Area cannabis company purchases downtown Dubuque building

An area cannabis business has purchased a well-known building in Dubuque’s Historic Millwork District.

River Bluff Collective recently acquired The Magnolia building at 168 E. 10th St., which most recently operated as a wedding venue and restaurant. The space will open as a retail area and bar for River Bluff this spring.

“The Millwork is just a beautiful area of town,” said River Bluff co-owner DJ Loeffelholz. “… We wanted to put our flag down here and establish a home (for the company) in downtown Dubuque.”

River Bluff Collective, which has offices in Dubuque, sells a variety of hemp- and THC-infused products and has a retail location in East Dubuque, Ill.; a dispensary in the Chicago area; and a shop selling THC beverages and other products in Platteville, Wis. It is owned by Loeffelholz and his siblings, Joe Loeffelholz and Ali Gansemer.

The Dubuque retail space will include a variety of the company’s edibles, drinks, topicals and more that are under the Iowa-mandated limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight. The goal is to open the retail and bar space in March, pending state approval of necessary licenses and permits.

DJ Loeffelholz said there also will be a social area available for public gatherings or hangouts where the company’s THC-infused drinks will be available on tap. Other portions of the building will be dedicated to office and manufacturing space.

“This is something new for Dubuque,” he said. “We’re looking forward to continuing to talk about our brand and advocating for cannabis and hemp consumption in a safe and healthy way.”

Bobby Koneru, who owned The Magnolia, said he bought the Millwork building five years ago with plans to reimagine — and eventually sell — the historic space. It previously operated as a workshop and warehouse for Jim Avery, an ornamental artist who died in 2015.

After undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation, the building entered its second life as a wedding and events venue, Koneru said.

The Magnolia building also previously housed Bread & Vine Dubuque, a contemporary French-American fusion restaurant that closed in October.

“I’m grateful to have been part of the Millwork transformation,” Koneru said. “It was beautiful to see this old, underutilized building turn into a space where people created a lot of important memories.”

Koneru said it was “bittersweet” to sell the building but that he believes River Bluff will be an “exciting” addition to the downtown area. He added that The Magnolia stopped accepting bookings in advance of the sale, so there are no outstanding reservations on the space.

River Bluff Operations Manager Rachel Brown said the company is excited to further its connections in and around the Millwork District. Already, the company collaborates with nearby 7 Hills Brewing Co. and has been a frequent vendor at the Millwork Night Market.

“We’re ready to breathe a little bit of new life into the space,” Brown said. “We’re all about connecting with the community and lessening the stigma around cannabis use.”