Rantoul residents voice preferences for retailers

RANTOUL — Cracker Barrel and Steak 'n Shake would be nice. So would Target and Aldi.

Those were some of the establishments that survey respondents said they would like to see open in Rantoul.

It's Your Business: Angel Paws adding grooming classes

Angel Paws Pet Sitting and Grooming in Champaign has begun offering pet-grooming classes to prepare people for careers taking care of animals.

Owner Debbie Skaggs has been in the pet-sitting business for 15 years, providing care for animals while their owners go on vacation or go to work.

Something to crow about in Champaign

Editor's note: A shortened version of this story appeared online Friday as the #SundaySneak.

CHAMPAIGN — When three local men got together to plan a new restaurant and bar for downtown Champaign, they chose a rooster for their logo and a name intended to inspire nostalgia.

Caribbean Grill food truck to debut today at Taste of C-U

Those who donated to Caribbean Grill's Kickstarter can see their efforts to help fund a food truck come to fruition this weekend at the Taste of Champaign-Urbana in Champaign's West Side Park.

The truck, funded in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign a year ago, will debut today, executive chef and owner Mike Harden said, after the graphics were applied to it earlier this week.

Look back: Highlights from Melissa Merli on the week that was

Patti Smith Showtime series

Top of the morning, Aug. 16, 2015

When he started bartending years ago, Andy Gravlin admits he didn't know much about the differences in beers. As manager at Champaign's Blind Pig Brewery for the last 3 1/2 years, Gravlin's knowledge has grown.

"I really started to get into it," he said. "Even now, I'm always learning."

Restaurant near campus closes

CHAMPAIGN — A restaurant on the edge of campus in Champaign has closed.

Zach Wetherell, commercial broker and director of owner services of Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty, said that No. 1 Wok, 12 E. Green St., closed its doors on July 20.

"The tenant informed us it was vacating, and the property was listed for lease," Wetherell said.

Owners aim to open Champaign Black Dog this month

CHAMPAIGN — You might be able to sit down for a meal at the Champaign Black Dog Smoke & Ale House before the month is out.

"We're shooting for August," Pedro Heller said on Monday.

"That means we've got 20 days," said Heller, a co-owner with Mike Cochran of the Urbana and Champaign versions of the popular barbecue restaurants.

Updated: Watson's chicken restaurant taking Boltini space

CHAMPAIGN — A new casual dining spot will open in downtown Champaign this fall, in the former Boltini Lounge space at 211 N. Neil St., C.

Taffies closing Country Fair location on Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN — If you get to Taffies restaurant by mid-afternoon tomorrow, you might still get a slice of mom's pie.