Central Illinois Business Magazine
BUSINESS NOW          February 2015

New area businesses

By Don Dodson
The News-Gazette

Rainstorm Express Car Wash

Carriage Center site on South Neil Street in Champaign.

The carwash will be at the south end of Carriage Center along Devonshire Drive. It will feature an express wash tunnel similar to the one at the Rainstorm on North Prospect Avenue.

Dan Dougherty, president of the Decatur-based company, said he hopes the carwash will be open in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

This will be his seventh carwash, joining two each in Decatur and Bloomington and one each in Springfield and Champaign. He opened the first one in 2000.

"It looked like an area of town that could be served by the newest, latest and greatest," he said.

The express wash tunnel, which uses conveyors to move cars through, will get customers in and out in three minutes, he said.

Package plans will be available "so you can get a wash every single day of the month" if you want, he added.

Hours are expected to be 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

Moe's Southwest Grill

Moe's Southwest Grill could come to the Champaign-Urbana area soon.

Ken Solem, who with Gary Sparks has the Moe's franchise for this area, said he hopes to open a restaurant here as early as this spring -- ideally May or early June.

Solem and Sparks already operate two Moe's locations in the Bloomington-Normal area and plan to open a store in East Peoria this spring.

Moe's, which serves burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and salads, emphasizes fresh ingredients, preparing its own guacamole and corn salsa, Solem said. The restaurant offers free chips and salsa with its meals and has six salsas available, he added.

Moe's was founded in 2000 in Atlanta. Its parent company, Atlanta-based Focus Brands, is the franchisor not only of Moe's, but also of McAlister's Deli, Cinnabon Bakery, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Schlotzsky's Deli and Carvel Ice Cream.

When the local restaurant opens, hours will likely be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

A typical restaurant employs about 25, he said.

To learn more about Moe's Southwest Grill and to see its menu, visit moes.com.

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Youth, et al

By Bridget Broihahn

The June/July CIB started out as a “Youth in Business” issue. However, when reporting ensues, oftentimes, it evolves into its own entity. My initial article of the popular Pens-to-Lens Competition evolved as Brett Hays shared the big announcement that Shatterglass Studios had for our area. I was star struck when I realized that Champaign County may just be the next “Hollywood Chambana,” or as Habeeb Habeeb put it: “...a film oasis in the Midwest.” How exciting for our area, not only because it’s the art of filmmaking that is involved, but, also because it’s the opportunity for economic development right here in Champaign County. I cannot think of a better place.

Economic development is certainly the key to prosperity in a community, and HL Precision Manufacturing, Inc., Champaign has the right idea when it comes to students and careers. They teamed up with Parkland College and Unit 4 Schools to offer two students a tuition free opportunity to earn dual credit, earn an internship and a career.

I enjoyed my talk with Laura Bliell of Enterpriseworks. She mirrored the enthusiasm and energy that is apparent at the UI award winning research park. Its incubator, Enterpriseworks, employs some 500 students each year, enabling them to research, learn and teach us new things, too.

As always, I enjoyed the comments by Fred Giertz. His commentary about infrastructure was downright biblical. Plus, if you do not crack a smile from Allen Howie’s comments regarding the millennials, I will be surprised.

Good business, everyone!

Bridget Broihahn is editor of Central Illinois Business magazine. She can be reached at 217-351-5695 or bbroihahn@news-gazette.com.