Janet Munie’s birthday present was being able to go to Dewey’s Pizza right down the road in O’Fallon instead of having to drive to Edwardsville.
Munie, of O’Fallon, celebrated her 48th birthday with a dozen family members last week. Dewey’s opened Nov. 13.
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It’s the 25th location in a chain that started in 1998 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and expanded to Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Kentucky.
“(O’Fallon) is one of the few independent builds,” said Assistant General Manager Stephanie Becker. “Our owner, Andrew DeWitt, likes to open in existing buildings that already have culture and meaning.”
The Edwardsville restaurant is housed in the old Kriege Hardware store.
The new brick building in O’Fallon also is one of only two Dewey’s locations with a private party room that seats up to 40 people. It can be reserved along with a patio.
About 100 people can sit in the main dining room, which has tall ceilings, exposed ductwork, pendulum lights, earth tones and a brick wall.
“We did the more modern circle bar,” said Becker, who worked three years in Edwardsville, where the bar is much smaller. “We wanted people to be able to relax and talk and have more interaction with the bartenders.”
The O’Fallon restaurant has the company’s trademark kitchen window, which allows customers to see cooks roll out pizza dough, throw it in the air and add fresh ingredients.
The menu of gourmet pizza, salads and calzones is the same as in other locations.
“We’ve been to Dewey’s on multiple occasions,” said customer Tom Fleming, 56, of Caseyville, who came to check out the new digs Tuesday night with his three sons, Peter, 18, Colin, 12, and Evan, 10. “The kids love it.”
Hours in O’Fallon are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4 to 10 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 618-726-3366 or visit the Facebook page.
O’Fallon Aldi reopens after remodeling
Shoppers flocked to the newly remodeled Aldi store in O’Fallon last week.
“I love it,” said homemaker Connie Alvey, 50, of Lebanon. “It was nice before, but now it’s new and clean. They have a lot bigger selection, and the prices are still good.”
The store reopened Nov. 13 after being closed five weeks for remodeling. Workers added 26 feet onto the back, according to store manager Teresa Ellis.
“We are busy, but were were prepared for it,” she said on opening day. “We had plenty of staff and plenty of product.”
Aldi is a German company that plans to expand and remodel more than 1,300 of its stores in the United States by 2020. The one in O’Fallon is at 1635 W. U.S. 50.
“It’s so much more open,” said Kelly Stroot, 27, of New Baden, a recreation manager. “There’s a lot more space where you bag your groceries. Just in general, I like the layout.”
Kindra Bell came to check out the store with her daughter, Maelynn Procasky, 11. They bought a turkey and a ham for 99 cents a pound and two boxes of frozen flatbread.
“We’ve been having to go to the (Aldi) in Swansea, and it was so crowded,” said Bell, 44, of Fairview Heights.
Retired Centreville city employee Shirley Jeffries, 65, of Belleville, called the renovation a “drastic improvement.”
“It’s much nicer,” she said. “The aisles are wider, and they stock more items. It’s very organized.”
New store sells Bundt cakes
Opening day at the Nothing Bundt Cakes store in Fairview Heights was a success, partly because of the groundwork laid by Manager Rebecca Hopkins.
“I delivered 100 boxes of cake (samples) a week for three weeks,” she said. “Schools, churches, banks — anywhere you could take in cake. And I can tell you, nobody gets mad when you bring cake.”
Rebecca, 41, of O’Fallon, is sister to Aaron Fricke, owner of the local franchise. It opened Nov. 17, next to St. Louis Bread Co., off Illinois 159.
The Texas-based company sells nine flavors of Bundt cakes, all with butter-cream-cheese icing.
“They do all the baking here on site,” said Carol Fricke, 70, Rebecca and Aaron’s mother, who was coaxed out of retirement to help with the family business.
“The cakes are good for three days if you leave them on the counter and five days if you put them in the refrigerator,” she said. “And, yes, they can be frozen.”
On this day, Carol was giving out samples of her favorite flavor, white chocolate raspberry. Customer Jill Jones, 63, of Fairview Heights, liked it so much, she bought a 10-inch cake ($28.50).
“My husband’s family is having Thanksgiving on Saturday,” she said. “He’s making pumpkin pie, and I said I’d bring another dessert, and this is something different that I think people will enjoy.”
Jones also bought an individually sized “Bundtlet” in classic vanilla ($3.99) and a sampler box of bite-size “Bundtinis” ($18.50 a dozen).
Aaron Fricke, 46, of Town and Country, Missouri, is a former IT manager who discovered Nothing Bundt Cakes while living in Texas. After moving back to the St. Louis area, he and his wife, Melanie, decided to become franchisees.
“I wanted to do something different,” he said.
The new store is at 5915 N. Illinois St. in Fairview Heights. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 618-416-8002 or visit www.nothingbundtcakes.com.
Used-car lot opens in Pontoon Beach
People with no transportation and bad credit don’t have many options, but the folks at South Beach Motors say they can help.
The new used-car lot in Pontoon Beach offers guaranteed financing, according to General Manager Paul Stamme.
“With enough money down, I can get them financing,” he said. “It’s good for people who don’t have the best of credit. Instead of going the ‘buy-here-pay-here’ route, we can help them reinstate their credit.”
People with good credit are also invited to check out the inventory.
Stamme, 45, of Granite City, is a friend of co-owner Thomas Williams, of O’Fallon, who also works as a railroad police officer. Stamme has been in the used-car business for 18 years.
Williams’ partner is Jim Ford, of Belleville, co-owner of Illini Recovery Inc. He made headlines last year when he was supposed to repossess the vehicle of an elderly Red Bud couple but instead set up a GoFundMe account and paid off their loan.
South Beach opened a month ago at 4120 Pontoon Road, the former location of a used-car lot operated by Koetting Ford, which sold out to Weber Ford.
“It had been successful before with Koetting,” Stamme said.
The South Beach owners renovated the sales building, which originated as a small home. They plan to carry 25 to 30 vehicles generally and 40 to 45 during tax season, when the used-car business gets a boost because of IRS refunds, Stamme said.
Vehicle prices range from $4,990 to $16,990, he said. “We’re trying to keep it budget-friendly.”