Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-states each Tuesday. This week, we highlight developments in Shullsburg, Wis.; Maquoketa, Iowa; and Stockton, Ill.
Two years after opening its doors, a Shullsburg business is expanding its footprint and adding new amenities.
The Other Side at Second Chance opened on the first weekend of July, according to owners Patrick Doyle and Shelly Weiskircher-Rennert. The newly unveiled area, which includes a bar and pizzeria, represents an extension of the business that the co-owners launched two years earlier.
Second Chance Coffee and Music, 203 W. Water St., opened in August 2019. Fueled in large part by its live concerts, the business has taken off in a way that Doyle had not anticipated.
“We’ve created a monster,” he said with a laugh. “This really has turned into a destination. People come here from the Quad Cities, Dubuque, Maquoketa, even the Chicago suburbs.”
The early success of Second Chance inspired the owners to expand into an adjoining space within the same structure.
This portion of the building — which formerly was home to a bank and, later, a dentist’s office — now houses a newly constructed bar, made with red elm. Doyle noted that a loyal customer offered to harvest the wood from his property so it could be used for the bar.
The new space also is being utilized as a pizzeria. Second Chance already served pizzas out of its coffee shop, but the extra space will allow them to serve a wider variety of pizzas for extended hours, explained Weiskircher-Rennert.
She added that the Other Side will offer a quiet setting with a different vibe than other local offerings.
“I think it gives another option to people who don’t want to go to a large, crowded area,” she said. “This can be a nice cozy place to sit and have drinks.”
The Other Side at Second Chance is open from 2 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The coffee shop portion of the business is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to noon Sundays.
The business can be reached at 608-609-1323.
MAQUOKETA THEATER REOPENS
A Maquoketa movie theater is back in action after a prolonged closure.
Voy 3 Theatres, a three-screen theater located at 207 S. Main St., reopened on July 2, according to owner Dennis Voy.
The reopening came on the heels of a lengthy closure, caused by both COVID-19 and industry dynamics.
“We closed back in March 2020, so it’s been nearly a year and a half,” said Voy. “First, it was because of the pandemic. And then there just weren’t any new movies coming out.”
Voy said some minor upgrades were conducted at the theater to brighten up the decor. Meanwhile, the time away gave him time to reconsider and revamp showtimes.
All three of his screens now have five showings per week: one on Fridays, two on Saturdays and two on Sundays. He said this condensed schedule takes advantage of the most popular showtimes of the week.
Voy also operates the 61 Drive-In Theatre, just south of Maquoketa, which was a crowded destination in 2020 and is in the midst of its regular season again now.
Between his two theaters, Voy now employs 15 people, which he said is similar to pre-pandemic employment levels.
After a half-century in the business, he is pleased the theaters have been able to press on in the wake of the pandemic.
“I am glad we’ve been able to continue on, to keep going,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of nice comments from people who are pleased we’re back. A lot of smaller theaters haven’t been able to reopen.”
STOCKTON BUSINESS GETS FACE-LIFT
A longtime Stockton business is benefiting from a significant facelift at its Main Street location.
Gloria Benson, the owner of Glad Rags Boutique Consignment & Formal Wear, said her location at 117 S. Main St. was closed for months earlier this year while significant renovations took place. The business began reopening gradually this spring and held a formal grand opening in late May.
The results have been impressive.
“We basically had to take everything out of the entire store to do the renovations,” she said. “(The building owner) took out the carpet and brought back the wood floors. She pulled out the drop ceiling and put in new lighting fixtures and opened up some windows that had been boarded over.”
The facelift also included the creation of a second dressing room for customers.
Benson credited the building’s owner, Marquita Brown, for spearheading the successful renovation of the structure, which includes apartments in addition to Benson’s business.
The history of Glad Rags dates back to 1981. Benson took ownership of the business in 2003. Throughout her time as owner, she has been proud to call 117 S. Main St. home.
“I love the historic feel of the building,” she said. “We have two big display windows that can be changed out for the seasons. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
As its name would suggest, Glad Rags is a multi-faceted business. Benson explained that it offers a wide variety of items — including clothing for various ages and sizes — on a consignment basis.
The business also works closely with multiple formalwear vendors, allowing customers to get fitted for formal attire and rent or purchase formalwear for weddings or dances.
The business is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. It also takes appointments. The business can be reached at 815-947-3081.