The bottler of Ski and makers of an assortment of other sugar cane-flavored soft drinks are going to be brewing beer and expect to have the first bottles on store shelves within weeks.
Excel Bottling Co. in Breese has been bottling and manufacturing soda since 1936 and has established a microbrewery known as Excel Brewery. The microbrewery will produce a pale, or "blonde," ale to be known as Brewskee and a German wheat beer to be called Shoal Creek Wheat, named for the source which the Clinton County community draws its water. Stay tuned.
A new steakhouse in a formal dining setting will open to customers later this week in Fairview Heights.
Cupids Steakhouse will open its doors Thursday at Chateau Plaza. The new restaurant, 5225 N. Illinois St., reoccupies a portion of the former Baxter's, a sports bar and billiard hall that closed a year ago. The new business includes a newly redecorated dining room and bar with a baby grand piano on a platform.
Firehouse Subs has opened in Fairview Heights. The sub sandwich has its first metro-east location at 5909 N. Illinois St. in the Lincoln Place II shopping center. Its menu includes an assortment of hot and cold sub sandwiches. The a chain of more than 525 restaurants in 32 states and Puerto Rico, including one across the river in Chesterfield, Mo. and another that is planned to open soon across the river in O'Fallon, Mo. You can call and place your order at the new metro-east locale by calling 234-3400. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Dairy Queen in Belleville is under new ownership. Owners Dave Lipe and Brian Toennies have bought the restaurant at 1776 Lebanon Ave. and closed the doors last Wednesday with plans to renovate it and reopen later this fall. Lipe and Toennies, who also own the Dairy Quenn at 302 E. Highway 50 in O'Fallon, have plans to create a Dairy Queen Grill & Chill at the Belleville site and include an Orange Julius, fruit smoothie chain, in house. Their plans also call for remodeling their Belleville property by next summer.
A west Belleville bar and eatery is under new ownership and will soon get a new name and menu. Stevie Ray's Bar & Gill at 9735 W. Main St. plans to close for a brief time later this month and then reopen as The Broken Door Saloon. The menu will includes half-pound gourmet burgers, chicken wings, grilled chicken sandwiches and salads. The current business opened two years ago where English's tavern operated for years. In the meantime, you can reach the current establishment at 398-2900.
A kettle popcorn stand has opened for business outside the Flying J truckstop in Alorton. G Pops Kettle Corn has popped up at 140 Racehorse Drive in Alorton, off New Missouri Avenue. You can learn more about it by going online at gpopskettlecorn.com.
Randy's House of Bar-B-Que has closed its restaurant in Maryville. The barbecue eatery at 2713 N. Center St. closed last month, but the Randy's House of Bar-B-Que at 2649 Northtown Way in Highland remains open. You can call the Highland locale at 654-1800.