When Fernando and Barbara Vaquero launched K’uun Coffee in Calmar, Iowa, two years ago, there were a lot of ideas, dreams, and unknowns – which quickly became orders for custom fresh roasted coffee beans. So friends/fans Jeff, Anja, and Sean Brown offered up their framing shop, The Perfect Edge, on Washington Street in Decorah for customers to pick up their bean orders – and the idea of a retail coffee bar outlet came into play. It’s a partnership of many interests and passions. What’s clear by public reaction is that the “Coffee Bar” concept is a welcome addition to downtown Decorah. It’s all about the bean at K’uun. From custom selected beans and fresh roasting, the Vaqueros supply the coffee bar with daily changing varieties. Master barista Sean Brown is most often found behind the bar prepping a slow brew pour-over setup, a beautifully drawn espresso, or a nitro-draft iced coffee (its amazing year-round!). The menu extends out into regular coffee shop territory as well with a few baked goods, specialty espresso drinks, and smoothies – but the coffee is what shines here. Check it out Tuesday – Saturdays!
118 Washington Street, Decorah. www.kuuncoffee.com.
We all know what mountain bikes are, but have you seen a Fat Bike yet? Imagine the typical mountain bike… now imagine it slightly beefed up and with monster tires! Fat bikes go all the way back to the 1980s (and before) with original uses in desert and arctic riding – the oversized tires allowed for easier travel over terrain. Within the past few years, the trend has hit the bicycle industry full-on, with almost every major manufacturer throwing something in the ring. Here at Inspire(d) HQ, we’re a little partial to the makings of Minneapolis’ Surly Bicycles (www.surlybikes.com) who first brought the trend to large-scale manufacturing, but there are many others. In fact, most of our area shops carry some type of fat bike, and many are offering different models for rental this winter so you can get a taste for the sport! Don’t be fooled – if you can ride a bike, you can ride a fat bike, but it is worth noting that riding in serious terrain, snow, and trails can make for an advanced workout. Get your adventure pants on and check it out! Decorah Bicycles on College Drive are offering a huge fleet of rental fat bikes this winter. Oneota River Cycles in Decorah, Cresco Bicycles in Cresco, Blue Dog Cycles in Viroqua, and Adventure Cycle & Ski in Winona are also great resources to learn more. Happy riding! (Above photo of Josie Smith of Life on Two Wheels/JosieBikeLife. Check out the blog – it’s great!)
Decorah Bicycles, 101 College Drive, Decorah. decorahbicycles.com
Cresco Bicycles, 225 North Elm Street, Cresco. crescobicycles.com
Blue Dog Cycles, 210 South Main Street, Viroqua. bluedogcycles.com
Adventure Cycle and Ski, 178 Center Street, Winona. advcycle.com
Lea Lovelace and Kristin Underwood founded such a wonderful place in ArtHaus. The organization has brought fresh color – literally and figuratively – to downtown Decorah and the surrounding area. This past summer, Lea and Kristin handed the director reins over to Eric Peterson and Jenni Brant. The husband-and-wife team is excited to hear what the Driftless Region hopes to see from them over the coming years – and we can’t wait to see what they come up with! From trendy Paint Parties for adults to Winter Break Art Camp for your kids, there are great classes on deck for winter, and, fun events too, like the ever-popular Poetry Slams. Also make sure to check out the Holiday Art Fair for great local gifts the first weekend of December! Want to help out? Consider making a donation (it’s tax deductible!) – supporting the arts equals supporting the community.
508 W. Water St., Decorah. arthausdecorah.org
Have you been to a movie at the Spring Grove Cinema yet? If so, plan your next date right now! The theater is SO great! Opened in 2009, it has sweet stadium seating, super clear digital projection, and killer audio. In addition to mainstream features, they have a Free Foreign Film series that runs the first Thursday of every month at 7 pm, and we mustn’t forget about Bucket Night on Mondays. You bring your own vessel (bucket-sized, right?!) and they’ll fill it with popcorn for just $2. Awesome! Plus their ticket prices are quite reasonable: $6 adult, $4 for 12 and under or seniors.
167 West Main St., Spring Grove, Minnesota. sgmovietheater.com
One Bite Cakes on Water Street? Best. News. Ever. Jenn Sullivan is a former attorney and mother of four, but she always had a dream of the Beyond the Bar Bakery. In 2013, she and her husband, Brian, and their kids returned to Iowa after 12 years in Minneapolis, and that dream became a reality. After over a year working out of her home-based kitchen, Jenn and her mom, Julie Jevne, opened a brick and mortar location this fall. And it’s right Downtown Decorah on Water Street! We love those delicious One Bike Cakes and also the oatmeal cream pies and the cookie monsters and…we could go on and on. But really, it should be you going on…into Beyond the Bar! Try the key lime One Bite. (Then drop one off at Inspire(d) HQ?!?) Yum!
404 W Water St. Decorah. beyondthebarbakery.com