MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — A new restaurant is opening in downtown Mahomet on Friday and village leaders said it’s proof that their plan to liven up the area is working.

The plan started in 2019. Chamber of Commerce Director Walter Pierce said Mahomet has always been more of a bedroom community, but they’re working to change that. They want people to be able to shop and eat in town instead of driving to Champaign-Urbana.

As part of the plan, crews have been working to spruce up downtown. They added a green space and are welcoming in new businesses.

One of them, Chophouse on Main, opens in the old JT Walker’s building. A game store and a coffee shop have also opened recently.

Pierce said their plan isn’t just about keeping Mahomet locals in town; it’s also about bringing people in from other areas.

“We always laugh and say 74-150 goes both ways,” Pierce said. “Sure, people in Mahomet can go to Champaign to shop, but guess what. People in Champaign can come out and Urbana can come out here and shop as well. We want to keep that traffic going both ways.”

Pierce said a big reason they know their plan is working is because even though the new Chophouse isn’t open yet, it’s already booked out for a week.

Another part of the plan is adding more housing for young professionals. That should start in 2024.