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WATCH NOW: Fork & Fable Crafthouse opens in former Arterial Bar & Grill

From the COLLECTION: Local business openings & developments series
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Its owners opened Fork & Fable Crafthouse on Saturday at 1003 S. 16th St. in La Crosse, where they operated the Arterial Bar & Grill before deciding to change its name.

“The Arterial Bar & Grill had just kind of had its time, and we felt that we wanted our own outlet to do what we really wanted to do, which was to focus on craft beer and a high level of restaurant-quality food,” said Ryan Schlegel, who owns the business with his cousin Mark Branson and with Jake McLees. “We just felt it was easier for us to convey what we really wanted through a name change.

“We wanted to keep the bar and grill feel, with restaurant-quality food,” Schlegel said.

The owners closed the Arterial on Aug. 21, then did some updating before reopening under the new name. “It’s pretty much a whole new bar,” Schlegel said of work done to the bar. Other improvements included new coolers, a new tap system, updated women’s restroom and upgraded bourbon and tequila selections.

“We’ve had one of the better craft beer lists in town for a number of years,” Schlegel said.

The owners always try to be the first establishment in the area to get new craft beers, Branson said.

McLees joined the Arterial as head chef in July 2021 and became part owner last October. He comes up with dishes with a focus on locally produced, seasonal ingredients. Some menu changes have been made with the switch to the new business name.

“Jake has really stepped up the game as far as food” since becoming head chef, Branson said. With the new menu “He has offered some more entrees that I think people will really enjoy. He has steered us as close as he can to being a made-from-scratch kitchen where everything is made with fresh ingredients.”

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 608-881-8877 or visit www.forkandfablecrafthouse.com or Facebook.


Prestige Furniture soon will move from Valley View Mall in La Crosse to the former Mike’s TV, Appliance & Furniture building at 119 S. Water St. in downtown Sparta.

Owner Mike Kidd told me last week that he also plans to open a second Prestige Furniture store early next year in the former Sime Furniture building at 1300 U.S. Hwy. 14 South, on the south edge of Viroqua.

Kidd started Prestige Furniture in 2016 in Holmen and moved it to Valley View Mall in 2019. A moving sale is under way at the mall store, which Kidd said probably will remain open at least through November.

Kidd said he hopes to open his Sparta store around Nov. 1, and expects to complete his purchase of the Sparta building on Sept. 30.

“I’m also buying the former Sime Furniture building,” Kidd said, adding that purchase probably will be completed around the end of November. He probably will open his Prestige Furniture store in Viroqua in February, after he renovates that building.

“I’d been looking at adding a second location,” Kidd said of his decision to start looking at other sites. “I fell in love with the (Sparta) building. I like old, historic buildings.” He added that he’s enjoyed being in the mall and appreciates his La Crosse-area customers.

Kidd said his mall store had been closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because traffic flow at the mall “hasn’t been there” on weekdays. But his store now is open seven days a week for the moving sale. The Sparta and Viroqua stores will be open seven days a week, he said.

For more information, call the mall store at 608-385-9347 or visit its Facebook page.


Citizens First Bank held a grand opening celebration Friday for its new Holmen office at 1757 Temte St.

The new office is just north of a new Kwik Trip convenience store, which in turn is at the northeast corner of Schaller Boulevard and Highway 35.

The Viroqua-based bank has offices in Viroqua, Holmen, Trempealeau, Centerville, Sparta and Viola. For more information, call the Holmen office at 608-394-3340 or visit www.citizensfirstbank.net or the bank’s Facebook page.


Keo Lemoine opened The Nail House salon on Monday at 121 N. Seventh St. in downtown La Crosse.

“Our salon offers high-quality manicures, pedicures and eyelash extensions,” Lemoine said. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday though Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Lemoine plans to hold a grand opening celebration sometime in October.

For more information, call 608-881-6100 or visit the salon’s Facebook page.


Cody Spears and Chad Wehrs purchased TraceMySpace in August 2021 and recently moved manufacturing operations from California to the Wehrs Machine and Racing Products building at N4477 Wisconsin 162 in Bangor.

Wehrs also owns the latter business, which manufactures aftermarket automobile racing products such as suspension components, accessories, engine parts and tools.

TraceMySpace manufactures custom foam inserts for tool drawers, cases and other things, to hold tools and equipment in their place. Spears is its director of operations and co-owner.

Sales are now five times larger than they were before Spears and Wehrs bought the business, Spears said. Some of its customers in the past year have included Amazon, Google and the U.S. Department of Defense.

For more information, visit www.tracemyspace.com or the firm’s Facebook page.


Lansing Kitchen Works has opened at 274 Main St. in downtown Lansing, Iowa.

“Last year I renovated the former Grand Central Station restaurant into a co-working space and innovation lab known as Lansing Office Works, and this year we’ve opened the commercial kitchen for rental use, retaining about 50 percent of the restaurant’s kitchen for this purpose,” founder Maryann Baldwin said last week.

“Our mission here is to provide a community, network and resources for entrepreneurs in a rural region to help spark new businesses and innovation,” she said.

Lansing Office Works has rental offices, meeting rooms and flexible workspaces.

Lansing Kitchen Works Is a certified enterprise kitchen available to food enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who require commercial space to prepare their food products and culinary offerings, Baldwin said.

She said examples of possible products include baked goods, cookies and pastries; canned goods such s soups, dips and sauces; cereals and granola; prepackaged meals and salads. The kitchen also can be used for a pop-up or ghost kitchen by anyone who is looking for a trial market of a new or unique restaurant concept once or twice a week.

For more information, call or text Baldwin at 319-573-1955 or visit www.lansingofficeworks.com/kitchen-rentals.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at stevecahalan.reporter@gmail.com.

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