Biz Buzz: Infrared fitness studio opening in Dubuque; new appliance store in Dyersville; SW Wisconsin pizza place reopens

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Dyersville, Iowa, as well as Darlington, Wis.

A new fitness studio using infrared heat plans to open soon in Dubuque.

The new franchise location of HOTWORX is under construction at 2055 Holliday Drive, Suite 510, which previously housed Signature Health & Fitness. Melissa Noel, general manager of the HOTWORX location, said she hopes to open around Jan. 1.

“The location was already constructed as a fitness studio, so the buildout part of it has been moving along pretty well,” Noel said. “It’s moving quite fast. We started at the beginning of October on the buildout, and the (infrared) saunas will be delivered the first week of December. Once people start seeing the saunas getting moved in, it will become more real to them.”

Noel’s sister and brother-in-law, Malena and Marlowe Valdeabella, of St. Louis, are the franchise location’s owners. Noel said her sister joined a HOTWORX in St. Louis about a year ago and started thinking about bringing a location to Dubuque with Noel running it.

All of the fitness sessions will be led via virtual instruction and take place in rooms with infrared saunas, which boosts immunity and allows people to burn more calories in less time, Noel said.

The studio will feature eight rooms. Half of them will be used for activities such as yoga and Pilates, while the other half will include cycling and rowing equipment.

While the studio will have staffed hours, the location will be available for use 24 hours per day, Noel said. Those who wish to work out after staffed hours can unlock the studio through an app, through which clients also can book a session.

“We are going to be Dubuque’s only 24-hour infrared studio,” Noel said. “It’s geared toward people who are busy and who work odd hours. Every studio in Dubuque has a niche. People work at different paces for different reasons, and we cater to individuals who are busy but want to make fitness a priority.”

More information on the Dubuque location can be found at or

Appliance store opens in Dyersville

A new appliance store has opened in Dyersville.

Appliance Plus opened at 723 Ninth St. SE on Nov. 21. The store is in the same building as U.S. Cellular, which opened in July and is operated by the same company.

“We love having the opportunity to grow our locations, and kind of how we got there is because of U.S. Cellular,” said Jayde Blue, marketing manager for Appliance Plus and Appliance Plus — U.S. Cellular Authorized Agent. “That specific location is large enough to add an appliance store, and we love growing. We kind of took the opportunity and ran with it.”

The Dyersville Appliance Plus location sells GE appliances, as well as offers delivery and installation services.

Appliance Plus is owned by Gary Fox. What eventually became Appliance Plus started in 1946 as an electrical business in Oelwein, Iowa, run by Harold Fox, Gary Fox’s grandfather.

Since Gary Fox took over ownership in 2003, the company has grown to 10 stores selling U.S. Cellular products and six stores selling GE appliances.

“We’re happy for the opportunity with U.S. Cellular and Appliance Plus to be able to be in the Dyersville community,” Gary Fox said in an emailed statement. “Being a local company in northeast Iowa, the opportunity to expand into the Dyersville area is something we couldn’t say ‘no’ to.”

Appliance Plus is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The store can be reached at 563-875-3002.

New owners reopen Darlington pizzeria

A Darlington pizza restaurant is under new ownership.

Steve and Val Smith now own Vinger’s Pizza, 223 Main St., next to Main Furniture and Home. The Smiths reopened the restaurant at the end of October. The eatery had been closed since June after the previous owners, Ronnie and Michelle Hicks, decided to sell the business.

“We actually had no intention of buying a pizza business, but Vinger’s has always been there,” Val Smith said. “We’re from Darlington and always lived in Darlington. Vinger’s has always been the pizza place, and we could not let that not be open. We decided, ‘Hey, why not? Life’s crazy anyway. Let’s do it.’”

Vinger’s Pizza originally opened in the early 1960s along Wisconsin 81 before later moving to its Main Street location.

Val Smith said the Hickses helped her and her husband learn the ropes before they reopened the restaurant. Val Smith also spoke with Rhonda Kitelinger — former restaurant owner and daughter of Helen and James Vinger, who opened Vinger’s Pizza — to get the pizza recipe as close to the original Vinger’s recipe as possible.

The eatery’s menu has reverted back to the original Vinger’s toppings, such as sausage and pepperoni, as well as a deluxe pizza. Val Smith said the business also makes a garlic cheese stick pizza.

Since reopening, the restaurant has sold 500 to 600 pizzas in the four days it is open each week, she said.

“We’re just really enjoying it,” Val Smith said. “Our whole family is involved. We’ve got four kids, and all the kids have been helping. It’s been a big family experience, and it’s just kind of nice that the whole family came together to help on it.”

Vinger’s Pizza is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, as well as 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant can be reached at 608-776-3760 and found on Facebook.