Biz Buzz Monday: Maquoketa bar completes ‘massive remodel’

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Maquoketa, we will share developments from Dubuque and from Elizabeth, Ill., in Tuesday’s edition.

A historic hotel in Maquoketa, Iowa, recently completed a major renovation of its bar and event space.

The Decker House Hotel opened The Maquoketa Cave, a bar on the hotel’s lower level, on Nov. 18.

Leslie Jacobsen, bar manager and events coordinator, said the hotel has been in operation since 1875. Over the years, its many owners operated the bar under various names, from The Buffalo Room to The Dugout to The Den.

She said current owner Nathan Woodward, who purchased the hotel in December of 2020, undertook a “massive remodel” of the bar beginning in January.

The 11-month-long renovations included updates to plumbing and electricity, the installation of hand-printed, period-appropriate wallpaper and the addition of restored antique booths and an old beer cooler from the hotel’s former days.

“It was a lot of black, dark colors, so this really brightened up the space,” Jacobsen said. “A lot of thought went into the renovation … about what would make for a really nice experience for customers.”

The Maquoketa Cave offers a small-plate food menu with options like meat and cheese platters and house-made soup. Jacobsen said hotel staff soon plan to introduce pizza as well.

On the drink menu, patrons can choose from local and non-local wines and beers, including options from Maquoketa Brewing. Cocktails and martinis are also available, along with non-alcoholic beverages like coffee, hot chocolate and root beer.

Jacobsen said The Maquoketa Cave offers karaoke every Friday night and hosts live comedians on the third Saturday of each month.

“We’re trying to bring a facet of the food and beverage and entertainment industry that Maquoketa doesn’t really have right now, and we hope that people appreciate that,” she said.

The Maquoketa Cave is open on Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 4 to 10:30 p.m. The business may be reached at 563-652-1875.