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updated: 8/10/2013 5:27 PM

It'll have a new name, but Wayne's getting its store back

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  • The Outpost General Store is slated to open in September at the location of the old Wayne Country Store on Army Trail Road.

      The Outpost General Store is slated to open in September at the location of the old Wayne Country Store on Army Trail Road.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer


The Wayne Country Store has caught the eye of many observers as the idyllic community store from a past era.

Area residents were enamored with the old-fashioned store even more when movie star Jessica Lange was there to shoot a segment of her 1990 movie "Men Don't Leave."

More recently, the store in Wayne was a backdrop in some Cancer Treatment Centers of America TV commercials when Peggy Kessler spoke of her battle against pancreatic cancer.

The store has been closed for quite some time. I'm guessing about five years.

But it appears ready for a new chapter: Village staff members confirmed a building permit has been taken out and new owners plan to reopen the old store on Army Trail Road. Signs on the store say it will open in September under the name of Outpost General Store.

Village staff members passed my phone number along to the new owners, but I wasn't able to connect with them. At least we now know the old store is likely to be back in business soon.

Residents will have to support the place, if they really like the thought of a general store in the village.

What's in a song?: So, what's the big deal with someone trying to create an official song for St. Charles? That was a question I received after the story in this column two weeks ago about former St. Charles resident Jim Masters creating a song called "In St. Charles" that some area residents have proposed the city consider as its "official" song.

What would a city do with an official song?

Let me count the ways, or at least offer a few ideas.

First, having heard the song, it merits attention as something the city could use in promotions or in other manners. It's that good.

An official song could play on the city's website as background music, or as an option for a song download.

During city festivals it could be among a song list piping out of the municipal building's sound system.

Middle school and high school bands or choirs could add it to their playlists so the song becomes ingrained as part of the city's heritage.

A creative drama/theater instructor could make it the basis for a short play or melodrama about growing up as a youngster along the Fox River in a town known as St. Charles.

Anyone serious about "In St. Charles" as an official song hopefully has already caught city leaders' attention.

Worth the sweat: All of those who had planned to participate in Saturday's seventh annual Bob Leonard 5K Run/Walk along the Fox River for the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles should know this: The foundation's work has been some of the most impressive along the banks of the Fox River in the past decade.

The walkway from Mount St. Mary Park north to the Illinois Street bridge is proof of how this organization has made the river even more pleasant for walkers and runners. Mix in what the park district did to fix up the Mount St. Mary's river banks, and things got a lot nicer looking fairly quickly.

For train lovers: It came as just a short email note about three months ago. "A train-themed restaurant coming to Geneva." It didn't provide any other details or a person to contact, so it eventually got lost in my sea of emails.

Then I noticed the Boxcar Train restaurant opened at 500 S. Third St. near the station. It is what that email proclaimed -- a restaurant with a train theme, with a model train circling the inside.

The four owners have plenty of local experience. Matt Dieter also owns Ray's Evergreen, Marc Lewan owns the Dam Bar and Grill in Geneva, and Nick and Jeremy Casiello own Alley 64 in St. Charles.

If a family is taking young ones on their first train ride, it seems to me that stopping in this location before or after the trip would provide some extra fun.

The service spectrum: This was a case of experiencing two ends of the customer service spectrum. Some Comcast cable TV hardware had to go back to the Elgin store and it was good to see, according to its website, that it was open Saturday mornings. I drove to the Weld Road location and, of course, it was closed. Three other disgruntled people sat in the parking lot letting a little profanity fly, and I joined in. Turns out, this place is only open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, so I had to arrange to leave work early to do this dumb task.

When I mentioned the error on the website, the clerks didn't seem overly concerned. It was the old "not my job" syndrome rearing its ugly head.

On the upside, I dealt with the Apple retail store in Naperville a couple of times in the past week, and it was a wonderful experience. Here's a place in which superb customer service is ingrained in every employee and displayed in every action they take.

McCarthy's charity event: Actress Jenny McCarthy isn't wasting much time in taking advantage of the nice things her new hometown area offers. The Geneva resident is planning a private fundraiser Aug. 24 for Bridges Academy of St. Charles at which cast members of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" are scheduled to perform at the Hotel Baker.

The Rainbow Room of the hotel has had some good dancers display skills there in the past, but it's probably safe to say this event will feature some of the best ever.

Not to mention the heavy hitters expected to get involved in the silent auction bidding.

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