Terry and Liz Hawkins started their downtown shop for drummers more than three decades ago, and they’ve decided it’s time to retire.
Skins ’n Tins at 29 Main St., C, will close Jan. 31. A retirement sale is already underway.
Terry Hawkins, a percussionist since childhood, got his own first drum set in seventh grade, he said.
He opened this shop with his wife in 1989, and it’s been a source for percussion instruments, supplies, music books and private lessons.
Meeting famous drummers has been cool, Terry Hawkins said. But the most satisfying part of Skins 'n Tins for him and his wife has been meeting all the kids who have studied percussion there and gone on to careers in music, Terry Hawkins said.
Many have returned and visited the shop over the years, he said.
“It’s a great feeling knowing they came here with a dream to play percussion, and they stuck with it,” he said.
Both percussion instructors at the shop will be teaching elsewhere in the area, he said.
The store phone number will remain active for a time after it closes for customers who need to reach him, Hawkins said.
He and his wife will be staying in Champaign, and he’ll continue playing with the local area band King T’z.
Retirement will give him and his wife a chance to do what they want, when they want, Hawkins said.
“After being here every day for 30 years, you want to spend the rest of your life on your own time schedule,” he said.
Hotels are remodeling
Econo Lodge at 1908 N. Lincoln Ave., U, is under new ownership, and it’s getting a big overhaul.
The hotel changed hands about a month ago, and a top-to-bottom refurbishing is under way, beginning with work on the building exterior and indoor pool, according to Manager Leon Riley.
A new roof is on the way, along with some new windows, and new landscaping will be done in the spring, he said. Soon after that, the 65 rooms will be spruced up in sections, with new flooring, beds and bedding, Riley said.
The hotel currently serves a complimentary continental breakfast, and the breakfast bar will also be upgraded to provide a broader selection, he said.
The hotel remains open during the construction and will remain an economy brand. But with all the work being done, Riley said, it will be in a better position to attract business from the University of Illinois and the Carle health system.
Econo Lodge is the leading economy brand of Choice Hotels International, and individual hotels are owned by franchisees. The Urbana Econo Lodge is owned by Ujjval Patel.
The improvements under way will exceed the standards Choice Hotels launched in a multiyear guest room improvement project, Riley said.
Also underway is a cosmetic update at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 1001 W. Killarney St., U.
That hotel, formerly the Urbana Garden Hotel, became a Radisson on Dec. 4, according to Manager Salim Hotelwala.
The property is being upgraded to meet Radisson requirements and is getting new furniture, bedding, flooring and other changes, Hotelwala said.
The work is set to be completed by June, and the hotel will remain open throughout the project, he said.
Indulgence on the move
The temporarily-closed Sweet Indulgence bakery in Champaign is getting ready to open at its new location this spring at the Shoppes at Knollwood, 2149 S. Neil St., C. The bakery is taking over the former space of Great Harvest Bread Company, which closed last fall.
Sweet Indulgence will continue to offer much of what it sold at its old location on Windsor Road — cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts, cinnamon rolls and other bakery items, plus an espresso bar — but there may be a few changes and additions to the menu, the business posted on Facebook.