site stats
Streetwise: Restaurants and shops in Oshkosh celebrate grand openings this month |

Streetwise: Restaurants and shops in Oshkosh celebrate grand openings this month

Happy last week of September! I’ve now been working at The Oshkosh Northwestern for over one month and have learned so much about the city of Oshkosh. This week I had the pleasure of stopping in the newly-called Emporium Shops of Evans to learn how three local businesses are putting their personal touch on the Oshkosh.


Plus, more restaurants are celebrating grand openings, others are closing for the season and still other are closing temporarily. I never have a dull day in Streetwise news!

For more story ideas and questions, as always, email me at MNaczek@gannett.com

Welcoming the Emporium Shops of Evans

A salon that has been in business for over 40 years; a furniture restoration shop and gift shop returning to their former locations; and a new alterations, custom pillows and custom designs store all call 1810 Evans St. home.

On Saturday, Oct. 6, the new and returning businesses will celebrate the grand opening of what they are naming the Emporium Shops of Evans.

A furniture restoration shop returns to previous location

At the north end of the building, Studio 3 owner Roger Shaw returned to his original location. Shaw started on Evans Street four years ago before relocating downtown for three years. He moved his furniture restoration business back to Evans Street this June.

A self-described frustrated artist, Shaw started the business with the purpose of creating a local art gallery. Shaw and his wife, Pat, also had a lot of antiques they decided to display. Customers came in, saw the furniture and asked if Shaw could paint theirs.

“The furniture restoration took over the art gallery,” he said.

Shaw and his daughter Brandee had been painting furniture long before it became popular, he said. They work alongside each other in the back room of the store, researching furniture models and painting them to look like new.

The furniture restoration process takes about three weeks.

“A lot of people paint furniture, but when we do a piece, we paint inside the drawers. We paint the back, so when it leaves the shop, it’s like a brand-new piece of furniture,” Shaw said. “That’s our touch on what we do.”

Shaw is finding now people do not want to throw old furniture into landfills. Instead they’ll either ask Shaw to restore their furniture for their own use or to resell. He recently restored a Hoosier cabinet, which was popular back in the 1930s. The owner said her grandma got it as a wedding gift.

“It was really in bad shape, and I completely restored it to her back to the way it was originally,” Shaw said.

Studio 3 is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month; and by appointment.

A passion for pillow making

Moving south into what Shaw described as the Evans Street mini-mall, Marys Sew Creations opened July 5.

Owner Mary Schuessler has been sewing since fourth grade. Coming from a large family, she sewed a lot of her clothing for her siblings, and to one day open her own shop was on her bucket list.

“One of my sisters loved pillows. She wanted to make them and make them unique,” Schuessler said.

That was her sister Jeanne, who died at age 54 from cancer. Schuessler and her other sister decided to fulfill Jeanne’s dream, starting a company called Jeanne’s Dream.

Mary and her sister must have made around 500 pillows, selling them at home shows and around the area. Her other sister then became ill and also died of cancer at the same age of 54. Schuessler then decided it was the best time to purchase the store on Evans Street.

“It just helps me stay close to my two sisters,” she said. “Sometimes it’s indescribable, but every day I come in here, and I just feel them with me. … I think they inspire me with ideas and to keep going.”

A portion of all Schuessler’s sales goes to St. Jude’s Hospital to honor her two sisters.

Marys Sew Creations is part alterations, part seamstress, part designing, part pillow business and completely unique.

“People come in with the strangest requests, and I can help them,” Schuessler said. “You name it, and I’ve probably done it.”

“It’s a unique shop,” she said. “You’re not going to find it anywhere in Oshkosh.”

Perhaps the most unique part is the line of custom-made pillows that Schuessler creates. Each pillow is not only personalized but also features two separate designs.

“When I do pillows, I just find that you can be so creative, and my mind never stops,” she said. “These aren’t just ordinary pillows. They aren’t pillows you are going to put on your bed and put your head on to go to sleep. They are conversational pieces. There is a story behind every one of them.”

Schuessler designed special EAA pillows for EAA AirVenture. She has a Harley-Davidson pillow made with deer hide, a Marilyn Monroe pillow with a special quote, pillows created out of old feed sacks and even pillows designed like chocolate Easter eggs.

Schuessler has a whole book of pillow ideas she constantly adds to, and she has even incorporated pillows with ideas from her sisters, such as a pillow that features a secret pocket where someone could slip love notes to their spouse.

“I get to help people use their imagination and come up with something. I don’t know anyone in Oshkosh that goes to that extreme,” Schuessler said of her business.

Marys Sew Creations is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and by appointment.

A home for glitz and glamour in Oshkosh

About five years ago, Jill Haringer first opened her store, Ascend on Evans Street. After living and working in Chicago, Haringer returned to her store about a year and a half ago to provide a touch of color and style to Oshkosh.

“I’m hoping there’s more people like me that want to be different and be a little bit forward,” Haringer said. “This is what it’s all about. It’s different.”

Haringer sells a little bit of everything — from jewelry with bling and color to unique clothing items to home goods. She’s owned clothing stores in the past and worked as a buyer for hospital gifts shops in Chicago.

“We like glitz. We like to be unusual. We just want people to be who they are,” Haringer said.

She continues to add new pieces to her store selection, including new fall clothing and accessories such as gloves for the cold weather.

Her clothing items are reasonably price, unique and long-lasting, she said.

“You’ll get sick of it before it wears out,” she said.

Ascend is open Wednesday and Thursday 1-6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 1-4 p.m. She also is available for special appointments.

42 years of quality salon service

Mary Kohlbeck first opened her A Cut Above salon on Nov. 1, 1976, and it has remained a staple on Evans Street.

“Mary, even as a child, had a tendency to take a scissors to all of her dolls much to the horror of our mother,” Mary’s sister and A Cut Above bookkeeper Deb Kohlbeck said.

Mary got an education degree and worked as a teacher during the day and at a beauty salon at night, but she finally had to make a decision on her career. She always loved hair and decided to create her salon.

A Cut Above offers hair, nail and massage appointments. A customer waiting for her hair appointment said the calming atmosphere brings her back.

In the 41 years of business, Mary and Deb have been able to serve many Oshkosh families.

“We’ve had the opportunity and the joy to really care for generations of families. We know great grandmas, grandmas, moms, children. It’s really special,” Kohlbeck said.

Kohlbeck is excited about the new and returning neighbors on 1810 Evans Street.

“Customers just love seeing that the end of the building has opened up,” she said. “They can see the lights and the color.”

A grand opening celebration

On Oct. 6, Studio 3, Marys Sew Creations and Ascend will celebrate the Grand Opening of the Emporium Shops of Evans. Customers will have the opportunity to visit each of the businesses and learn more about the personal creations.

“We hope people come and listen to our story and feel our enthusiasm,” Schuessler said.

Schuessler will also be playing LPs, from polkas to oldies to country, to provide a personal touch to the opening celebration.

Schuessler, Haringer and Shaw feel the familiarity of working together under 1810 Evans Street. It has become more a family than just a business.

“We share ideas. We share thoughts. We come to work, and if we have a bad day, we share that,” Schuessler said.

Haringer is excited for people to attend the grand opening and become aware of the shops.

“It’s a destination stop for sure. If they need a gift or they just need something special or wow, they’ll come see us,” Haringer said.

DD’s BBQ celebrates grand opening

DD’s BBQ Co., 815 Ohio St., will celebrate its grand opening the weekend of Oct. 12. Owner David Karpowitz and his business partner, Tom Mattmiller, opened the restaurant July 6 at Ohio Street and Ninth Avenue.

“Nobody sells barbeque in this town,” Karpowitz said. “We’re just a family-oriented place.”

DD’s BBQ started first as a competition team, traveling all over the state. Four years ago, Karpowitz and the rest of his team began selling barbecue at local farmers markets and barbecues.

To celebrate the first few months of business, Karpowitz is planning a two-day opening event. At noon Oct. 12, there will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony. On Oct. 13, Karpowitz is working on organizing a band and having another grand opening event with food and drink specials.

Karpowitz said some of the restaurant’s biggest specialties include brisket burnt ends on Friday nights and smoked prime rib on Saturdays.

Information about the restaurant and bars hours can be found on DD’s BBQ’s website, www.ddsbbqcompany.com.

Royal Kitchen closed for the next month

The Royal Kitchen at 2073 Witzel Ave. will be closed until most likely the beginning of November. A sign on the Chinese restaurant door read, “Due to the owner’s health problem we have to close down temporarily. We apologize for any inconvenience. We might reopen on Nov. 8th.” 

The sign was dated Aug. 16.

Andy and Ed’s Drive-In closed for season

Andy and Ed’s Drive-In at 2413 S. Main St., celebrates its last week of the 2018 season. The 1950’s drive-in restaurant ends its 70th season on Sunday Sept. 30.

The restaurant, which opened in 1948, enjoys what its website calls “a blast from the past.” The golden era of the ’50s and ’60s is brought back with root beer in frosted glasses, oldies tunes and roller-skating servers.

During the season, Andy and Ed’s is open 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.