Biz Buzz: Epworth eatery eyes expansion; Bellevue business branches out; Galena restaurant opens

Owner Karen Koss stands inside The Pizza Factory in Epworth, Iowa, on Monday. The business is expanding to add more seating, a full bar and patio dining. PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Kettering

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-states. In this week’s edition, we highlight developments in Epworth and Bellevue, Iowa, and Galena, Ill.

An Epworth restaurant aims to complete a sizable expansion in time for the summer. The Pizza Factory, 104 N. Center Ave., soon will add outdoor patio seating and open a new, agriculture-themed bar, according to co-owner Karen Koss.

The restaurant is taking over an additional space within its existing building, filling a vacancy created by the recent departure of an insurance company.

“We have started the work, and we are going to open sometime in June,” Koss said.

The new space will house a bar named Feed Store Pub, a moniker inspired by an old feed store that operated in that storefront in the mid-1900s.

Koss said the pub will offer a variety of craft beers on tap in hopes of “providing something we don’t have (in Epworth) right now.”

The new area will have enough room for 40 additional indoor seats. A new, outdoor dining area will also be created in front of the former insurance space, an amenity that Koss hopes will pay off soon.

“We have had wonderful support through delivery and carryout,” she noted. “We are hoping everyone will get out and begin dining in again.”

As the business expands, Koss said she hopes to hire five new workers.

The Pizza Factory expansion isn’t the only undertaking for Karen and her husband, Dave.

In the fall of 2019, a fire damaged a building that housed an apartment and multiple businesses, including The Pizza Factory.

The Pizza Factory was able to remain in the building. But the Kosses, who own the structure, elected to tear down the portion of the building that sustained the greatest damage.

A new structure is being constructed next door. It will boast a pair of commercial rental spaces and apartment units.

“It is a little stressful (doing two projects),” said Koss. “ But it is exciting as well.”

The Pizza Factory is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week. It can be reached at 563-876-3153.

BELLEVUE BUSINESS REOPENS

Following an extensive renovation and multi-week closure, a Bellevue music business and bar has reopened its doors.

Lock 12 Music and Trading Co. on Saturday hosted a “grand reopening” event that marked the completion of multiple upgrades to its location at 134 Riverview St.

“It was a major transformation,” said co-owner Karen Langseth. “We did a major gutting of the old setup. Three weeks ago, this was all basically a shell of nothing.”

She said workers chipped away at renovations for a while, but these efforts kicked into overdrive during the recent, three-week closure.

The facility’s old bar was removed, and a new, custom-made one was installed. The stage was relocated to create better acoustics and allow for additional seating.

The creation of a kitchen is arguably the biggest new addition.

Langseth said Lock 12 now can serve everything from hot dogs and burgers to Chinese food and fish tacos. She emphasized that the kitchen will remain open later than its local competitors.

“People want to have that late-night thing to eat, and there are often third-shift workers looking for a meal,” she said.

The recent changes mark the latest step in the evolution of the Bellevue business.

When Langseth and her husband, Greg, opened Lock 12 in 2014, it focused on selling instruments and providing music lessons. The business later started hosting live music events and serving wine and beer in hopes of drawing a wider customer base.

Despite the recent additions, the owners haven’t strayed far from their original mission.

“We are still a music-first place,” Langseth said.

The business is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sundays. It is closed on Tuesdays. The kitchen closes one hour before the rest of the business.

Lock 12 can be reached at 563-500-6738.

NEW EATERY IN GALENA

An entrepreneur with three decades of restaurant experience has launched a popular new eatery in Galena.

Savory Kitchen opened its doors at 309 N. Main St. in February.

Owner James Ungs amassed about 30 years of experience working as a chef and food-and-beverage director at multiple establishments in the greater Chicago area. He said he has long had an eye on northwest Illinois.

“I had been looking to open a restaurant in the Galena market for a while, but nothing was available until recently,” he said. “It always seemed like a great place to start a restaurant. You can draw (customers) from the tourists and the local residents.”

Ungs said he focuses on using quality ingredients and finding the right combination of herbs, spices and seasonings to give his food a distinctive taste. In the early going, the homemade salad dressings, steak pinot noir and wild-caught Alaskan salmon have emerged as favorites among customers.

Ungs lives and breathes the business, operating the eatery with just one employee. But that is by design.

“I wanted a small staff so we could pay close attention to every detail when it comes to the food quality and the service,” he said.

He acknowledged that opening a restaurant in the midst of a pandemic came with its fair share of challenges. Still, he feels his business is on the right track.

“I had a lot of apprehension about the timing,” he said. “But we have been rewarded by a warm welcome from the community and from visitors. … Business has been building.”

Savory Kitchen serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday and dinner Wednesday through Saturday, although Ungs said the eatery’s hours soon could change. He also noted that Savory Kitchen soon will offer outdoor seating options, both in the street and on its patio.

The business can be reached at 815-281-9422.