Biz Buzz: Mexican restaurant opens in Dubuque; Shullsburg decor store under new ownership; Dubuque vet relocates, expands

Business tips sought

Do you have an interesting story idea or news tip to share about a local business? Ideas can be shared with business reporter Grace Nieland at or 563-588-5647.

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Shullsburg, Wis.

Owner Rachel Nixon is hoping to go two for two this spring with the recent opening of her new Mexican restaurant in Dubuque.

Lalo’s 2 Mexican Bar & Grill opened last week at 1091 University Ave. The restaurant serves a variety of Mexican cuisine and is opening following the success of the first Lalo’s location operating in Wyoming, Iowa.

“We want people to feel really comfortable and welcomed here,” Nixon said. “That’s something we see in our other location that we want to bring here, too.”

The Wyoming location has been in operation since 2021. Dubuque seemed far enough away to reach a new customer base, Nixon said, while also being close enough for dual management.

The restaurant opened last week, and staff now are settled and ready to serve the broader Dubuque area, Nixon said.

“The first experience is always important, so we wanted to make sure it was a good one (for customers),” she said. “Overall though, week one went really well and from what I can see online, it seems like some people are already talking about it.”

Lalo’s 2 is open for lunch and dinner with an expansive menu of authentic Mexican dishes, including flautas, enchiladas, chori pollo and more. Its offerings include lunch and dinner specials, as well as an all-day menu of classic dishes and desserts.

Each order is prepared from scratch, allowing for a diverse menu that is easily customized upon request, Nixon said.

“We make everything fresh from scratch, so if a customer wants something done a little bit differently or wants to add a certain ingredient, we’re more than happy to do it,” she said. “We want everyone to enjoy the food the way they want it.”

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Additional information about the restaurant is available online at

SW Wisconsin decor store under new ownership

A well-known Shullsburg, Wis., home decor store now is under new ownership.

Jenny Jacobsen recently acquired Kingsley Crossing at 236 W. Water St. following the retirement of former owner Sandy Russell. The store sells a variety of home decor items and has an attached floral design studio.

“(Sandy) posted about the business being for sale on a Friday, and I called the next Monday to buy it and here we are,” Jacobsen said. “I just couldn’t see this beautiful building close up and be empty.”

Jacobsen said much of the store’s merchandise will remain the same, allowing customers to find the same high-quality products for which the store is known. The floral design studio also will remain open for custom arrangements.

The space is changing somewhat, however, with the expansion and relocation of Brooke Rose Designs, a Shullsburg-based boutique run by Jacobsen’s daughter, Brooke Heinberg. Heinberg previously operated her business at 250 W. Water St.

The two businesses will share the Kingsley Crossing storefront, Jacobsen said, allowing customers to peruse and purchase merchandise from both stores in one spot.

“We knew she was looking for something bigger, so when this space came up for sale, we decided to move her into this building with us,” Jacobsen said. “We moved everything over already, so we opened this weekend.”

Jacobsen also plans to reopen the bar that currently sits idle in the store’s basement. The plan eventually is to offer a limited food and drink menu, though she estimates it will take a few months to renovate the space appropriately.

Kingsley Crossing and the newly relocated Brooke Rose Designs both are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Additional information is available online at

Dubuque vet clinic opens in expanded location

Veterinarian Katie Merkes strives to treat all animals that come through the doors of GoodLife Integrative Veterinary Care as if they were her own.

“We really pride ourselves on having personal connections with our clients and their dogs and treating (the animals) like an extension of our family,” she said. “They might not live with us in our houses, but this building really is a sort of extension of my home.”

And that home just got a lot bigger.

GoodLife last week opened its new clinic at 198 Cedar Cross Road in Dubuque. The 5,000-square-foot building is double the size of the clinic’s previous location on Hillcrest Road and is equipped with several treatment rooms, a rehabilitation space and expanded canine fitness center.

The office offers both traditional and holistic veterinary care to treat a wide variety of ailments in dogs and cats, Merkes said. She also offers in-home euthanasia services.

Some of the clinic’s more holistic treatment options include animal acupuncture, chiropractic care and laser therapy.

Those practices could be done independently or in conjunction with more traditional treatment options, Merkes said.

“Unfortunately, you do run into cases where you run out of (traditional) medicines or run out of options,” Merkes said. “Being able to add in integrative therapies in those instances can literally be lifesaving.”

Merkes first opened the practice as River Valley Veterinary Services in 2014 and operated as a mobile clinic.

She later rebranded to GoodLife Integrative Veterinary Care and opened her first brick-and-mortar location on Hillcrest Road in 2021.

Demand continued to grow, Merkes said, and it was clear additional space was needed to keep pace with the clinic’s growing clientele — particularly for the clinic’s rehabilitation and canine fitness services.

“Canine fitness is a good option for healthy dogs that want to stay that way,” Merkes said. “They come here and have something fun to do for the day. It’s a lot of individual attention for the dogs, as well as some strength training and core engagement.”

The new location has expanded capacity to meet those needs, she said, allowing the clinic to add a second underwater treadmill and expand the area used for canine fitness. A part-time dog groomer also has joined the team.

GoodLife Integrative Veterinary Care is open by appointment from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The clinic can be reached at 563-590-0145 or online at