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Steve Cahalan: Las Margaritas plans move to former Hardee’s

Steve Cahalan: Las Margaritas plans move to former Hardee’s

From the From Tribune files: Openings and closings of La Crosse area businesses series
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Ignacio Morales plans to move his Las Margaritas restaurant from 115 Fifth Ave. S. in downtown La Crosse to the former Hardee’s restaurant building at 2505 State Road, near the former Kmart store and across from the Village Shopping Center.

Morales has asked the city of La Crosse for permission to apply for a beer and liquor license for the planned new location, where Hardee’s closed last December. His request will be considered by the La Crosse Common Council’s Judiciary & Administration Committee on Tuesday, and by the full council on Oct. 8. If the request is approved and Morales quickly applies for the license, the council could vote on the license as soon as Nov. 12.

“Parking is a big issue” where Las Margaritas is now, and plenty of parking is available at the former Hardee’s location, Morales told me last week. He also noted he could offer both inside dining and drive-thru service at the former Hardee’s, and plans to eventually have an outside patio there.

Morales owns Las Margaritas in La Crosse and La Banvanera Restaurant & Cantina in Sparta. He and two of his brothers own Acapulco Restaurant & Cantina in Prairie du Chien.

For more information about Las Margaritas, visit its Facebook page.

RE/MAX Results said last week that it has acquired the RE/MAX First Choice offices at 3210 State Road in La Crosse, 757 Sand Lake Road in Onalaska, and 16859 S. First St. in Galesville, and will rebrand them as RE/MAX Results.

RE/MAX Results is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., and operates in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It said that with the acquisition, it has grown to 44 offices and nearly 1,200 sales executives, and is the largest and most productive RE/MAX franchise in the nation.

It acquired the three offices from Mike Richgels and Brian Stephan, who will stay on with RE/MAX Results as consultants to the firm and sales executives and team leaders. RE/MAX First Choice began in 1994 with one office in Onalaska.

With the acquisition, RE/MAX Results broker/owner John Collopy said, “We’re simply taking a company that was already great and making it even better by adding the Results’ network of associates, technology tools, training and support staff.”

For more information about the business, visit

The Advance Auto Parts store that’s under construction at the former Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant site at 9396 State Road 16 in Onalaska is expected to open in the first quarter of 2021, company spokeswoman Alexia Allina told me last week.

The new store will be branded Advance Auto Parts and will replace the company’s Carquest Auto Parts store at 901 Monitor St. in La Crosse, Allina said. Advance Auto Parts, which is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., also has an Advance Auto Parts store at 2801 S. Losey Blvd. in La Crosse.

Carlos O’Kelly’s restaurant closed last November and was demolished to make way for the new auto parts store.

St. Croix Hospice, which is based in the St. Paul suburb of Oakdale, Minn., has opened a La Crosse branch office in Suite 201A at 1540 Heritage Blvd. in West Salem.

The branch office, which opened in February, serves patients in La Crosse, Jackson, Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon counties.

“Our La Crosse branch complements our coverage of the region currently served by our established branches in Eau Claire, Baraboo and Platteville, allowing clinical staff to reach patients more quickly,” said Sarah Roseth, regional director of clinical operations.

St. Croix Hospice says it supports patients, families and caregivers, providing hospice care 24 hours a day, 365 a days a year, where ever a patients calls home – such as a private residence, assisted living facility or nursing home. It has branches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

For more information, call the La Crosse branch office at 608-433-9704 or visit

Wednesday was the last day for the remaining Pier 1 Imports retail stores, including the one at 3616 Hwy. 157 in La Crosse.

Pier 1, a seller of home goods such as wicker chairs and scented candles, announced in May that it would permanently close all 540 of its stores. It said it was unable to find a buyer for the business after filing for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, and would start going-out-of-business sales.

Online sales will continue on the website, which is under new ownership.

Meanwhile, the Pawn America store at 1235 Crossing Meadows Drive in Onalaska will close this Wednesday.

“Our retail floor is now closed and we will no longer be accepting new pawns,” says a sign posted at the store’s entrance. “If you have a pawn with us, it must be paid in full and be picked up by Wednesday, Sept. 30.” Signs tell customers that they can still visit the two nearest Pawn America stores, in Rochester, Minn., and Madison.

Minnesota-based Pawn America reorganized after filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in April 2017, when it was operating 23 pawn shops in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. It announced in May 2018 that it had emerged from bankruptcy.

The chain’s Onalaska store opened in 2008 in the former The Amish Store building.

The CBD American Shaman store in Suite 164 at 2928 Market Place, across from the Walmart store in Onalaska, has closed.

The store’s closing was announced in an Aug. 17 post on its Facebook page. The franchised store sold products containing CBD (cannabidol) oil from industrial hemp plants. For more information, visit the Onalaska store’s Facebook page, which directs people to the CBD American Shaman store in Tomah.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at or 608-791-8470.


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