The New Year is bringing with it changes at the Algonquin Commons shopping center along the Randall Road corridor.
There are several new businesses coming to the outdoor mall -- which already has more than 70 businesses -- while an old favorite is closing.
The popular kitchen and cooking store Williams-Sonoma is closing this month.
But other businesses are coming to the mall, or have already opened to give you more shopping and eating opportunities.
One that has already opened this month is Aladdin Mediterranean Grill.
The family-owned restaurant features a variety of Mediterranean-style foods, such as meat kebabs and vegetarian offerings.
Also open now is Crazy 8, a children's clothing store from Gymboree Corporation.
It is just a short walk down the main row at Algonquin Commons from Gymboree.
GNC, which sells vitamins, health foods, sport nutrition products and more, also opened its door at Algonquin Commons this month.
A handful of other businesses also are expected to come start doing business in the mall soon.
Half Price Books, which offers discounted new and used books, audio books and more, is expected to open in March or April in a portion of the store formerly occupied by Borders Books.
It will be next to the Family Christmas store, which already opened in the other half of the former Borders store.
Another new entry will be Torrid, which will offer plus-sized clothing.
The business is expected to open in mid-March.
Even with the new additions, there still are some vacancies at the mall.
Wine University: Gibby's Wine Den along the Randall Road corridor in Geneva is now hosting wine tasting classes in conjunction with Waubonsee Community College.
While the classes need to be registered for through the college, they will all be taught at Gibby's location at 1772 S. Randall Road.
One upcoming class that is part of the program is Introduction to Wine Tasting, which will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11.
This first class will focus on introducing students to the subtleties of wine tasting. Students also will learn more about wine, and learn how to choose and pair wines.
There also will be several other classes coming up, including one called "The Ultimate Workout for Your Palate," "Food and Wine Pairing", and a "Grapes and Gals" class.
In the Ultimate workout class, students will get the opportunity to learn specifics for matching certain foods and menus to the right wine, or a range of wines.
In the end they should be confident in their ability to pick a wine to go with almost any menu.
In the Grapes and Gals class, there will be a three-course meal served. Students will explore the marriage of wine and food in the class, as each course of the meal will be paired with a wine to enhance the culinary experience.
Randy Gibson, owner of Gibby's will be teaching all of the classes.
"I always enjoy teaching these introductory classes," Gibson said. "You don't have to be a wine novice to take the class. Even if you have been enjoying wine for years, you can always learn something new in these courses."
You can register for the classes at www.waubonsee.edu under community education classes.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from South Elgin to Batavia. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (847) 894-5036.