Big things are happening at what is now one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings in Cascade’s downtown.
This week, building owner Brian Bock and the City of Cascade have announced the project located at 201 1st Avenue W., or what was formally the Corner Tap, has been awarded a Community Catalyst Grant while also sharing the news that Happy Joe’s is slated to become the building’s first tenant.
News of the catalyst grant came as a bit of a surprise to Bock.
“At first, we did not get the catalyst grant,” Bock said. “So, I was not expecting any funding after the announcement came out. There were a lot of other worthy projects across the state and I really felt our project was perfect for a catalyst grant, but it just didn’t make the cut.”
But about three weeks ago, Bock said they received an unexpected call.
“It came out of left field, but it was a great surprise,” Bock recalled. “Some of these people that had received the catalyst grants weren’t able to continue with their projects for whatever reason, and we were right on the cusp of getting one so that moved us up a notch. We were told if our project was still moving forward, we needed to resubmit. Of course, Deanna (McCusker, Cascade city administrator) did that right away and when they saw the scope and magnitude of the project, they had no problem saying this was a go and approved it. It was something we were certainly shooting for and Deanna did a great job getting everything prepared.”
In the meantime, John Lehmann, proprietor at Happy Joe’s in Dyersville, said he was approached about opening another Happy Joe’s location at Bock’s in Cascade, and given the level of support he knew the previous one had, he felt it would be a good fit for downtown.
“I knew it was a popular place so I thought we’d just give it a shot,” Lehmann said.
Lehmann said the plan is still in the early stages and there’s a considerable amount of work that needs to be done, but he is tentatively hoping to open around three months from now.
Given what Bock has already done with the exterior of the building, Lehmann said he anticipates the interior is also going to be something the community can take pride in, but it’s all going to take some time to get it to where it needs to be.
“I’m not going to push the contractors — I know they are going to stay at it and do what they can,” Lehmann said. “It’s going to look really nice when it’s done. (Bock) is doing a lot to it obviously and everything will be new inside. It will be a great asset for Cascade, that’s for sure.”
Bock agreed there is still a lot of work to be done on the inside, which was stripped down to the studs during the remodeling process, but everything is heading in the right direction, especially considering what the grant is now going to allow them to accomplish.
“Really what this grant does is allow us to help those businesses coming into Cascade with their build-out and all the other things that would normally be incurred by the tenant,” Bock said. “So, we are super happy that we’re able to help these tenants who are taking a big risk as well — everything just worked out great for the tenant and the building itself.”
With that in mind, Bock said he doesn’t plan on cutting any corners while the project makes its final push toward the home stretch.
“It’s a big project but we want to make sure it’s done right,” Bock said. “Hopefully Happy Joe’s is a tenant there for a long, long, long time.”