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Business notebook

Pete Harkness purchases Ryan’s Buffet building

STERLING – Pete Harkness has bought the former Ryan’s Buffet building, he said.

The owner of several local car dealerships said he bought the building about a month ago as an investment and he hopes to rent it to a business that will employ people and bring sales tax to the community.

The building at 3900 E. Lincolnway used to house Ryan’s Family Steakhouse, which closed in 2007. Buffets Inc., the parent company of Ryan’s Restaurant Group, formerly owned the building.

Harkness said he has no specific type of company he would like to rent to, but he “would like an entity that would be a win-win with the community.”

Interested? Call him at 815-499-6650.

Fashion Bug closed

STERLING – As promised, Fashion Bug, 4311 E. Lincolnway, is closed.

Ascena Retail Group announced in June that all Fashion Bug stores, including Sterling’s, would close in early 2013.

Ascena paid about $900 million for Charming Shoppes Inc., a retailer that specializes in women’s plus-size clothing and owns the Fashion Bug chain.

Charming Shoppes employees did not return a phone call asking whether the store will be converted to another store owned by Charming Shoppes.

Charming Shoppes operated 1,832 retail stores in 48 states under the names Lane Bryant, Cacique, Lane Bryant Outlet, Fashion Bug , Fashion Bug Plus and Catherine’s Plus Sizes. It now operates as a subsidiary of Ascena. The Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice brands are also run by Ascena.       

Driving school to open in Sterling

STERLING – Too cool to take driver’s ed at school?

Twin City Driving School will have a schedule that accommodates those students who are so busy with sports or other extracurricular activities that they cannot take driver’s education right after the last school bell rings.

Classes will be taught from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Instructor John Gehrke will work with students’ individual schedules to find “behind the wheel” time during the 6 weeks that the course lasts.

The first class will last from March 11 to April 18. A summer class will also be offered.

The school is at 410 Locust St., former site of Sugar Mama’s How Sweet It Is bakery.

Gehrke, 56, who teaches building and trades at Whiteside Area Career Center, will teach students 15 and older. He will charge $400.

Call 815-718-2022 or 815-564-8352 For more information.

Body & Sol under new owner, name

STERLING – Angela Montanez and Chris Fellows bought Body & Sol in July and changed the name to Mystic Fusion Tan Spa.

The salon is at 112 W. Third St. in the County Market plaza.

Montanez worked at the tanning salon for 8 years before buying it, she said. She plans no changes, other than the name, at this time, she said.

Montanez, 35, is a Rock Falls native. She and Fellows have dated for 12 years, she said.

The salon is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Email or call 815-626-3041 for more information.

Have a business tip? Let us know. Email SVM reporters Bridget Flynn, or Derek Barichello,, or call 800-798-4085, ext. 521 or 526.

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