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Camping World, mall store closings and food hall update top local business news

Camping World, mall store closings and food hall update top local business news

I’ve got news this week about the upcoming opening of Coachmen recreational vehicle sales and service in the Camping World building in Onalaska, the closing of a few stores in Valley View Mall, the demise of the LAX Food Hall project in downtown La Crosse, the upcoming The Blue Zone Pickleball facility in the former Shopko building in Bridgeview Plaza, and a new Mexican restaurant in Caledonia, Minnesota.

Look for a Coachmen recreational vehicle store to open about April 1 at 1200 Crossing Meadows Drive in Onalaska. The Camping World signs that went up at the building in 2022 were removed this past fall. Camping World Holdings Inc. had the former Gander Outdoors store remodeled and had planned to open it as a Camping World RV sales and service store. But it still hasn’t opened and the company announced in June that some future stores will open under manufacturer-specific brand names. That’s what will happen with the Onalaska store.

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The city of Onalaska issued a sign permit this week for the Coachmen store. The permit application said what was to be a Camping World store has been rebranded as Coachmen. I also learned this week that the store is expected to open around April 1.

Meanwhile, Valley View Mall is losing a few stores.

The Rogers & Hollands Jewelers store in the mall closed shortly before Christmas.

And the mall’s Journeys shoes and accessories store has signs up saying it will close Jan. 20, while the Made 4 U Furniture store has signs up saying that Jan. 21 will be its last day.

A store-closing sale began Thursday at the Express apparel store in the mall. That store’s last day open is expected to be Jan. 28.

Fabian Arzate and Jesus Fuentes, who both live in the Madison area, opened Sol-Agave Taste Mexico! restaurant Dec. 20 in the former Rustic Tap bar and grill at 208 E. Main St. in downtown Caledonia, Minnesota.

Arzate is part owner of the Hacienda Vieja Grill & Bar, a Mexican restaurant that opened in July 2021 in Holmen. With the new Caledonia business, he now is part owner of nine restaurants.

Fuentes is now part owner of four Mexican restaurants.

Sol-Agave Taste Mexico!

From left, co-owners Jesus Fuentes and Fabrian Arzate pose at the bar in the new Sol-Agave Taste Mexico! restaurant, which opened on Dec. 20 at 208 E. Main St. in downtown Caledonia, Minn. Arzate also is part owner of the Hacienda Vieja Grill & Bar in Holmen.

“There’s no Mexican restaurant around here” in the Caledonia area, Fuentes said of their decision to open one in Caledonia. “This is a good spot. Business has been good. People have responded really well.”

“We really like the community,” Arzate said. “It’s a good community and it’s growing.”

“We have basically everything” on the restaurant’s menu, Fuentes said. “We have tacos, fajitas, seafood, selections with chicken, appetizers, salads, vegetarian items and we have a lunch menu and a kids’ menu.”

Some other items include soups, appetizers, enchiladas, house specials and desserts such as sopapillas, flan, churros and fried ice cream. The kids menu includes a variety of Mexican items as well as chicken fingers, chicken wings, hamburgers and mac and cheese.

The lunch menu is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sol-Gave Taste Mexico! restaurant

Sol-Gave Taste Mexico! restaurant opened Dec. 20 in the former Rustic Tap bar and grill at 208 E. Main St. in downtown Caledonia, Minn.

The restaurant’s food is made from scratch, Fuentes said.

Sol-Agave has a full bar, serving Mexican and domestic beers as well as wine and cocktails such as margaritas.

The restaurant’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call the restaurant at 507-725-2211 or visit https://solagavecaledonia.com or Facebook.

In one of my February 2022 columns, I wrote about plans to open the LAX Food Hall in June of that year, with a number of small restaurants and a communal dining area, in part of the Exchange Building in downtown La Crosse.

But extensive remodeling for the food hall at 201 Fifth Ave. S. was never completed, and it announced in a Facebook post Wednesday that “Despite our best efforts, LAX Food Hall is not going to happen.” On Tuesday, the building’s owner, Exchange Building, LLC, filed a complaint against LAX Food Hall in La Crosse County Circuit Court, seeking eviction and $26,035 in back rent.

“Sorry about the radio silence but lawyers have been involved so we were advised to not post anything, in hopes of getting the issues worked out with our landlord,” the food hall’s Facebook post said. “But that’s not going to happen.” The lengthy post went on to make various allegations that I’ll leave for lawyers to fight over.

Signs posted on its windows and doors, and online advertisements, say the space is for rent.

Look for The Blue Zone Pickleball facility to open sometime in February with 17 pickleball courts in the former Shopko department store building at 2400 Rose St., in Bridgeview Plaza on the far North Side of La Crosse. The Shopko store closed in 2019.

The Blue Zone Pickleball’s Facebook page was launched recently and provides updates on the conversion of the former Shopko store into indoor pickleball courts. The new facility will have pickleball paddles and balls for sale and for rent, and people also can bring their own pickleball equipment.

The new business also will offer pickleball lessons for everyone from beginners to advanced, Rick Beyer and his wife, Michelle Jensen-Beyer told me. They are two of the six people who comprise The Blue Zone Pickleball LLC, which will own and operate the business. The same six people also own the Bridgeview Plaza shopping center through another corporation, Eagle Bay Properties, LLC.

The Blue Zone Pickleball also will have a party room that can be booked for events such as holiday parties, birthday parties and corporate events, Rick and Michelle said.

For more information, visit the facility’s Facebook, Instagram or TikTok pages. It soon will have a website and a YouTube channel.