King flips last burger at North Side fast food eatery

The Burger King sign on the fast-food restaurant at 1124 W. George St. in La Crosse draws blanks with the store’s closing Sunday and removal since of the corporate logo.

Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

Burger King has closed its store at 1124 W. George St. in La Crosse, where a whopper of a road construction project has had its way with customers trying to get there from here.

The fast-food restaurant in Bridgeview Plaza — which also has seen the tear-down and relocation of a McDonald’s to make way for the reconstruction of Rose Street and revamping of George — closed Sunday. The Burger King signs on the street and the building have been removed.

Burger King corporate representatives could not be reached for comment Wednesday, so it is impossible to determine how much of a factor the ins-and-outs of the construction zone might have played, if any, in the decision.

The Burger King and the demolished McDonald’s were so close that one almost could visualize their employees shaking hands from their respective drive-up windows. The McDonald’s, which is one of nearly 60 that the Courtesy Corp. of Onalaska owns in Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and Decorah, Iowa, closed on Feb. 27 after the state bought its land.

Courtesy is building a larger restaurant within a stone’s throw of the previous site, and company President Rick Lommen said Wednesday that it plans to open the new store on Sept. 21.

The prolonged work on Rose and George streets, which is expected to continue into November, has made access to businesses in the plaza inconvenient much of the time and almost impossible sometimes.

Shopko, North Country Steak Buffet and Harbor Freight Tools are Bridgeview’s main tenants, with a few smaller stores also in the strip mall.

The building for another business, the Good Steward Resale Shop, also fell to the wrecking ball for road work, and the shop built anew at 1930 Rose St., where it opened in May.

Also experiencing customer lags because of the construction have been a Kwik Trip, Walgreens and America’s Best Value Inn across George from the plaza.

The newly paved northbound portion of Rose was opened last week to northbound and southbound traffic while crews reconstruct the southbound lanes. Work continues on parts of the network of entrance and exit ramps to I-90 around its intersection with Hwys. 53 and 35.

That work still is on target to wrap up in November or late fall, said Jim Rohe, protect development chief engineer for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

“It’s pretty close to where we thought it would be … it’s gone fairly well,” Rohe said in a phone interview Wednesday. “They might be working a little more hours.”

Project coordinators are discussing the possibility of working some nighttime hours because they have to move some materials from one side of Rose to the other, he said, although nothing has been decided.

At the former Burger King on George, the company has removed the company logo from the street sign and the building. A sign on the door refers customers to the chain’s four other stores in the area, at 515 N. Fourth St.; 3519 Mormon Coulee Road; 1259 Crossing Meadows Drive, Onalaska; and 1540 Holmen Drive, Holmen.

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Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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