Biz Buzz: New Dubuque laundromat in works; dog groomer opens in Holy Cross; country club enjoys updated amenities

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque, Holy Cross and Peosta, Iowa.

A family plans to open a new laundromat in Dubuque.

Clean Laundry is under construction in two suites at 3301 Pennsylvania Ave. Phil Akin, founder of Clean Laundry and co-owner of the Dubuque store with his sons, Ethan and Wesley, said it will be at least two months until the 4,400-square-foot location is open.

“We love that area,” Phil Akin said. “The corner of Pennsylvania (Avenue) and (John F. Kennedy Road) is just a crossroads for a lot of traffic, and it’s within a mile or two of a lot of rental units.”

The laundromat’s location includes space that formerly housed Hornbill Asian Market before it moved to 150 JFK.

Akin said he previously worked in the laundry business but stopped around 30 years ago.

“Even though it’s around 35 years later, laundromats were still kind of known for being dirty, crummy, maybe unsafe, unattended places,” he said. “I said, ‘I can’t believe it hasn’t changed much.’”

The Akins opened the first Clean Laundry in Waterloo, Iowa, eight years ago with an emphasis on cleanliness and having staffed laundromats. While the family has opened four other Clean Laundry locations in Iowa, Phil Akin said he licensed the name and concept for others to use as well.

Akin said the family decided to open the Dubuque location after seeing a need for laundry services toward the West End of the city.

“What will make this unique for Dubuque, and quite frankly anywhere in the Midwest now, is brand-new equipment that came out probably mid-to-early last year,” he added.

This includes touchscreen machines, and customers even can control the machines from an app on their phones. Machines also will be coinless, so customers can pay with cash, debit or credit cards or through the app.

“The idea is that you can still bring cash to the laundromat, you just don’t have to bring quarters,” Akin said.

While the exact opening is yet to be determined, Akin said that he anticipates Clean Laundry being open daily from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Dog groomer opens in Holy Cross

A dog groomer has opened in Holy Cross.

Barkin Bubbles, 938 Church St., began taking appointments this month for a full range of grooming services, including haircuts, baths, nails and blowouts. The groomer is located in the community’s former City Hall and library space.

Owner Holly Hayes said she decided to open the business after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said she had been fortunate to have good manufacturing jobs throughout her life, but the pandemic made her think about a career change.

“It really made me think, ‘I’ve got to start doing what makes me happy and what I love,’ and I knew it was going to be something with animals,” Hayes said. “Growing up, dogs have been my favorite life support. They truly give me peace and happiness in life.”

Hayes said Holy Cross was an accessible location for multiple area communities seeking grooming services.

“Things have really taken off for us on social media,” Hayes said. “We’re constantly getting phone calls and text messages. It’s blowing our minds on how quickly it’s taken off for us.”

Barkin Bubbles is taking appointments as needed for customers, including on weekends. Customers can call 563-590-3059 to make an appointment or message Barkin Bubbles on its Facebook page.

Peosta country club enjoys updated amenities

A Peosta country club is looking forward to another year with updated amenities for its members.

Thunder Hills Country Club, 16682 Thunder Hills Drive, unveiled its newly renovated pool and cabana space last year. Work on the $2.2 million pool and cabana project started in the fall of 2020, replacing the 50-year-old pool.

“We built an entirely new building that’s twice the size,” said General Manager Andy De Sollar. “It’s a significant upgrade from the old one.”

The 3,700-square-foot cabana is not currently set up for the summer months but is open year round. Golf simulators are up in the cabana until the end of April, and they will be replaced with seating in the summer season.

A full-service kitchen is now in the cabana, as well, giving more menu options.

“Our menu was decent before, but we were running all the food from the clubhouse to the pool,” De Sollar said.

The new pool now covers about 4,200 square feet, 500 square feet more than the previous one. The pool also includes seating pods, a diving board and basketball hoop. De Sollar said the pool deck is also 30% bigger, increasing seating capacity by 60 to 70 people.

While the main pool was completely reconstructed, De Sollar added that the club kept the kiddie pool, which was redone in 2017.

In addition to the pool and cabana, club members this year also can enjoy an outdoor bocce ball court. De Sollar said additional seating and another shade structure will be added to the pool this summer as well.

Membership at the club increased following the opening of the new pool and cabana, with around 40 new members added in 2021, De Sollar said.

“It’s obviously been a great new environment,” he said.

The club’s pool will be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. Thunder Hills can be reached at 563-556-3363.

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