Do you have an interesting story or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Kayli Reese at email@example.com or 563-588-5673.
Corrected: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the name of Alec Bauer, owner of First Light Tattoo & Gallery.
Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque, Farley and Dyersville, Iowa.
A Dubuque tattoo shop has moved to a new downtown location.
First Light Tattoo & Gallery moved to 1053 Main St., next to Jitterz Coffee & Cafe, on Oct. 7, according to owner Alec Bauer. The business previously was located underneath Donut Boy on Asbury Road.
“With the last space, it was more like a private studio,” Bauer said. “Not really many people knew where we were, and it was kind of cool in that aspect. This (new space) is in an area where there’s higher traffic. People can drive by and see it. That’s a big thing for the new spot.”
Bauer has been tattooing for more than a decade, starting his apprenticeship in East Dubuque, Ill., in 2007 when he was 18.
He started First Light Tattoo in 2019. He worked solo at the beginning before bringing on tattoo artist Chris Hale.
“This (Asbury Road) spot just kind of became too small for us both, so we decided to branch out to a new location,” Bauer said.
Bauer said they found the Main Street location in June, and the space was renovated completely in the subsequent months.
“When we moved in, it was an empty shell,” Bauer said of the building. “It was gutted.”
Bauer said the new space has separate tattooing booths but is mostly an open room. He added that he and Hale are currently the only artists at the shop but that there is an office for another artist.
“We keep that open for guest artists coming through the area, traveling and seeing this part of Iowa, until the right person comes along to be someone to work with all of the time,” he said.
First Light Tattoo is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday but operates by appointment. The business can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It also can be found at facebook.com/firstlighttattooandgallery and on Instagram @firstlighttattoo.
Permanent makeup studio opens in Dyersville
A permanent makeup studio recently opened in Dyersville.
Christa McLane opened Lasting Beauty by Christa on Oct. 1 at 212 Second Ave. NE, near the restaurant Fuse. She said the space previously housed an art gallery but has been vacant for about nine months.
“I’ve been in health care for all my life,” McLane said. “I have 25 years of service in health care, and I still do that. But I had been doing some research, and our town does not have anyone who offers PMU, which is permanent makeup, and I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to try this out.’”
McLane focuses on eyebrow makeup with a technique called microblading, which is similar to tattooing. She said she offers free consultations for clients wanting to learn more about the process.
“It’s semi-permanent,” she said. “It’s best to come in every 12 to 18 months for a touchup. Like any tattoo, it can fade. … But then when you wake up, you don’t have to pencil in your brows.”
McLane added that she hopes to learn how to do permanent eyeliner in the future, but she is focusing on eyebrows for now.
“It’s just nice having my own personal space,” she said of the studio. “I was originally kind of working out of my home. I’m just excited to have clients in there.”
Lasting Beauty by Christa operates by appointment only. It can be reached at 563-599-6855 and lastingbeautybychrista.com.
New Dubuque County eatery opens
A new Farley restaurant focused on specialty sandwiches and sauces is open for business.
Ann Schieltz opened Dinger’s D’Lite’s last month at 302 First St. N., across the street from Farley Municipal Building. Schieltz said the location most recently housed BrickHaus Bar & Grill.
“For the past 10 to 12 years, I have wanted to own a restaurant,” she said. “Initially, I just wanted a cafe to do breakfast and lunch. I have always enjoyed entertaining friends and family, and a couple of friends suggested starting a restaurant, but I needed to start off slow.”
Schieltz began as a food vendor at Dubuque Farmers Market six years ago. For the past 14 months, she has operated out of the Dinger’s D’Lite’s food trailer, and the opportunity for a physical location in Farley came up this past spring.
The name of the restaurant stems from Schieltz’s lifelong nickname, Dinger.
“When we went to the food truck, we didn’t see too many other food trucks that specialize in sandwiches,” Schieltz said. “It was mostly fried food, BBQ and sweets and such. So, we wanted to bring that (sandwich focus) into the restaurant as well.”
For breakfast, the restaurant has a menu of breakfast sandwiches with a side of hash browns or potatoes. For lunch and dinner, she serves specialty burgers, sandwiches and wraps. The eatery also offers coffee drinks and a “goodie bin” filled with cupcakes and cinnamon rolls.
Schieltz said she also makes all of the sauces used in the menu. One sauce uses a mix of raspberries and peppers, and her “shroom sauce” has beer added into it.
“I think it really opens up people’s taste buds in an area that might not have been introduced or that they are accustomed to,” she said. “It’s able to offer that uniqueness and still have the common, heartwarming foods people like as well.”
Dinger’s D’Lite’s is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant can be found on Facebook.