Biz Buzz Monday: East Dubuque natives soon to open coffee shop, bar

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this development from East Dubuque, Ill., we will share other news in Tuesday’s edition.

East Dubuque natives will soon open a new coffee shop and bar in their hometown.

231 Coffee/Bar will open soon at 231 Sinsinawa Ave., next to East Dubuque City Hall. The business is co-owned by siblings Ali Gansemer, DJ Loeffelholz and Joe Loeffelholz. Gansemer said they hope to have the coffee shop open by mid-September.

“There’s places in East Dubuque where you can get coffee, but for things like macchiatos, flavored drinks, you can’t necessarily find that here,” Gansemer said. “We wanted to bring this to the community, to give them something special.”

The siblings also own local cannabis company River Bluff Collective, though Gansemer stressed that no cannabis or cannabis products will be sold at the new coffee shop and bar.

“We will also have options for kids,” she added. “We want this to be a place you can bring your family into, where it’s warm and friendly.”

Courtney Allen, assistant general manager at 231 Coffee/Bar, worked in coffee shops and restaurants for years before joining the team starting 231 Coffee/Bar.

“DJ asked me several years ago about it, but then COVID-19 hit,” Allen said. “So I suggested we hold off.”

The Sinsinawa Avenue location was purchased in 2021, and the owners then began to think of the concept for the new business.

Demolition work on the building began in March. A cafe seating area will be located near the front of the space, with the bar behind. Gansemer said they also repurposed items such as the chairs from other businesses and plan to hang photos of East Dubuque’s past on the walls.

Gansemer said the business will serve coffee all day and night, with drinks using beans from Jumble Coffee.

At night, the business will feature more of a bar atmosphere with a cocktail menu.

The business also will have food for both dine-in and carry out.

“We want some lighter options for food,” she said. “We have places in East Dubuque with great food, but this will be more paninis, salads, soups.”

Gansemer and Allen said renovating the building has come with a learning curve, but the support from the community for the new establishment has been great.

“I was in Family Beer (& Liquor Store) one day, and a woman came up to me and said, ‘I can’t wait for you to open,’” Allen said.

231 Coffee/Bar will open at 6 a.m. daily. Updates on the establishment’s progress can be found on Facebook.