New north side shops look forward to bright future - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

New north side shops look forward to bright future

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

The first few years for new businesses are make or break. The Small Business Association says about 30% of new businesses fail in that period and that number jumps to 66% over 10 years. Several new businesses on Caledonia Street in La Crosse are ready to take on those growing pains in what they say could be a new day for the face of the north side.

"This is kind of a big year for us because we're really trying to revitalize the area," said Old Towne Strings Owner Ty Striebel.

The stretch on Caledonia Street has been undergoing an effort to rebrand and draw more to what many believe is an overlooked area in La Crosse.

"The area has become more attractive to people," Striebel said. "Especially with small businesses taking the venture and opening up."

Since revitalization efforts began, 4 new businesses have opened their doors, including a new southern style cafe in spring of 2017.

"I think a lot of people have overlooked [the north side]," said Uptowne Cafe's head chef Josh Dumale. "But over the last year or two, it's really grown and I think we're just picking up speed as it goes along."

In La Crosse's early history, Caledonia Street was once a hub of activity as downtown La Crosse is today. Business owners on the north side hope those days could be coming back.

"It's really nice, I mean for a long time the north side has been pretty quiet," Dumale said. "But with this being here and all the new businesses popping up, it's a real resurgence of people and growth."

Only time will tell if this new north side renaissance will continue it's growth, but for now things are looking up.

"You can anticipate a lot of things in the spring like a farmers market and music outside" Striebel said. "It's just nice to know that we're moving forward."

Old Towne Strings along with other neighboring businesses are planning a holiday hootenanny or "Carolootennany" on Caledonia Street with live music, caroling and holiday treats. That event is on Thursday, December 14th.

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