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Guitar World closes

NORMAL — Guitar World, a fixture in downtown/uptown Normal for 47 years at 129 E. Beaufort St., closed Feb. 1, said owner Jim Bland, who cited waning interest in guitar lessons and competition from internet sales.

State Farm awards $1K bonuses

BLOOMINGTON — State Farm is giving those of its 65,000 employees who are part of the incentive program nationwide a one-time, $1,000 bonus for meeting challenges stemming from a catastrophic year of natural disasters.

State Farm exits downtown

BLOOMINGTON — State Farm employees left the insurer's historic downtown building by the end of January as the company redefines itself as a modern workplace, a move that includes condensing its information technology departments, realigning management, offering buyouts and redesigning space at its headquarters and Corporate South campuses.

Home sales stagnant in 2017

BLOOMINGTON — Twin City home sales were largely stagnant in 2017 as 2,804 homes changed hands — 55 fewer than in 2016 — and sales of new construction homes fell almost 17 percent from 2016, according to statistics released by the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors.

Tricoci plans cosmetology school 

NORMAL — Tricoci University of Beauty Culture is renovating the space at 755 W. Raab Road, Normal, with plans to open a school in March at the site of Lincoln College's former cosmetology program.

B-N plant part of Nestle sale

BLOOMINGTON — Nestle is planning to sell its U.S. candy business to Italy's Ferrero for about $2.8 billion in cash by April 1, and that sale would include the Nestle USA Bloomington facility at 2501 Beich Road.

Lil Beaver Brewery opens taproom

BLOOMINGTON — After a longer-than-anticipated build-out period, Lil Beaver Brewery, which was founded by Chad Bevers and Dale Thomas, opened its taproom in January at 16 Currency Drive, Bloomington.

Clay Dooley shuts downtown site

BLOOMINGTON — The century-old Clay Dooley Tire and Auto continues to thrive despite closing its downtown location and consolidating its operations into a single location at 1507 E. Vernon Ave., Bloomington.

Hobby Lobby to move

NORMAL — Hobby Lobby announced in January plans to vacate its 301 S. Veterans Parkway location at the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal and move to the former Gordmans, 306 S. Towanda Ave., in the same shopping center.

The Pod closes uptown store

NORMAL — The Pod, a locally stocked art and gift store at 104 E. Beaufort St. in uptown Normal, announced in January plans to close so co-owner Natalie Wetzel can pursue other opportunities. 

Swinger's Grille closes

NORMAL — Swinger's Grille, 1304 Cross Creek Drive, Normal, announced on New Year's Day that it had closed permanently after 11 years, citing declining business and increasing costs.

New uptown building eyed

NORMAL — A $29 million, five-story building with first-floor retail space, second-floor offices and third-, fourth- and fifth-floor apartments has been proposed to replace what's now a parking lot at 104 E. Beaufort St. on Uptown Circle and possibly adjoining retail space.


Night City Editor

Night City Editor for The Pantagraph.