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Business Notebook: Work continues at future site of Thai eatery

Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Alex T. Paschal/
The bar that will be in the restaurant area of Touch of Thai II in Rock Falls was handmade from raw wood and rock to give it an earthy feel. The restaurant, bar, coffee shop, and gym and wellness center will be in the historic downtown building at First Avenue and Second Street that was home of Innovations 4 You clothing shop until it closed in November 2012.
(Alex T. Paschal/
Building owner Trirong Khuntangta also is working on a patio on top of the building that will offer a great view of the Rock River and Rock Falls' riverfront development.
(Alex T. Paschal/
Work has been slow because of the age of the building and the fact that the inside needed to be almost completely rebuilt.
(Alex T. Paschal/
Trirong Khuntangta gestures will talking about the upstairs of the building that will have a coffee bar that overlooks First Avenue and a banquet room that can be used as a yoga studio.

ROCK FALLS – Despite the chill, dust is flying at the the future home of Touch of Thai II, where building owner Trirong Khuntangta is moving ahead with plans for a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, and gym/wellness center.

The historic downtown building, at First Avenue and Second Street, was the home of Innovations 4 You clothing shop, which closed in November 2012.

Traditional Wellness Center II will be in the basement, while the restaurant will share the first floor with Rusty’s, a bar owned by Brent Sisson, 39, of Dixon.

Khuntangta had hoped to open last summer, but the building, built in 1899, needs “so much work,” he said.

He plans to have the bar, wellness center and coffee shop open by the end of February, with the restaurant coming a few months after that.

Khuntangta, 46, also owns Traditional Wellness Center, Touch of Thai, and Ginko Tree Cafe, all in Dixon.

For more information, go to or call Khuntangta at 815-677-9144.

Chamber accepting scholarship applications

STERLING – Last year, the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce awarded more than $5,000 in scholarships to local students. Students can now apply for a scholarship for the 2014-15 school year.

The Charles A. Farnham scholarship is available to a graduating senior from Sterling, Rock Falls or Newman high schools.

The scholarship was established in 1968. The late Charles Farnham had been an active member of the Chamber. He was a vice president at Northwestern Steel and Wire, working in industrial relations. Application deadline for the $1,000 Farnham award is April 15.

A $1,500 scholarship will also be awarded to a student who plans to study agribusiness. Graduating high school seniors or college students studying agriculture are eligible. Application deadline is March 1.

Scholarship applications are available on the chamber’s website at or they can be picked up at the Chamber office, 211 Locust St. in Sterling.

Ramsey collaborates with daughter

Readers who enjoy financial columnist Dave Ramsey might already be familiar with his story.

The bestselling author and radio talk show host was a self-made millionaire by age 26, and he and his wife were living large.

The Ramseys, over less than 3 years, lost everything to snowballing debt. After going through bankruptcy, Ramsey embarked on a journey to learn everything he could about making money – and keeping it. He got back into real estate and made lots of money, but he also hoped he could help others learn from his mistakes and successes.

In 1992, Ramsey formed The Lampo Group to offer financial counseling and other services, including the column that appears on Sauk Valley Media’s business page each Saturday.

Those who enjoy Ramsey’s financial tips and insight, particularly those with children, might want to keep an eye out for his new book. “Smart Money Smart Kids” was written with the financial guru’s daughter, Rachel Cruze. Rachel also teaches financial responsibility, focusing on students and young adults. The book has tips for raising financially savvy kids in a world that makes it easy to get swallowed up in debt.

Father and daughter team up to help families teach kids about money and how to deal with a variety of family financial issues, including saving, philanthropy, debt, college, and contentment in and out of the workplace.

The book, due out April 22, will carry a $24.99 price tag.

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