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In 2022, Todd and Rhonda Thornton purchased a historic home at 315 W. Washington St. in Monticello.

The couple have since been in the process of extensively restoring and renovating the property, commonly known as the “red house,” for a couple of different uses — including short-term rentals, which are now available.

“It’s going good so far,” said Todd Thornton. “We’ve got some bookings in the upcoming months. … We have five bookings so far, with our first one actually starting this Friday and Saturday.”

The red house can be found on Airbnb and Vrbo. The rental includes three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a full kitchen, a combined dining and living room, and a second living space that can be used as a bedroom area.

Thornton said that they’ve partitioned off the part of the house that is being used for rentals and will work to build out a retail space on the back half of the first level. They also plan to build a back porch that will face the south parking lot and create an entrance for this space.

Additionally, they plan to convert the basement into a cocktail lounge that will eventually offer gaming.

Thornton hopes to see the bar open within about six to nine months, and the retail space will likely have a similar timeline, as Thornton said they may try to find a retailer first and then figure out what their needs are, space-wise.

The ongoing renovations are being partially funded by a grant from the city of Monticello.

“The city and Monticello Main Street and everybody has been super easy to work with,” Thornton said. “…Their doors are all open and ready to help.”

The Tree Bar at Big Thorn Farm & Brewery

‘Treehouse bar’ returns for the season

Big Thorn Farm & Brewery at 14274 E 600 North Road in Georgetown opened its “Tree Bar” on May 3 and will keep it open through October.

Co-owner Anna Schweig estimated that the deck is about 6 feet off the ground at its highest point.

She said that the reopening of the Tree Bar is “like a holiday” that customers look forward to.

“Some people like to call it the ‘treehouse bar,'” she said. “We’ve never called it that. We like to call it the tree bar, because we built it from trees from our woods that we took out and used part for structural stuff but partly for just things that look cool on the bar.” 

Schweig said she and Aaron Young started their farm in 2011, opened the brewery in 2016, and opened the Tree Bar in 2018 because they wanted to share the experience of drinking outside.

“It’s so relaxing,” she said. “I mean, it’s right on the edge of the woods. So if you’re sitting at the bar, you’re overlooking these beautiful maple trees and there’s of course no TVs or any distractions, so it’s just so peaceful.”

Schweig said that they’ve been working on an addition to the Tree Bar that includes a wheelchair access ramp.

Big Thorn also has a Greenhouse Bar, which is open from October to May.

“We wanted to build two separate spaces to kind of shine the best light on all the seasons in Illinois,” Schweig said.


Something You Salon, located at 807 W. Springfield Ave. in Champaign, is no longer in business.

Local salon closes, spa pivots

Something You Salon, located at 807 W. Springfield Ave. in Champaign, is no longer in business.

“As of 4/26/24, we regret to inform you that we have permanently closed our doors,” the business said. “An email was sent out to our salon client database with details.”

The Everything You Spa is still up and running at the same location, but the business is searching for a new place to call home.

“Your unwavering support and continuous love is our biggest blessing and one that we have never and will never take for granted,” the spa shared on social media. “The future is BRIGHT and we are excited for the next chapter of Everything You.”

The business also said that it is considering rebranding as “EY Estheticians” and is looking for customers’ input on whether or not they support the name change.

Danville Farmers Market returns at new location

From May 11 through October 5, the Danville Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. The market is now located at the DIY Storage Center parking lot at 2721 N. Vermilion St.

“We are proud to serve the Vermilion County community with over 80 vendors scheduled at various times throughout the summer,” organizers said.

LINK/SNAP will be accepted and the market offers a match program for free fruits and vegetables. Several vendors also accept senior and WIC vouchers. 


The Rock Counseling Group’s new location at 1612 Patton Drive, Mahomet.

Counseling group announces move

The Rock Counseling Group has announced that its Mahomet location is moving out of 1002 Commercial Dr. and into a nearby building at Churchill Commons.

“Last day at our old office is May 17th, and we’ll be welcoming you at 1612 Patton Dr., Mahomet, IL starting on May 20th!” the business said.

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