor enthusiasts, has moved to a new space next to Bath & Body Works in the Macy's wing of Market Place Shopping Center.
WildCountry will close its store at 2012 N. Prospect Ave., C, on March 17, said Steve Smith, whose family owns the business.
The store is dropping hockey equipment and shifting ski service and rental to its store in Normal, Smith said.
However, the Champaign store will continue to sell camping and backpacking supplies, as well as outerwear, footwear and scuba equipment, he said.
Smith said his daughter, Samantha Gibbs, will manage the Champaign location, while he moves to the Bloomington-Normal area to manage the Normal store for his parents.
Store hours in Champaign will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays — but only until Feb. 19, when the store will discontinue Sunday hours, he said.
Taste of New Orleans
Look for J. Gumbo's Cajun and Creole Cooking Co. to open at 700 S. Gregory St., U, toward the end of this month.
"We're shooting for the last week of January," said restaurant manager Melody York.
The Louisville, Ky.-based restaurant chain serves red beans and rice, jambalaya, Bourbon Street chicken, creole ratatouille, gumbo, crawfish etouffee, white chili and other chicken dishes, she said.
Full- and half-size orders will be available, as will a kid's-size order. Plus, the restaurant will have an entree-of-the-week special and offer vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, she said.
Customers will order their food at a counter — much like at Subway — then pick up and pay for their meals and sit down, York said.
The restaurant seats about 56 and has nine employees in addition to York.
The new franchise is near the corner of Oregon and Gregory streets, just southeast of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
"The traffic here is wonderful. It's a busy location, and it's something entirely new to the area," York said.
Hours are expected to be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, though those may be modified on Sundays. The phone number is 337-4840.
Down by the Railside ...
Railside Restaurant and Bar opened in the former Sadorus Pub at 109 E. Market St., Sadorus, on Dec. 19.
Bar manager Staci Hendricks said the Railside is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for food. But it continues to serve beverages until 10 p.m. on Sundays and 11 p.m. other days of the week.
Hendricks said the restaurant specializes in "comfort food." It has an all-you-can-eat chicken special for $8.95 on Wednesday nights and an all-you-can-eat fish special for $9.95 on Friday nights.
Also on the menu: beef and turkey Manhattan, country fried steak, burgers and barbecue sandwiches.
Breakfast choices include omelets, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and french toast.
The place — which had been vacant for several months — now employs 19, she said.
New master of paradise
The new owner of Caffe Paradiso in Urbana says he's making a few changes to the place — but not many.
"The people like the current atmosphere as it is, more rustic. We're not going to make big changes," said Chul "David" Kim, who purchased the cafe at 801 S. Lincoln Ave. from Keum Yun in November.
"We're still doing a little bit of renovation and changing the furniture," he said.
Plus, the cafe is adding more bakery and dessert items, such as fruitcakes, tiramisu and dessert breads.
"We are bringing back breakfast menus," he added. Among the offerings: breakfast sandwiches with sausage and bacon, as well as omelets and hash browns.
Hours remain 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Before buying the restaurant, Kim was a construction engineer in Indianapolis and taught classes at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
His family moved back to Champaign-Urbana three years ago, and Kim commuted to Indianapolis until retiring in December.
Kim said he's been a longtime fan of the cafe and the cakes, bread and Intelligentsia-brand coffee it serves.
"Once I heard that the cafe was available, I decided to grab it," he said.
B's Garden House moves
B's Garden House in Farmer City has moved to a new location in town and added new merchandise.
The flower and gift shop, owned by Brenda and John Baker, opened last Monday inside the Fitness First building at 105 E. Water St., after relocating from its former location on West Clinton Avenue.
"It gives us a little more visibility," Brenda Baker said, noting the shop is across from the Farmer City State Bank.
The shop has added gift bags and wrapping paper to its merchandise mix, which includes Spartina purses, Wind & Willow dip mixes, balloons, garden flags and aprons, she said, adding that most items are U.S.-made,
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The phone number is 309-928-5454.
Maurices seeks models
Maurices, the young women's retail chain, has launched a nationwide search for 12 women "in all sizes" to model clothing for the company's fall, holiday and spring campaigns.
Those interested have until Feb. 13 to submit entries online.
Candidates must be at least 18 years old. They need to upload a photo of themselves, write a short essay and provide details.
Online voting will be done Feb. 27 to March 19, to narrow the field of contestants to 100. Each of the 100 finalists will be required to create a video.
Twenty models will be selected for a casting call in Minneapolis the week of April 16, with the top 12 models announced April 23.
Each of the top 12 will receive a photo shoot, a $1,500 Maurices gift card and a $7,500 "charitable makeover" for a community organization or charitable organization in their hometown.
Christopher Straub of Lifetime's "Project Runway" will be part of the judging panel.
More information is available at http://www.mauricesmainstreetmodel.com .
Are you opening a new business or changing an existing one? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at email@example.com; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.