If all goes as planned, southeast Urbana will have a new bakery Monday morning.
Rick's Bakery Cafe plans to open in the former Amano's Pizza space at 2018 S. Philo Road, U. The location is south of Dollar General and north of Dr. Kirk Noraian's periodontics practice in the shopping plaza formerly anchored by Jerry's IGA.
Owner Ricardo Carrillo said he plans to bake birthday cakes, as well as a broad assortment of bakery items, including tiramisu, New York-style cheesecake, challah bread, danish, croissants, muffins and cookies.
Carrillo said he's been a bakery chef for 15 years in California and Illinois. He came to the Champaign-Urbana area about seven years ago, he said.
Although the bakery bills itself as a "cafe," all items will be carry-out, not eat-in. But there will be a big selection of grab-and-go items, including coffee, sandwiches, pizza slices, calzones and traditional breakfast items, Carrillo said.
He'll also produce some specialties, such as "alligator" pastries garnished with pecans.
Hours are expected to be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, he said. The phone number is 344-9383.
And just up the road ...
The Huaraches Moroleon Mexican restaurant at 805 S. Philo Road, U, is planning to add fresh-fruit offerings to its menu and offer some special dishes for the Lenten season.
Owners David and Anahi Perez opened the restaurant, at the northwest corner of Washington Street and Philo Road in Urbana, on Dec. 12.
"My husband loves to cook, and he always wanted to have his own restaurant," said Anahi Perez, whose family comes from Moroleon, Mexico.
The restaurant, which features bright, sunny walls in its dining room, serves up fajitas, flautas, gorditas, enchiladas, tortas, salads and other items for lunch and dinner.
It also offers kid's meals, plus special "family packs" on Sundays and Mondays.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays. The phone number is 344-6772.
Anyone for Muay Thai?
Nilahn Vannarath is preparing to open a Muay Thai kick-boxing school in downtown Champaign.
The lessons would be given at Forge Gym at 312 N. Walnut St., C. It's located in the two-story brick building that runs diagonally behind the Jos. Kuhn & Co. store near Main and Walnut streets.
Vannarath is still getting the gym ready, but he's hoping to open the school sometime in February or March.
"A lot of people know Muay Thai as kick-boxing, but it's a lot more than kick-boxing," Vannarath said.
People may want to learn Muay Thai for self-defense, weight loss or competition, he said.
Vannarath plans to offer classes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Plus, the gym will be open for members from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays so they can work on lessons.
Although the gym isn't open yet, more information about the lessons can be obtained by calling Vannarath at 550-6713 or checking the school's website, forgegym.com.
Prom-dress special in LeRoy
The Clothes Horse consignment shop in LeRoy is planning a special prom-dress sale Friday through next Sunday.
Owner Becky VanDeventer said she expects to have at least 75 dresses in a variety of colors and sizes for the sale.
Usually, VanDeventer takes 50 percent of the price of consigned items at the store, which sells "better-label" women's clothes and accessories.
But for the prom dress sale, she's adding only 20 percent to the base price set by consignors.
"We just want to help families out," she said.
The Clothes Horse, which opened last October, is located at 122 E. Center St. — the corner of Center and Chestnut streets — in downtown LeRoy. Hours are usually noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and closed Sundays.
But for the prom dress sale next weekend, hours will be noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
VanDeventer will accept gently worn prom dresses through Wednesday.
She can be reached at the store, 309-846-8057.
Alexander Lumber to close in Gibson City
Alexander Lumber Co. plans to close its Gibson City lumberyard by the end of March, reports Will Brumleve, editor of the Paxton Record.
"It's a struggle for small-town yards to make ends meet," District Manager Dave Agee told Brumleve.
Most of the lumberyard's business is selling lumber for the housing market, and people haven't been building new homes or remodeling as much in this economy, Agee said.
Alexander Lumber acquired the Gibson City lumberyard in 1999 from Doug Hager. The Hager family had operated the lumberyard from 1925 to 1999, and other people operated it for 18 years before that.
Alexander Lumber continues to operate lumberyards in Champaign, Gilman, LeRoy, Normal and other places throughout Illinois and Wisconsin.
Are you opening a new business or changing an existing business? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by regular mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.