Metro-East News

Frieze Harley-Davidson dealership sold; Belleville IHOP closes doors after 45 years

IHOP has permanently closed in Belleville after 45 years of service.
IHOP has permanently closed in Belleville after 45 years of service.

The longtime owners of Frieze Harley-Davidson in O’Fallon sold their dealership on Aug. 30 to another Harley franchise owner.

It reopened Friday under the ownership of Brad Holzhauer, of the St. Charles, Mo., Harley-Davidson and Holzhauer Auto and Motorsports Group in Nashville, Illinois.

“We’re going to grow,” Holzhauer said Friday. “All employees are staying and we’ll have openings in a lot of places.”

Holzhauer said the dealership will go from 30 bikes in stock to 300. He also wants to expand the parts department and he has renamed the dealership Green Mount Road Harley-Davidson.

The deal marks the end of an era for the Frieze family.

Jenny Frieze said she has been involved with the company since 1975 and she is ready to retire to spend more time with her family and travel. Her late husband, Russell Frieze, founded Frieze Harley-Davidson Sales Inc. in 1963 in East St. Louis.

Russell Frieze died in 2002 and since then, Jenny Frieze has overseen the dealership along with her daughter, Etta.

Jenny Frieze has since married Larry Sledge, who has been with the dealership but will step aside under the new ownership.

“It been way over 40 years and I would like to retire,” Jenny Frieze said. “I would like to spend more time with my grandchildren and their sporting events and their school activities, as well as travel some with my husband seeing the many friends that we have across the country that we’ve made in the business in the dealer network.”

Harley-Davidson fans have associated the Frieze name with Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the metro-east for 55 years.

“Yeah, I’ve had some sad moments since I chose to sell the business,” Frieze said. “There’s a lot of history here and a lot of my own energy in the business but I really feel that it is a time for me to hang up my spurs and spend more time with my grandkids.”

Frieze said her daughter also plans to leave the dealership but her husband, Steve Madura, will remain on staff.

Frieze declined to disclose the sales price for the dealership.

Frieze Harley-Davidson opened its dealership at 1560 N. Green Mount Road in O’Fallon in 2007 after closing its stores in O’Fallon and Belleville.

After the dealership opened, the U.S. Green Building Council honored the Frieze family because the structure was built in an environmentally friendly way. Its features include a power-generating windmill, innovative natural lighting and renewable materials such as bamboo flooring.

The dealership received the Gold Level award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program and Jenny Frieze told the News-Democrat in 2008 she was proud to oversee the first Harley-Davidson dealership to earn this award.

Before opening the dealership on Green Mount Road, the company had stores at 517 S. Illinois St. in Belleville and at 1607 W. Highway 50 in O’Fallon.

Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson has announced that U.S. retail sales for its motorcycles have been dropping in recent years.Second quarter sales this year were down 6.4 percent as compared to last year. And the company has said U.S. sales dropped 8.5 percent in 2017 and 3.9 percent in 2016.

Belleville IHOP has permanently closed

After 45 years of serving short stacks in Belleville, the IHOP location on Carlyle Avenue has permanently closed.

A sign taped on the door Thursday confirmed the closure.

“Attention to all our valued customers, we are sorry for the inconvenience, as of Aug. 29, 2018, we are going out of business,” the sign stated. “Thank you, management.”

Earlier this year, IHOP franchisee Mohammad Youseff announced plans to retire in August, according to his real estate agent John L. Eichenlaub.

It’s unclear what will happen to his Missouri location in Bridgeton. Youseff could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Dine Brands Global, IHOP’s parent company, announced that it plans on closing 30 to 40 IHOP restaurants this year. But Eichenlaub said the Belleville closure is related to Youseff’s retirement, not the national announcement about potential closures across the country.

The closure marks the end of an era in Belleville. The restaurant with the iconic A-frame, 601 Carlyle Ave., was built in 1973 — the same year the marketing acronym “IHOP” was introduced.

The building is for sale and listed for $299,000.

One of the oldest bars in west Belleville is for sale — again

Want to own a piece of history? One of the oldest watering holes in west Belleville is up for grabs.

Listed for $400,000, Spike’s Pub and Grub, 3701 W. Main St., hit the market a few weeks ago, owner Rachel Speichinger confirmed Wednesday. The business had long been known as the Antique House Lounge.

It’s not closing, but Speichinger and her husband, Dan, want to sell Spike’s before possibly opening a new one.

“We’re looking to move out of the area,” Speichinger said Wednesday. “We’re wanting to do the same type of thing, but down in Florida and on the beach.”

The couple purchased the bar in 2014 from the owners of the Antique House.

The business has thrived since, bringing in about $700,000 in food and liquor sales annually along with $84,000 a year in jukebox, arcade game and video gaming machine revenue, according to the real estate listing.

In 2014, the couple reopened Spike’s Pub & Grub with a gray and red theme going on inside and out, and new windows to bring in more natural light — “I like to be able to see my food,” Rachel Speichinger told the News-Democrat then. They also added flooring, air conditioning, bar, big-screen TVs, tables and chairs and a new kitchen.

The Speichingers plan to take the name “Spike’s” with them if they move to Florida, but everything is negotiable, Rachel Speichinger said.

The bar is now known for its drinks, wings and smoked meat and as a place for Lindenwood University students to eat, drink and work.

For more than 80 years, the building has housed a bar inside, Rachel Speichinger said. Before that, it was a house. The porch is now a patio with tables and chairs.

Speichinger said she hopes the next owner keeps the neighborhood bar going for years to come.

“This is our home,” Speichinger said. “Belleville is our heart. It’s been our heart for our entire lives, but we’re just opening up the possibilities of the next chapter.”

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