Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-state area. This week, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Galena, Ill.

A Dubuque-based supplier of contractor and industrial supplies soon will begin a sizable expansion.

Dubuque Hose & Hydraulic, 500 E. 14th St., will spend about $200,000 on a 4,500-square-foot expansion to its facility, according to owner Don Herbst Jr.

“In the last number of years, our business has increased so much,” Herbst said. “We are finding that we need more warehouse spaces and another assembly area. Hopefully, this will bring more convenience and make us a little more efficient.”

Dubuque Hose & Hydraulic opened in 1990. Herbst said the business “started out as a hydraulic shop,” but since has expanded its services and product offerings.

The majority of its clients are contractors and industrial businesses, which purchase fasteners, fittings, concrete anchors, cables, power tools and a wide variety of other products.

Herbst said the business started out with just two employees nearly 30 years ago. Dubuque Hose & Hydraulic now has 15 employees and Herbst plans to hire another two or three workers in the near future.

Those passing by the business should notice work starting soon.

Herbst anticipates that excavation work will get started within the next few weeks and the building will be erected shortly thereafter.

“We expect to be in the building with everything up and running by Sept. 1,” he said.

Herbst said multiple factors have contributed to the company’s growth in recent years.

“The economy has improved quite a bit in the last number of years, and there’s no doubt that has helped,” he said. “I think we’ve also gained some market share. Put those two things together and that is why we’ve been doing well.”

Dubuque Hose & Hyrdraulic can be reached at 563-582-4673.

Happy JOE’S GALENA TO CLOSE

After 35 years in business, the Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream restaurant in Galena, Ill., will close its doors this week.

The restaurant, 9919 U.S. 20, will serve customers for the final time Saturday, June 15, according to General Manager Valerie Deininger.

She said news of the restaurant’s closure has hit employees and customers hard.

“We do have a lot of shocked and upset locals,” she said. “It’s unfortunate. I wish we could stay longer, but it’s not my choice.”

Deininger noted that one of the restaurant’s co-owners, Carl Schoenhard, died in 2018. His wife, Anne, now co-owns the location with Joe Whitty, and they decided it was time to close the operation, Deininger explained.

A press release issued by Happy Joe’s cited myriad reasons for the closure, including “a downturn in tourism, demographic shifts and a lack of population growth.”

In addition to serving its trademark taco pizza, Happy Joe’s also became known as a popular establishment for kids and a frequent destination for birthday parties. Deininger noted that the restaurant also has supported schools and multiple community organizations over the years.

Employees learned of the impending closure a little more than a month ago, according to Deininger. At the time, the restaurant employed 28 workers, but the eatery’s staff since has dwindled to 15.

“This restaurant has been here longer than I’ve been alive,” Deininger said. “It is a staple in Galena and it is sad to see that come to an end.”

The restaurant will remain open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day until it permanently closes.

Happy Joe’s Galena can be reached at 815-777-1830.

SPORTS SALON EYES EXPANSION

A salon specializing in men’s haircuts soon will open a second location in Dubuque.

Sport Clips will open a new location at 3450 Dodge St., according to company spokeswoman Dana Dussing-Berry. She said the salon is slated to open in August, but noted that such timelines “are always subject to change.”

Dussing-Berry said a typical Sport Clips location employs about a dozen workers.

The new location will be Sport Clips’ second in Dubuque. A salon opened at 2805 Northwest Arterial – within the same complex as Buffalo Wild Wings — in 2012. Dussing-Berry said the existing location will continue operating once the new one opens.

Sport Clips will fill the final vacancy in the four-tenant strip mall at 3450 Dodge St., joining Mattress Firm, Chipotle and Five Guys.

The salon chain now boasts more than 1,800 locations and describes itself as one of the “fastest-growing franchise concepts in the nation.” It aims to appeal to the male demographic by showing sports on its televisions and branding offerings with sports-related terminology.

The MVP Experience, for instance, features an “awesome haircut, hot steamed towel, invigorating shampoo, neck and shoulder treatment.”

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