Biz Buzz: Riverside eatery in East Dubuque; new mobile coffee business; upcycling center moving

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from around the tri-states each Monday. This week, we highlight developments in East Dubuque, Ill., and Dubuque and Maquoketa, Iowa.

A new East Dubuque restaurant is serving up food and beverages in a prime, riverside location.

Frentress Lake Bar & Grill recently opened at 818 W. Gill Road for indoor dining, marking the latest step in a multi-stage opening that has been complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Owner Mary Knupp said the eatery opened for carryout in April and introduced outdoor, patio dining two months later.

Within the past month, the business has opened its interior dining room and unveiled an outdoor tent area with additional seating.

Frentress Lake Bar & Grill takes the place of Silver Spoon, an eatery that had occupied the space since the summer of 2017.

“We have some different food options and a different approach (than Silver Spoon),” said Knupp. “We want to have more of a bar and restaurant atmosphere, rather than a supper club.”

The menu includes a variety of food including pork tenderloins, burgers, sandwiches and pizza.

In its first few months of operation, Frentress Lake Bar & Grill has proven popular with boaters utilizing the nearby lake and river. A steady lineup of live entertainment also has attracted music fans.

For Knupp, the eatery marks her first foray into restaurant ownership after a lifetime filled with industry experience.

“I have worked at bars and restaurants pretty much my whole life,” she said. “(Being an owner) can be a little chaotic sometimes, but it also is rewarding. We aren’t afraid to try new things and come up with different ideas.”

The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Knupp said the bar is open later into the night.

Frentress Lake Bar & Grill can be reached at 563-402-3198.


A Dubuque entrepreneur soon will launch a new, mobile business offering coffee and other beverages.

Bob & Lou’s Coffee Camper will open in early August, according to owner Sarah Knabel. She said the new company will serve its beverages at events and various outdoor venues throughout the tri-state area.

The business’ moniker was inspired by the people who piqued Knabel’s coffee interest to begin with.

“It’s named after my grandma and grandpa,” she said. “They were the coffee drinkers of the family, and they got my siblings and I interested in it.”

Knabel’s interest grew when she was attending Iowa State University. During her time there, she landed a job at a coffee shop and resolved to open a coffee business of her own.

After concluding that a mobile unit would be more affordable than a traditional brick-and-mortar location, Knabel began searching for suitable options. She ultimately discovered a vintage, 1968 Forester camper that had been renovated to serve as a coffee shop.

Bob & Lou’s Coffee Camper will serve traditional coffee, cold brews, mochas and lattes. It will also feature gourmet, hand-squeezed lemonade that comes in a variety of different flavors.

Knabel said the coffee camper will be available for weddings, graduation parties and other business events.

Once the business opens, the camper will travel to various locations Monday through Friday. Knabel will update these locations on her Facebook page, and customers also can reach her by emailing


An upcycling center will celebrate its five-year anniversary with the opening of an expanded location in a new community.

Make it Yours Upcycle Center will open at 106 N. Main St. in Maquoketa in early August, according to founding director Ann Lenth.

The nonprofit sells arts-and-crafts materials, party supplies and a variety of other items. Lenth explained that the center adds value to items that otherwise would have been thrown away, a concept known as upcycling.

“Our mission is to divert usable items from landfills and get them into people’s hands at a good price,” she said.

Make it Yours Upcycle Center debuted in the small community of Welton, which is located about a dozen miles south of Maquoketa.

The facility closed in March due to concerns related to the novel coronavirus. Lenth said the cramped space made it virtually impossible to have more than one customer inside at a time and maintain responsible social distancing.

“There just wasn’t anything we could do,” she said. “We were about to throw in the towel.”

Lenth soon learned about an open space in Maquoketa — with triple the square footage offered at their original location — and jumped at the opportunity.

She hopes the extra breathing room will allow the incorporation of educational programming in addition to the retail offerings.

Interested residents can learn more by calling 563-652-9961.