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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque; Stockton, Ill.; and Fennimore, Wis.
A Dubuque hot dog joint is taking steps to open its first brick-and-mortar location this spring.
Hot Diggity Dogz, which operates its food trailer at 1902 Central Ave., plans to move into the building at that address in the next couple of months. Owner Wesley Rainer said there is no official estimated date for the brick-and-mortar location opening, but he hopes the project will be ready in April.
“We’re generally going to continue to do what we do now, the Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef,” he said. “We will be expanding the menu to burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, all that good stuff.”
Rainer said he has been looking for a brick-and-mortar location for his business since opening in August 2019. He said he was waiting for the 1902 Central Ave. location, which previously housed Central Avenue Mercantile, to become available.
After getting the space, Rainer has focused on raising funds to go toward the renovation. This included recently asking lenders online to give toward a $5,500 Kiva loan. The loan was fully funded by 107 people in less than two days, and Rainer said he plans to do something special for the lenders to show appreciation.
Rainer said plans for the brick-and-mortar location include having a long counter at which people can eat quickly, and customers also can pick up carryout orders.
“We’re not really planning on dine-in right away,” he said. “We need a bigger staff to do that. We’re working on getting our crew because we actually plan to keep doing the carts. We were just so busy last year that we couldn’t do all of the events we were invited to do. That’s why we plan to get another cart to meet half of that demand.”
Rainer said he also has a few other ideas for the new location that are being discussed, such as offering arcade games or selling a few grocery essentials.
“Originally, I was not planning to do a restaurant,” he added. “I was planning on having a kitchen for the orders and then do the carts. But the demand for a restaurant is up there.”
Hot Diggity Dogz is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the Central Avenue location, though the business also serves food at events. More information can be found on the Hot Diggity Dogz Facebook page.
Stockton insurance agency acquires 2 more offices
A Stockton insurance agency has taken ownership of two additional offices in Jo Daviess County.
Bauer Insurance Agency now owns McCoy Insurance Services as of the beginning of the month, according to Peter Huschitt, one of the four Bauer Insurance Agency employees who took over ownership of the McCoy offices.
McCoy Insurance Services has offices in Galena and Elizabeth, and Huschitt said the offices will continue to operate under the McCoy name for the time being.
“The existing employees will stay the same,” he added. “The insurance representation will stay the same. It’s just under new ownership with the resources we have in Stockton.”
Huschitt said the Bauer and McCoy offices have been under an “alignment agreement” since 2004, meaning they worked together while being owned and operated separately. After the previous McCoy owners decided to leave the insurance agency business, Bauer staff took over.
Since making the ownership switch, Huschitt said, two Stockton employees have been spending time at the Galena office, which has been quite busy in the new year.
“As a human being, I don’t always think bigger is better, but with being a multi-location business, we can share resources more efficiently,” he said. “Technology has helped that tremendously as well. We can almost be at any of the three locations and can conduct our work.”
The McCoy Insurance Services offices are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Friday.
New gaming store opens in Fennimore
A new gaming store has opened in southwest Wisconsin.
Rally Point Games opened this month at 970 Lincoln Ave. in Fennimore, near Timothy’s Cafe and Dwight Parker Library. The store is owned by Devon Glick and Matthew Sargent.
“We used to work together at the Boscobel prison,” Glick said. “It was both of our dreams to open up a game store at some point in our lives. So, we’re starting out and looking forward to having an adventure and making people happy.”
Glick said the pair purchased the space — formerly the home of Fennimore Hair Designs — on Dec. 2 and then worked to convert it into the gaming store.
“So far, it’s been good,” Glick said. “We’ve had quite a few new customers come in and have had good conversations with them.”
The business sells a wide variety of games, including card games, board games and role-playing games. The store also has a 3-D printer and provides computer repair services.
Glick said the business also has a “top of the line” virtual reality system that costs $5 for 30 minutes of use.
However, those who become members of the store can have a free, daily 30-minute session on the virtual reality system. Memberships, which are $20 per month, also come with a discount on the store’s merchandise and access to console gaming.
Eventually, Glick said, an arcade with several old-style cabinet arcade games and pinball machines also will be featured in the store.
“I really enjoy the social aspect of gaming,” Glick said. “It’s more about bringing people together to have fun. That’s where you make the most memories. That’s what I wanted for this community. It’s easy to approach people when you understand the games, when you’re in your imaginations and having a good time.”
Rally Point Games is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, as well as 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The business can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The store also can be found online at rallypointgames.com or on Facebook.