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Steve Cahalan: New restaurants come to La Crosse, Onalaska
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Steve Cahalan: New restaurants come to La Crosse, Onalaska

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A string of restaurant openings has started in La Crosse and Onalaska.

A Mexican restaurant and an Asian-style pizza restaurant opened last week in downtown La Crosse, where an Indian restaurant is expected to open soon.

Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant spokesman Tyler Benson said last week that the chain’s new Onalaska restaurant is scheduled to open June 17.

The new Chipotle is on Highway 16, just north of the Olive Garden restaurant, and Benson said it will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Chipotle restaurants employ an average of about 25 people, he said.

“We’re always looking for communities where we can serve responsibly-sourced, classically-cooked real food and establish new local partnerships, and the Onalaska area is a great fit,” Benson said.

Mexcal opened Thursday in the former Shady Kate’s restaurant location at 333 Main St. in La Crosse. It serves authentic Mexican cuisine, said Gilmar Vada, one of the restaurant’s owners.

Mexcal opened without alcoholic beverages, but its owners hope to begin offering those in July, once they obtain a city liquor license.

“We’re trying to offer something different than other Mexican restaurants in the area have,” Vada said of Mexcal’s food and beverages. “We like being in the heart of downtown La Crosse,” he said of the restaurant’s location.

Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday, and closed Sunday.

For more information, call the restaurant at 608-519-0320 or visit or Facebook.

Simon Wu and his wife, Joolin, opened their new Pizza Pirate restaurant on Tuesday in the former Kate’s Pizza Amore location at 212 Main St.

They have operated their Sushi Pirate restaurant at 200 Main St. since 2012, serving Japanese-French fusion cuisine.

The couple recently bought the former Hunan Chinese Restaurant business and equipment, and added Hunan menu items to the Sushi Pirate’s menu as of May 11. Hunan employees also moved to the Sushi Pirate from the former Hunan location at 318 S. Fourth St.

Pizza Pirate features several kinds of Asian-style pizzas, as well as a Classic Pizza that’s made with sausage and pepperoni. Simon Wu predicted one of the most popular Asian-style pizzas will be the Rangoon Pizza, made with a crab rangoon base, mozzarella cheese, crispy wontons and sweet and sour sauce.

He hopes to begin serving alcoholic beverages in July, once the new restaurant gets a liquor license.

Pizza Pirate’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday. It offers inside dining, take-out and delivery.

For more information, call 608-519-3636 or visit

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Look for the India Curry House restaurant to open soon in the former Hunan location at 318 S. Fourth St.

Maya Enterprise, LLC, which is headed by Maya Parkash of Rochester, Minn., has applied for a city liquor license for the restaurant.

The Parkash family, which has operated Indian restaurants in La Crosse in the past, hopes to open the new restaurant in early July and says it will serve authentic Indian cuisine.

Lee and Ellen Boyles purchased The Meat Smyth butcher shop at 25321 Grain Ave. in Tomah from Reed and Darlene Smith on June 1.

The Smiths started the business in 2013, in a building that for many years housed Wally’s Block butcher shop, which was owned by Wally and Cathy Gnewikow.

“We plan to use the same great recipes established by both Wally’s Block and The Meat Smyth,” Lee Boyles said. He and his wife also plan to give customers new things to try, he added.

The Meat Smyth does meat and wild game butchering and processing, and also offers retail meat sales. “We offer ‘on the farm’ slaughtering, which is a nice convenience for our customers,” Boyles said.

The Boyleses are Tomah natives and Lee is a veteran who has been with The Meat Smyth since it began, working as its mobile slaughter man and managing the shop during a few hunting seasons.

Retail hours are closed Sunday and Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, call 608-372-6039 or visit Facebook.

Dallis Elliott opened his Eldar Studio tattoo studio last week in a former hair salon in Suite 102 on the first floor of the City Square building at 444 Main St. in downtown La Crosse.

“I’ve been tattooing for 10 years, as of this fall,” said Elliott, who has been doing it professionally for seven years. This is the first time he has owned his own tattoo studio, Elliott said, adding it’s something he’s always wanted to do.

“I like the (large) windows and the high ceiling,” Elliott said, adding that they help give the studio an art gallery shop-type feel.

Many other tattoo studios look dark inside, said Elliott, who wanted his studio to have lots of light inside.

Hours are by appointment. For more information, call the studio at 608-782-5256 or visit its Instagram or TikTok pages, using the search word eldartattoostudio.

Wolter Group, LLC, in Brookfield, Wis., said last week that it is rebranding the company and its eight sub-brands — including Wisconsin Lift Truck, which has a service center in West Salem — as Wolter.

As of January 2022, the sub-brand names will disappear and become Wolter.

For more information, visit or Facebook.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at


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