June 4, 2007

Shadows 2 Pool Hall, Restaurant to Open

By Steve Cahalan, La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

Jun. 4--They say their first Shadows in Appleton, Wis., has been successful. So Mai Lee and her husband, Lue Lee, plan to open Shadows 2 pool hall and restaurant on Friday at 107-109 S. Third St. in downtown La Crosse. The space most recently was occupied by the Cali nightclub, and before that by Lone Wolf Coffee & Tea Co.

Mai Lee said she and her husband will continue operating Shadows in Appleton, although they're moving from that community to La Crosse, where Lue has relatives.

The new La Crosse business will have nine pool tables, video games and a card table. "People can just sit down and play" cards, Mai Lee said. Shadows 2 also will serve food, such as papaya salad, beef salad, pizza, hot dogs, rice and noodle dishes. The Lees are applying for a city license to sell beer -- they hope to start serving about July 1.

Lee said summer hours probably will be 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. The phone number will be (608) 796-0688.

Construction began Wednesday for a two-story building that will fill the hole in the Galesville town square, created by the March 2005 fire that destroyed the Grover Block building.

Rob Tropple, a contractor who lives in Liberty-ville, Ill., and owns an acreage near Galesville, said he bought the site on May 18 and hopes his new building on Davis Avenue is completed by Nov. 1. "It's designed to have two to four commercial spaces on the first floor," which are for lease, he said. There will be four apartments on the second floor, and two apartments on the basement level.

Tropple said the new building will have a brick and stone exterior and blend in with the rest of the century-old town square. "You don't often get a chance to put a new building in the center of a 100-year-old town square," Tropple said. J. Raven Realty Inc. opened recently at 321 S. Fourth St. in downtown La Crosse.

The business is owned by Jill and William Raven. They also own Raven Construction, a custom home building company.

J. Raven Realty assists buyers and sellers in the greater La Crosse area, and specializes in residential, vacant land and commercial properties. The real estate company's phone number is (608) 783-0660, and its Web site is www.jravenrealty.com.

Lewis Drywall, a drywall contractor in Black River Falls, Wis., has closed after 40 years except for repair work, which it will continue to do through the end of the year.

Mary Lewis and her husband, Gene, started the company in 1966. He died in 1991.

Mary Lewis said the lack of trainees, the high price of gasoline and skyrocketing insurance led her to close the business. Closing "was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made," she said.

"It's quite an accomplishment," Lewis said of being in business 40 years. "Most businesses fail within the first five years."

Jessica Mincoff of the Jackson County Chronicle contributed to this column.


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