Biz Buzz: Dubuque business relocates; German beer hall opens; Galena store offers fossils, maps

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque, Guttenberg, Iowa, and Galena, Ill.

A Dubuque electrical contracting company has moved to a new location.

A&G Electric has moved from 490 E. 14th St. to 10501 Iowa 3, next to Minnesota Furniture. A&G Electric started in 1983 by Wayne Gartner and Rick Ackley, the latter of whom is the father-in-law of current president and owner Barney Grobstick.

“We grew pretty quick, and we ran out of room,” Grobstick said of the old location. “This new building allows us room for what’s next.”

Grobstick said the new facility was most recently the home of Quincy Bag, but it also used to be the location of Kirchhoff Distributing Co. Budweiser signs related to Kirchhoff still hang in the building.

Grobstick said he closed on the new building in February, and employees moved into office spaces in June. Over the summer, staff have been getting equipment and parts into the new warehouse space.

The new facility is 30,000 square feet, 25,000 square feet of which is for the warehouse. Grobstick said the previous 14th Street location was 4,000 square feet total.

“We had nine employees in 2014,” he said. “We have 52 employees today.”

Last week, the community was invited to tour the new facility, which Grobstick said underwent a complete renovation.

The new office space offers several new amenities to employees, including a conference room and training room. Photos of a handful of projects A&G Electric has worked on, such as Dalzell Field, hang from the walls, as well as original A&G Electric signs from the business’ three previous Dubuque locations.

Though the business’ facility has changed, the business remains family-based. Grobstick’s wife, Michelle, and son Zachary also work at the business, and his son Carter is completing an apprenticeship there.

“It truly is a family business,” Grobstick said. “I’ve been blessed to work here.”

A&G Electric is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but it also offers 24/7 emergency electrical services. The business can be reached at 563-588-4253 and found online at

German beer hall opens in Clayton County

Sisters native to Guttenberg have opened a German beer hall in a historic building.

Jessi Eulberg and Joy Meyer opened Rathskeller in the basement of the historic Albertus Building, 218 S. River Park Drive, on Friday. The sisters also own the store Roots, which is upstairs from the beer hall.

“The town itself has a German heritage,” Eulberg said. “Every year, we celebrate GermanFest. We want to help build the Guttenberg downtown area and get tourism up and running.”

Eulberg said the basement of the Albertus Building was initially used as a cold storage space in the 1850s. The space was turned into a bar in the 1960s, but the bar closed in 1975.

“It was sitting there empty,” Eulberg said of the basement. “We got the wild idea to see if we could open it again.”

To stay true to German roots, Eulberg said Rathskeller will sell only German beer and soft pretzels. Currently, she said the business has 17 different beers, all from Fahr Beverage out of Waterloo, Iowa.

“It’ll be a seasonal establishment, just like the store upstairs,” Eulberg added. “This building is impossible to heat and cool.”

Rathskeller will run this year from Labor Day weekend to the end of November. Next year, it will run from May to November.

Hours will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Galena store sells collection of fossils, historic prints and maps

A newer store in downtown Galena focuses on selling a man’s collection of historic items, including fossils.

Rick Pariser opened Rix Antiques, 235 S. Main St., in July. The store is located in the same building as Fraternal Order of Eagles, across from DeSoto House Hotel.

“I have hundreds of maps and prints, boxes of fossils and heaven knows what other materials, and I’m going to be 75 years old,” Pariser said. “That’s the motivation (for opening the store). I don’t want to leave someone else to deal with finding a place for all this stuff.”

Pariser said he has collected fossils for more than two decades, starting with finding fish fossils in dry lake beds in Wyoming.

“I’ve got 20 years of accumulation of that,” Pariser said. “I find it really enjoyable and spend some time every summer doing that.”

He also spent time collecting fossils on the Jurassic Coast of the United Kingdom and northern Africa, which he said is a rich area for fossils of animals that roamed what is now the Sahara Desert.

Pariser also enjoys collecting old maps, and he has accumulated historic prints during his search for maps.

After deciding to sell his collections in a store, Pariser said, he asked about the open unit next to Fraternal Order of Eagles. The Eagles have owned the building for years, he said, but the space now occupied by Rix Antiques has been vacant for years.

Since opening, Pariser has enjoyed conversations with customers about his items, especially academics who teach him more about the historic items themselves.

“I get a lot of foot traffic because of the fossils,” he said. “That’s a big draw. The retail business is very good, and I’m distributing them to people who appreciate them.”

Rix Antiques is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.