iyb idea store

Store manager and executive director Jessy Ruddell walks through the IDEA Store at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana on Thursday.

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Backyard Leisure will be opening its third location in Champaign.

The Terre Haute, Ind.-based dealer of hot tubs, spas, grills, outdoor fireplaces and play sets purchased a building at 1002 W. Anthony Drive, C, and hopes to be fully operational there by Oct. 1, said General Manager Josh Michels.

Hot tubs and spas account for the major share of the family-owned Backyard Leisure’s business, he said.

In addition to its Terre Haute location, Backyard Leisure also has a shop in Springfield. Both locations have already been providing deliveries to the Champaign area, Michels said.

While it will be a couple of months before the Champaign store is expected to open, Michels said there will be some weekend sales events in the parking lot in advance of the opening.


The IDEA store at Lincoln Square has reopened for in-store shopping.

New hours for now are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The shop is allowing 10 customers inside at a time and is requiring masks.

New in Monticello

Holly’s Country Kitchen is open for indoor and outdoor dining and carryout.

Owner Holly Miller has been catering since 2008 and providing take-and-bake and freezer meals and canned foods such as jams, salsa and veggies since 2012.

She recently opened the restaurant part of her business at 1204 Bear Lane, Monticello, and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Miller said she hopes to eventually add Sunday brunch after the pandemic ends.

She describes her restaurant as a “mini Cracker Barrel” with made-from-scratch food that sticks to your ribs plus some retail items for sale such as home decor, jewelry and art.

She uses a lot of locally sourced foods in her dishes, she said. Among the customer favorites have been a Friday fish dinner, country fried steak, pasta dishes and turkey and cranberry wrap.

Coming soon

Charleys Philly Steaks will be opening a new location at the Market Place mall food court.

Mall General Manager Dennis Robertson said an opening date hasn’t been set.

A Columbus, Ohio-based chain, Charleys offers an array of steak and chicken subs, fries and beverages, including four kinds of lemonade.

Recently honored

Champaign Gymnastics Academy was named by SafeWorks Illinois as the recipient of its second COVID-19 best practices award.

The academy was chosen for its “extremely proactive and transparent” approach to providing the safest environment possible for clients and staff, according to SafeWorks.

The Illinois Funeral Directors Association selected Sunset Funeral Homes and Cremation Center, Danville, to receive a 2020 Illinois Award of Funeral Service Distinction.

Ten funeral homes in Illinois are selected for this recognition of their contributions to their communities and the funeral industry.

Share news about your local business: Deb Pressey can be reached at 393-8258 or dpressey@news-gazette.media.

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