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NORMAL — Gumby's pizza lovers will have to wait a week or more before they can satisfy their taste buds again.

The business closed its Broadway Mall location Monday so work could start to make way for a new Main Street Bank and Trust.

Gumby's new location at Sterling Plaza, between Main and Kingsley streets just north of Hovey Avenue, won't be ready for customers until Dec. 13 at the earliest, said owner Jim Larette.

"We're shooting for the 13th to open," Larette said. "If it doesn't happen then, it will be around Christmas."

Gumby's paid the town $2,500 to stay at 103 Broadway until Monday. Originally, the business agreed to move by Nov. 24. Larette asked for an extension because the new location was not completed.

The town got the property from owner Orval Yarger through eminent domain. The building will be razed and a new facility built for Main Street Bank and Trust, formerly Citizens Savings Bank. The bank's current site at 301 Broadway is needed for the new Marriott Hotel and Conference Center which will be built on land bordered by Broadway, Beaufort, Fell and North.

The City Council agreed to give Larette $25,000 in relocation expenses Monday night. Sun-Sations, another Broadway Mall tenant, also got $25,000.

Last week, Larette asked the town for even more time at the Broadway Mall site but City Manager Mark Peterson said workers are ready to get the building prepared for demolition.

"I appreciate the extra effort from Mark Peterson," Larette said. "It's sad to go. It was a great spot for us."

Larette was able to move the pizza ovens to his new location Monday but the rest of the equipment had to be placed in storage. Some of the remaining food was taken to the Gumby's in Champaign.

"We had a real good weekend in sales so we used most of the food," he said.

This is among the busiest times for the business because of finals at Illinois State University. Students will leave Dec. 16 for winter break, he said.


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