Its owners hope to open the Jade Cafe sometime the week of Aug. 20 in 4,400 square feet of space in the former Quillin’s grocery store at 325 West Ave. N.

With that, the building will once again be fully occupied, Jade Cafe owners Ryan and Dede Niemeier and Nick and Jamie Hotchkiss said. Toppers Pizza occupies the rest.

The café will serve coffee, sandwiches, soups, pastries and smoothies, and also will have a frozen yogurt bar where customers can build their own sundae by choosing from among about 20 toppings.

The two couples that own Jade Café decided last year to move ahead with their concept and settled on the West Avenue location, said Nick Hotchkiss, who with his wife also owns the four Quiznos Sub restaurants in La Crosse, Onalaska and West Salem.

“If it’s a huge hit, we’d love to do more of these,” Ryan Niemeier said.

Ken and Kathy Smith have opened Backroads Furniture at 2110 Enterprise Ave. in the North La Crosse Business Park, southwest of Onalaska’s Crossing Meadows Shopping Center.

The new store opened in early July in the former home of Dalco Enterprises Inc. cleaning supplies, which recently relocated.

The Smiths bought two buildings, and use one for the furniture store and rent the other to Dynamic Recycling.

Ken Smith has been involved in retail furniture businesses in the greater La Crosse area since 1980. “Kathy’s a major part of the business,” he said of his wife.

“We have easy access, and we’re close to a major retail shopping district,” Smith said of the couple’s choice of sites. “We have a lot of square footage (including an 18,000-square-foot showroom) and loading docks.”

The store sells living room and dining room furniture, as well as beds, accent tables, lamps and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The telephone number is (608) 781-8171.

James Cherf opened by James Galleries – Behind the Brewery on July 7 in the former Behind the Brewery Gallery at 1026 S. Front St., just west of City Brewery.

The latter business had been operated for more than 40 years by Betty Kendrick and her late husband, Dale. Cherf said he bought the property from Betty last December.

“Our focus here will be in regional artists of quality who have not reached a national following,” Cherf said of his latest venture, which has two buildings. The exhibition hall is open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cherf uses the other building (a small cottage) as a private gallery, with showings by appointment.

His main gallery, at 511 Main St. in downtown La Crosse, is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. He opened that business in 1991.

“For years, I’ve had to turn away local and regional artists of talent because they weren’t a fit for what we did downtown,” Cherf said.“This (new venture) gives me a venue for the regional artists.”

Cherf’s website is

Erbert and Gerbert’s will return to La Crosse in late summer, and Einstein Bros Bagels made its debut Friday in the city. Both chains are in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Cartwright Center through the efforts of Sodexo, which took over the university’s food service operations July 1.

Erbert and Gerbert’s is expected to open in late August as part of the Cartwright Center’s food court, said Nori Yamashita, Sodexo’s general manager of dining services at UW-L.

Einstein Bros opened Friday in part of the center’s Cybercafe area. Its hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and will expand when fall classes begin.

Larry Ringgenberg, director of university centers at UW-L, said he is excited about having both eateries at the Cartwright Center, which is open to the public.

It will be the first Erbert and Gerbert’s in La Crosse since this past spring, when another franchisee closed its downtown location.

Jen Woyicki has opened the Spillway Pub at 209 Irvin St. in Onalaska.

She opened it after gutting and remodeling the interior of the former Hillside Inn. She made the interior more inviting, starting with handmade bar furniture of hickory and maple.

The Spillway Pub is Woyicki’s third tavern. The others are Smokey’s Bar in Holmen and Muddy Waters Saloon in Trempealeau.

The Spillway Pub opens at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (608) 519-1773.

Julie’s School of Dance has moved its Sparta studio two doors down, to 219 N. Black River St. in the Jones Plaza shopping center.

The new location is larger and has a spring floor to help prevent injuries. It also has a larger and more comfortable waiting room for parents, who can watch their child’s class on a television screen.

The grand opening and fall registration will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 1. The school’s website is

Steve Cahalan can be reached at Jo Anne Killeen of the Onalaska/Holmen Courier-Life newspaper contributed to this column.

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