Biz Buzz: New juice bar coming to Dubuque; co-working space opening in Elizabeth; Dyersville restaurant expands offerings

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque and Dyersville, Iowa, as well as Elizabeth, Ill.

A new juice bar is coming to a newly-constructed commercial building in Dubuque this spring.

Nekter Juice Bar will open in a suite within the new building at 3415 Stoneman Road, near Kennedy Mall. Owner Nikki Mulligan said the juice bar will go into the 1,800-square-foot suite closest to Green State Credit Union and is expected to open in May.

“The idea behind Nekter is this idea of helping our community really just embrace and optimize their overall health and wellness,” Mulligan said. “We have a fresh, natural menu. It’s about feeding our bodies essential vitamins and nutrients we need, and we’re bringing something that people have a hard time finding in Dubuque.”

The Stoneman Road building has been in the works since last year and can hold up to six tenants. The 11,400-square-foot structure is being developed by Switch Development, which is owned by Matt Mulligan, president and chief operating officer of Conlon Construction Co. Matt Mulligan and Nikki Mulligan are married.

A call to Matt Mulligan about other tenant spaces was not returned, but Nekter is the first business officially to be confirmed in the space. A building permit for work on the juice bar was filed in January.

Nikki Mulligan said Nekter’s menu will consist of juices, smoothies and acai bowls, all of which are made fresh to order. Customers also will be able to order items from the Nekter app, and grab-and-go options will be available.

“It’s kind of a limited menu, but it’s about providing the cleanest options we can,” she said.

She said the store also will offer both indoor and outdoor seating and that she plans to hire at least 10 people to work at the juice bar.

The local Nekter Juice Bar will join more than 180 locations of the chain that have opened so far.

Mulligan said she is excited about the juice bar both sharing a location with future tenants of the building and being located by Kennedy Mall, which she noted is adding more stores. Mall officials announced last week that HomeGoods will open in the mall within the next year.

“We’re excited for the location,” she said. “I love the great visibility off of (John F. Kennedy Road), as well.”

More information on Dubuque’s Nekter Juice Bar, including the future opening date and hours, will be shared at a later date at

Co-working space coming to Elizabeth

A new co-working space soon will open in downtown Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Business Hub will be located at 131 N. Main St., the former Dejawood studio space across the street from Lola’s Deli. Brian Engle, a local architect who owns B.E. Creative Studio, is coordinating efforts to start the business hub.

“We’re excited about getting this thing going,” Engle said. “We’re going full speed ahead. I think there is a lot of excitement around it. Once it opens, I think people will understand the benefits of it and want to utilize the space.”

Engle said the idea for the hub came after a few area business leaders toured other area co-working spaces and connected with Rural Ideas Network, a nonprofit that assists with growth in rural communities.

“We’re always looking for ways to drive business in Elizabeth, and we thought this way would make sense, especially with the way today’s business climate is and the ability to work from home,” Engle said. “We have work from home people, but there are times when they need maybe a conference room or professional environment.”

A number of area businesses and organizations are partners backing the project. Individuals who wish to use the hub can rent out a desk space or meeting room as needed.

Engle said work on the space is underway in hopes of opening this June.

“It’s a flexible space,” he said. “Everybody involved shares the values of wanting to bring business to town and drive business to the downtown.”

More information on the Elizabeth Business Hub, including updates on opening day, can be found at

Dyersville restaurant to expand offerings

A Dyersville restaurant is expanding its offerings one year after opening.

Fuse, 224 Second Ave. NE, started serving customers on March 12. Owner Tara Rahe said the plan to combine three concepts — sports bar, fine dining and wine lounge — has been rolling out in phases.

“After opening up and getting our feet wet, we wanted to make sure we created the best atmosphere and best quality for our customers,” she said. “I keep calling it baby steps. We want to get it right in the first atmosphere and then add in the next one.”

The bar for the sports bar section of the establishment opened in March, with the kitchen opening two months later to serve items such as sandwiches and burgers.

As part of the one-year anniversary, Rahe said, the main dining room will be open to the public for the first time, though the space has hosted private events in the past.

The dining room will open in the second half of March, after the restaurant’s anniversary celebration on March 3 and Dyersville’s St. Patrick’s Day events on March 11. The area initially will be open only on weekends but gradually will expand into weeknight hours.

“We’re starting to roll out menu items (in March) for that,” Rahe said. “Those items are more dinner-focused items, like steaks and grilled chicken dinners. We’re starting off with two steaks and a lemon pepper chicken.”

Rahe added that new menu items will be introduced each month, with plans to switch out some items seasonally. She added that all of the steak and beef come from local farmers to ensure the best quality.

The wine lounge will open later as part of “phase three” of Fuse, Rahe said, though an exact opening date has not yet been set.

“This past year has been exciting and fun,” she said. “Some of the things I’ve enjoyed most is seeing people enjoy the space I’ve created. This has consumed my life for the past few years, so it’s exciting to sit back and watch people have fun.”

Fuse opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m. daily. The restaurant can be reached at 563-513-0051 and found online at and