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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • EP's Timeout opens general store inside business

  • Those who stop in for a beer or dinner at EP's Timeout, 1011 E. Washington St., can now also grab groceries on their way home.

    EP's #1 Stop General Store opened inside the business Jan. 31.
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  • Those who stop in for a beer or dinner at EP's Timeout, 1011 E. Washington St., can now also grab groceries on their way home. EP's #1 Stop General Store opened inside the business Jan. 31. The main entrance of EP's Timeout now leads through the store, which carries milk, bread, candy, snacks, soda, liquor, aspirin, toilet paper, cigarettes and more. “We really wanted somewhere where people could come in whether a single person or elderly,” said Julia Rhoads, retail services manager. The store offers convenience for those in the area who want to run in, grab a few items and be on their way. There is designated parking for the store near the entrance. “It's a general store when you don't want to go to Walmart and fight the crowds,” Rhoads said. Another convenience is for those who frequent the bar. If they run out of cigarettes, they can buy some at the general store. Of course, there is no smoking inside the establishment. What makes EP's #1 General Store different from the items a gas station offers, Rhoads said, are the deli items, salad bar and pre-cooked, packaged meals that will also be available for purchase. The deli items, which includes macaroni and potato salads and wraps, will be prepared fresh by the kitchen staff. The salad bar will offer different toppings that customers can choose to add to their container. “One of the best aspects is our carryout service,” Rhoads said. For those who opt for something other than deli, Garner's Pizza & Wings is also now available for carryout at EP's Timeout. Customers can get carryout at the general store; they do not have to enter the restaurant. “(Garner's has) a high volume of carryout. We thought it would be great to coordinate with that,” Rhoads said. The general store is located in an enclosed garage area in the front of the business where private parties took place. EP's Timeout still offers a party room in the back of the business. Customers are giving positive feedback about the general store. “People are glad when they leave they can grab a six-pack of beer and cigarettes,” Rhoads said, adding they have competitive prices. In the mornings, people on the way to work can stop for a coffee, cappuccino or a fountain soda for 89 cents. With a $10 in-store purchase, each customer gets a free bag of ice. Loyalty cards are given to customers. When 10 punches for a purchase of $5 or more are obtained, customers receive $10 in EP bucks to be used at the restaurant. Each week, they offer a “blow out” price for a particular liquor item at the store. In the future, lottery tickets will be added. “Right now, we're seeing what works and what doesn't,” Rhoads said. The idea for the general store came about after brainstorming in the fall. EP's Timeout has been open for two-and-a-half years and Rhoads said they want to expand the establishment to “make this place everything we know it can be.” “It's only going to grow from here,” Rhoads said. EP's Timeout offers bags tournaments on Monday nights, dart leagues on Tuesdays and Thursdays and pool leagues Sundays. Live bands often play on the weekends. EP's #1 Stop General Store will be open the same days and times as EP's Timeout. The business is open at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 8:30 a.m. Sunday when a breakfast buffet is served. For more information, call 839-0630.

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