Biz Buzz: New bistro to open in Dubuque; longtime Dubuque property management business moves; historic Maquoketa hotel under new ownership

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

A new downtown Dubuque bistro is in the works.

Birdie’s Bistro will be located at 1220 Iowa St., near Dubuque City Hall. The space previously was home to Shugga’s Soul Cafe, which moved in April to 1106 University Ave.

The bistro is co-owned by couple Amy East and Thierry Reverse. East will be the general manager, and Reverse will be the chef.

“(Dubuque) still has a small-town feel,” said East, who grew up in Cascade. “Everyone that we have done business with or talked to in passing about the restaurant has been welcoming and friendly and helpful. It’s been really awesome.”

East had lived in Florida for about 20 years when she and Reverse decided to move to the Dubuque area and start their own restaurant. Both have been in the restaurant business for over 20 years each.

“We found this location while we were at the Farmers Market the first weekend we moved back into town,” East said. “We wanted to take a little time off, but it didn’t happen that way.”

East said the couple has worked on the space since mid-July and hopes to open the bistro in September.

“We’re remodeling everything,” she said. “We want it to be a modern farmhouse style. We’re really, really focused on local ingredients, farm-to-table. The only frozen thing on our menu is French fries. Everything is going to be fresh.”

East said traditional breakfast items will be served all day. For lunch, Reverse will make specialty sandwiches from his own recipes, served on sourdough bread. The bistro also will offer a tomato basil bisque and a rotating soup of the day.

East and Reverse said they hope to be part of the Dubuque community for a long time.

“We fell in love with Dubuque,” Reverse said. “That’s why we wanted to do it here.”

The eatery will be open for breakfast and lunch, with plans to operate from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday after opening.

More information, including updates on the eatery’s progress, can be found at, as well as the Birdie’s Bistro Facebook and Instagram pages.

Longtime Dubuque property management, real estate business moves

A longtime Dubuque property management and real estate business has moved to a new location.

Executive Management & Real Estate Ltd. moved July 21 to 2774 University Ave., near Colonial Terrace Animal Hospital. The business previously was located at 1330 Locust St.

“We just absolutely grew out of the space we had,” said broker-owner Carol Copeland, who has worked in real estate for 45 years. “We were happy at that (Locust Street) location for many, many years, but we did not have room even to buy a new document shredder. We were so out of space.”

Copeland said the business was at its Locust Street location for 40 years prior to the move. Three generations of Copeland’s family work at the business, which employs 21 people in the Dubuque office.

Executive Management & Real Estate Ltd.’s corporate office is in Dubuque, but it also handles business and runs offices in Bettendorf, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Muscatine, Iowa.

Copeland added that the new location is all on one floor. She also said parking at the new location is better.

“We’re more centrally located (between all of our Dubuque properties),” she said. “I think it’s easier for people to pop into the office here rather than trying to drive downtown all the time. We’re totally and thoroughly pleased with the situation.”

Executive Management & Real Estate Ltd. can be reached at 563-556-1605. More information also can be found online at

Historic Maquoketa hotel under new ownership

A historic Maquoketa hotel is under new ownership.

Mihir “Mike” Patel took over Decker House Hotel, 128 N. Main St., about a month ago with his business partner and brother-in-law, Maher Patel.

“The reason we bought this property, the main reason, was the building itself is historical, and we want to keep it that way,” Mihir Patel said. “… We really want to keep this building as it is. We definitely would appreciate support from the community of Maquoketa to make our dream come true for the future.”

The hotel has operated in Maquoketa since the 1870s. The property previously was run by brothers Josh and Nathan Woodward, who took over ownership in December 2020 and put the property up for sale last fall.

Mihir Patel, who is from the Madison, Wis., area, has experience both working at and running hotels. He said he was attracted to Decker House Hotel because of the property’s history and the community itself.

“There are nice and kind people in Maquoketa,” he said. “Since I have in-laws staying at the hotel, I want to make sure the community is safe, nice and kind, and those three things I have seen in Maquoketa.”

The 18-room hotel will remain the same, though Patel noted that they will undertake some light renovations and buy new bedding.

He added that the restaurant on the property, which was closed by the previous owner, will remain closed for the time being.

“It would take a lot of money to reopen it,” Patel said. “We don’t have a lot of money to invest right away. In the future, we will see how it would do revenue-wise. If it’s the right time and opportunity, we may consider it, but now it is closed.”

However, Patel said the property’s bar, The Maquoketa Cave, will continue operating. There also will be minor renovations to a small banquet hall and meeting room so community members can hold events there, from corporate gatherings to birthday parties.

“We will provide catering service to people who would like to do events at the hotel,” Patel added.

Decker House Hotel can be reached at 563-652-1875 and found online at