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NWI Business Ins and Outs: Kiddie Academy brings child care to Crown Point and Munster, nightclub coming to Chesterton, Christopher & Banks headed to Schererville
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NWI Business Ins and Outs

NWI Business Ins and Outs: Kiddie Academy brings child care to Crown Point and Munster, nightclub coming to Chesterton, Christopher & Banks headed to Schererville

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

Kiddie Academy, an educational child care chain, recently opened in Crown Point and hopes to come to Munster later this year.

The Maryland-based chain of early learning centers has more than 250 locations nationwide, including quite a few in the Chicago suburbs, but only a smattering in Indiana thus far.

Enter Rahul Patel, a local franchisee who said he might open up to three locations in the Region.

"Just being a parent and having a child when both my wife I work led me to open it up," he said. "We saw the need for higher quality child care."

He opened the first Northwest Indiana Kiddie Academy on Feb. 24 in the former Hallmark building at 1000 N. Main St., at the intersection of Main and Summit in Crown Point. It employs 35 to 40 people and can handle up to 193 kids between the ages of six weeks to preschool. It's also looking at offering summer camp and after-school care for ages 6 through 12.

"We have a full infant through pre-K curriculum with teachers for every age," Patel said. "The early childhood education is age-appropriate and geared for development. It's specific for every age. Kids learn things like character development, and subjects like writing and arts."

The Kiddie Academy in Crown Point is now enrolling children. Patel is building a second location near the Dunkin Donuts at the corner of Calumet Avenue and Main Street in Munster that's slated to open by the fourth quarter of this year. The 10,000-square-foot early learning center will employ 30 to 35 people who will take care of as many as 166 kids.

"We feel there's good traffic at that location," he said. "It can draw a good mix from Munster, Dyer and Schererville. Plus the South Shore Line train station will be built by there, making it convenient for the commuters." 

Patel said he's locating Kiddie Academies in communities with strong education systems where parents value education.

"It's a good service to complement the strong K-12 schools, which are excellent," he said. "It's not just child care, it has an educational component."

Kiddie Academy in Crown Point is open from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call 219-281-3500 or visit www.kiddieacademy.com.

Coming soon 

Christopher & Banks is soon coming to the Crossroads Shopping Center at the busy intersection of Indianapolis Boulevard and U.S. 30 in Schererville, known as "The Crossroads of America."

The Minnesota-based chain sells clothing for women. Founded in 1956, it now has 500 locations nationwide.

Christopher & Banks sells tops, dresses, skirts, jeans and accessories such as jewelry and scarves. Customers can get free style consultations.

The interior of the new Schererville store is now under construction. 

For more information, visit www.christopherandbanks.com.

Coming soon

A new nightclub and Mediterranean restaurant plans to bring after-hours fun to Chesterton.

Chester's Video Bar and Restaurant is now hiring for all positions and plans to open in the spring.

The business at 791 Indian Boundary Road will serve Mediterranean cuisine and serve as a "venue serving up the latest drinks with your favorite DJs, karaoke nights, throwback songs and Sunday Tea."

The business plans to be all ages for lunch and dinner Monday through Wednesday and for lunch Thursday through Saturday. It will be restricted to 21-and-older on the evenings Thursday through Saturday and all day Sunday.

For more information, call 219-250-2267, email chestersvideobar@gmail.com or visit www.chestersvideobar.com.

Open 

You can buy a whole pallet of liquidated merchandise "as is" at the new Merchandise Pallet Sales in Highland.

The liquidation store at 9959 Express Drive in Highland, which celebrated its grand opening last weekend, offered liquidated merchandise including customer returns, close outs, overstock and shelf pulls, including sometimes new items that never made it to store shelves. It's all sold by the pallet, each with a manifest describing the goods therein and their condition.

Customers, who are often resellers, are not allowed to cherry-pick particular items from the pallets. They have to pick an entire pallet and then bring the manifest up to the checkout counter. Merchandise Pallet Sales will help load the pallets in their vehicles.

"It's a growing concept but new to the area," owner Alison Moss said. "You can get a variety of merchandise at a discounted price. Every pallet has a manifest so customers know what they're buying. It's really affordable merchandise."

Merchandise Pallet Sales is located in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse just off Indianapolis Boulevard just south of Webb Ford.

For more information, call 269-271-1704, visit gottahaveitpallets.com, or find the business on Facebook.

Closed 

Batteries Plus Bulbs closed stores in Valparaiso and Lansing. 

The chain retailer sells a wide array of batteries and light bulbs, also repairing mobile devices and recycling used batteries.

The Wisconsin-based specialty retailer opened at 16915 Torrence Ave. in 2015 and at 2307 Laporte Ave. in Valparaiso earlier than that. Batteries Plus Bulbs still has Region locations in Schererville, Merrillville, and Michigan City.

Open

Family Dollar celebrated a grand reopening for its store at 500 W. 5th Ave. in Gary Saturday.

The Virginia-based discount retailer, which offers many items for — you guessed it — $1, expanded the selection of food after putting in more freezers and coolers at the Gary store. The store also broadened its inventory of beauty products, household products and seasonal items.

“Family Dollar is proud to be a part of the Gary community and we are excited to welcome existing and new customers to our newly renovated store,” said Jim Van Slyke, Family Dollar spokesperson. “The refreshed store will provide even greater values and convenience to our shoppers.”

The 55-year-old chain has 8,000 stores nationwide, mostly in rural and urban areas.

For more information, call 219-886-1505 or visit familydollar.com.

Open 

A VetIQ Petcare Wellness Center opened in the Meijer in Flossmoor.

The veterinary company said in a news release that it offers "a new concept that offers high-quality, convenient and affordable preventive veterinary services with upfront pricing located within popular brick-and-mortar locations, allowing pet parents the opportunity to do more than just get their pet a veterinary attention."

VetIQ Petcare Wellness Center treats minor illnesses and offers routine care, such as vaccines, microchipping and lab work, for both dogs and cats. No appointments are required, and a licensed veterinarian is always on site. Pet owners can get prescriptions as well as "a range of preventative care and wellness services."

It's located inside the Meijer Market at 3800 Vollmer Road in Flossmoor.

Though the Meijer is open 24/7, the store-within-a-story VetIQ is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, call 708-206-8886 or visit vetiqpetcare.com.

If you've got tips about new stores or restaurants anywhere in the Region, or just wonder what's under construction somewhere, contact NWI Business Ins and Outs columnist Joseph S. Pete at joseph.pete@nwi.com or 219.933.3316.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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