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The long-awaited Hickory River Smokehouse restaurant under construction at Carle at the Fields in southwest Champaign is nearly ready to open.

Owner Mike Madigan said he’s hoping this newest location will open the week of July 25, pending arrival of supplies and equipment on time.

This newest Hickory River has been in the works since 2019 and was originally planned to open in the summer of 2020. But it was put on hold in 2020 during the state-ordered pandemic shutdowns, Madigan said.

“Now we are back on track,” he said.

The Champaign location will have a full bar, a drive-thru and outdoor patio seating that can host live music, Madigan said.

The new Champaign location is going to be the next generation of Hickory River in terms of how it looks, according to Madigan.

It’s going to have a more updated and modern look with a warehouse feel, he said. Features will include exposed ductwork, brick finishes, different wood grains and modern furniture, he said.

“And we’re going to have a really cool bartop with a live edge,” Madigan said.

The new Champaign location will be the fifth Illinois location for Hickory River.

Madigan and his wife, Sinead, own the locations in Urbana and Decatur and are co-owners of the Springfield and Peoria locations.

Celebration on tap

More than a year after the former Auditory Care Center in Rantoul was sold and became a Beltone hearing-aid services location, a long-delayed ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 8:30 a.m. Monday.

There will be free hearing screenings for those attending, according to Tracie Hudson, hearing instrument specialist.

The owners, Bekki Ramirez and Jennifer Thompson, operate five Beltone locations, including the one in Rantoul, and in Champaign, Watseka, Danville and Bradley, Hudson said.

The Rantoul shop at 1720 E. Grove Ave. is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

County honored

Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada says it’s awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to Champaign County.

The award is for the county’s annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2020.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, the group said.

Recognition for ClarkLindsey

ClarkLindsey, Urbana, announced it’s one of two senior living communities to ever receive the SafeGuard Hygiene Excellence Assurance label from Bureau Veritas, a leading testing inspection and certification services company.

ClarkLindsey said it uses Sodexo Seniors’ Reassure program to mitigate the spread of pathogens, among them the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Having Sodexo Seniors’ Reassure program at ClarkLindsey has made a world of difference at our community,” said Neal Erdmann, director of environmental services at ClarkLindsey. “Knowing that we have this effective and successful program in our community has reduced the stress for our residents and their families.”

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