Look for several area Burger Kings to get a total makeover.
Maruti Seth, who operates nine Burger Kings in East Central Illinois, said the Danville store at 18 W. Newell Road reopened last Sunday after a 20-day renovation.
The kids' play area is gone, replaced with expanded seating. The refurbished store has digital menu boards, contemporary furniture and a "futuristic" Coke machine with more than 100 drinks available.
"Have it your way," Seth laughed, echoing the chain's slogan.
The variety is made possible by adding flavors such as raspberry, cherry, grape and vanilla to Cokes, Sprites and other soft drinks, he said.
Next on the renovation schedule: the Tilton and Tuscola stores. The two stores in Champaign — which Seth acquired in 2009 — will follow.
Seth's franchise business, Group 2029, operates two stores each in Champaign and Danville, as well as stores in Tilton, Tuscola, Rantoul, Urbana and Savoy.
Seth said he decided to eliminate the children's play area in Danville because it was too difficult to keep germ-free. He said employees sanitized the equipment every hour, but kids with colds kept coming.
"No matter how hard you try, it's hard to keep it sanitized," he said.
Massage franchise comes to C-U
LaVida Massage plans to open at 1822 Glenn Park Drive, C, on May 17, franchise owner David Peters said. The location is in the plaza east of County Market.
LaVida will offer therapeutic massage services in a gender-neutral setting.
The business will provide Swedish relaxation and deep-tissue massage with added hot-stone and aromatherapy services.
"We strive for affordable massage therapy for health and wellness," Peters said.
Peters, a massage therapist himself, previously worked at a chiropractic office in Danville. But he decided he'd like to open a LaVida franchise.
LaVida, based in Michigan, has about 40 centers nationally, he said. This will be the third in Illinois; the others are in Naperville and Willowbrook.
"I'll have six massage therapists to start out with, and four front-desk associates," Peters said.
Peters said the LaVida space — just north of Cost Cutters — was formerly a chiropractic office. It has seven treatment rooms and two larger rooms with tables set up for couples massage.
Hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Massage therapy will be offered on both a walk-in basis and by appointment.
LaVida's phone number is 363-2811.
Another way to relax
Chance McDade and Kevin Bunn have opened The Art Party Studio in the loft of the SoDo Theatre, 111 S. Walnut St., C.
Since mid-March, McDade has been offering art classes in what she calls a relaxing environment. She provides music, and students can bring their own refreshments.
"It's a party-like atmosphere," she said.
Classes for adults are offered on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Eventually, McDade hopes to offer a kids' class on Saturdays and a family-night class on Wednesday evenings.
Each week, she posts a painting online that students try to replicate with acrylic paints and step-by-step instructions.
McDade said she got the idea from a niece in Alabama who told her the concept has been popular in the South.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, such classes gave people "a place where you could be creative and leave the stress behind," McDade said.
The cost is generally $35 per person for a two-hour class.
The Art Party Studio's phone number is 239-8896, and the website is theartpartystudio.com.
New choice for motorcyclists
David Burton has opened Freedoms Choice — a business that does motorcycle repairs and sells motorcycle apparel — at 306 Tiffany Court, Unit E, on the west side of Champaign.
Tiffany Court is on the north side of West Springfield Avenue west of the intersection with Staley Road.
Burton said he has been working on motorcycles since high school, doing custom builds as well as vintage restoration. He said the shop, which opened last week, aims to fill a void created by the closures of IRE Motorcycles and Tuscola Motor Sports.
Freedoms Choice carries shirts, gloves, helmets, pants and boots for motorcyclists.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The store's phone number is 390-4031.
New in downtown Rantoul
Loise Haines is opening a thrift shop, Around The Corner, at 107 N. Garrard St., Rantoul.
For those acquainted with downtown Rantoul, the shop is just "around the corner" from Deena's Style Shop, Haines said
The shop will carry antiques, housewares, knickknacks and some furniture, said Haines, who has experience selling at flea markets.
"Rantoul needs a place like this," Haines said. "It's not that expensive, but it's good."
The Coffeehouse opens in Mahomet
The Coffeehouse has opened in the space formerly occupied by The Daily Grind in Mahomet.
New owner Tamara Marshall said the shop, at 703 Eastwood Drive, will continue to serve Columbia Street Roastery coffee. But she also hopes to introduce a light lunch menu soon.
In the meantime, patrons can enjoy not only pastries, but also fresh granola, hearty oatmeal and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits.
Marshall has added some new furniture indoors and out, with the coffeehouse now offering patio seating.
Hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Marshall said she hopes to extend Friday and Saturday hours and offer music in the evenings.
The phone number is 586-2255.
El Toro delivers
El Toro is now offering delivery service with the new service El Toro Express, according to Victor Fuentes.
The restaurant delivers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, all day Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays. Customers can place an order for delivery by calling 378-7810 or online at eltororestaurante.com or cieats.com.
Urbana Acupuncture, near the east entrance to Urbana's Lincoln Square Village, is offering free acupuncture from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in celebration of May Day. The business is also offering face painting, refreshments, literature from local unions and coloring for kids.
Are you opening a business or changing an existing one? Contact Don Dodson at 351-5227 or 800-252-3346; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mail at The News-Gazette, c/o It's Your Business column, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-0677.
Spinlight Studio moves north
In mid-May, Spinlight Studio expects to move into new space at 3356 Big Pine Trail in the Pinehurst Commons office park in north Champaign.
The firm had been located at 424 S. Staley Road, C, for eight years, but moved to temporary space in Pinehurst Commons about a month ago, partner Matt Hutton said.
Illini Computing has moved into Spinlight's former space on Staley Road, Hutton said.
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.