Sparking The Flame
Written for Dunn County News January 15, 2014
Twenty-five years of owning a small business is something worth celebrating. That’s certainly the case for The Flame Sports Bar.
Owner Ron Fox came to Menomonie as a University of Wisconsin-Stout men’s basketball team recruit in 1974. As a proud member of the Blue Devil’s ‘74-’75 championship team, he still follows the team today — noting that current head coach, Ed Andrist, was a student assistant coach when Fox played.
As a UW-Stout student, Fox also worked as a bartender at The Flame in downtown Menomonie. After college, he worked at a few different businesses around Menomonie, but still kept in touch with the owner of The Flame. When the bar was available for sale in 1989, Fox, along with three other partners, purchased the bar. (more…)
Every Piece has a Story
Written for Dunn County news December 11, 2013
Shaped like a triangle, the building at the intersection of Crescent and Main Streets has long played a role in Menomonie’s historic downtown. During most of the 20th century, 335 Main St. was home to a monument company whose headstones still dot local cemeteries. Today the building continues its service to the preservation of memories, as the home of Triangle Art & Antiques.
Operated by Joan Navarre and Nancy Moen, the circa 1906 brick building provides an intimate and inviting space for modern day treasure seekers. (more…)
Talk of the Town
Written for Dunn County News November 13, 2013
It is the buzz of the town: “What is happening to the old Milavitz Eye Clinic?” With a location so visible at one of the busiest intersections in Menomonie, the renovations at 400 Main Street are the talk of the town.
Last December Bob and Heidi Grundvig crossed a goal off their list when they purchased a historic building in downtown Menomonie and began work on renovating it. The community began to take notice when the façade of the store front was torn off in late September. Plans are to replace the old 1970s-style façade with historically accurate large pane windows. (more…)
Childhood Dreams on Main Street
Written for Dunn County News October 16, 2013
A boyhood dream came true on Main Street this summer.
Levi Nelson, a Menomonie native, is living his dreams of owning a small business incorporated with his love of trading cards.
Card Sharks, a sports trading cards store is located at 313 Main Street, a former radio station. Together with co-owner Patrick Gale, Levi opened the shop on June 22nd. (more…)
Treasures for Everyone
Written for Dunn County News September 15, 2013
Linda Chase has enjoyed being around antiques all her life. Her aunt has had an antique store in St Paul for many years and when Linda realized there was not an antique store in Downtown Menomonie she decided to follow her passion and open one. Eleven years ago Town & Country Antiques was just 2,000 square feet but has now grown to over 5,000 square feet with 30 different dealers hailing from all over the region – Bay City, Hammond, Hudson and more.
Linda has learned to expect surprise from customers who bring in items or have her come out to their homes for an appraisal. Often times they do not know what the value is and are either surprised or disappointed with her answer. An antique is an item which is at least 100 years old; less than that and the correct term is “vintage”. In addition to the store, in which each of the 30 different dealers take turns operating the desk each day, Linda also will meet with individuals with an estate or will do appraisals on any antique item an individual may have. (more…)
Ready to retire
Written for Dunn County news August 11, 2013
‘Main Street Mom’ reflects on her downtown days
Sandy Ott feels blessed that she has always had a job she loves and anticipates going to work every day. She felt that way when she was teaching English and now as an independent retailer.
Graduating from Macalester College with a bachelor of arts degree, Sandy taught in Chippewa Falls and Madison before returning home to Menomonie to purchase Reed’s Shoes in 1969. (more…)
The Next Chapter
Written for Dunn County News July 14, 2013
Retired English teacher enjoys her new life as an independent bookseller
Always one to take on an adventure, Susan Thurin’s purchase of a bookstore after retiring from UW-Stout was just one more chapter in her life. She was, in fact, leaving town for vacation when she saw the business listed for sale and called up owner Harriett Christy. “Don’t sell it before I get back,” she urged Christy.
Upon Thurin’s return, she became the new owner of Bookends on Main after purchasing it ‘lock stock & barrel’ as of July 1, 2009. (more…)
Raising the Bar
Written for Dunn County News June 9, 2013
After growing up in Burlington, Abbey Schmaling moved to Menomonie to attend UW-Stout in pursuit of a degree in industrial design. Once she moved here, however, this idea girl did not want to leave, finding the community to be filled with everything she wanted — and then some.
In 2012, Schmaling took advantage of the the opportunity to purchase the property at 414 Main Street, then known as Ba da Bingz. With the help of her parents, many friends and family members, she rolled up her sleeves and dug in to transform the space into something completely different. After seven months of full interior renovations and much community anticipation, she opened the doors of The Abbey Pub & Grub in January 2013. (more…)