Tina and Howard Schumaker, the owners of La Crosse’s JavaVino restaurant in La Crosse, recently became the owners of the property after renting the space since 2012.
The official purchase was made on July 1, and includes the properties of 2309 and 2311 State Road, both of which were owned by the Stroeh family. With the properties now under the Schumaker’s ownership, plans for change and expansion are already underway.
“It was very important to us to solidify that JavaVino would be able to continue to be a staple on the South Side,” Tina Schumaker said. “So the purchase of the building was the surest way that we could do that, in addition to being able to make financial sense out of making some significant improvements to the property.”
Although plans are yet to be solidified, the owners are looking to open a second JavaVino storefront in the 2309 State Road space for events and catering. This area may also house a “ghost kitchen” to fulfill orders from third party food delivery and pick-up platforms.
People are also reading…
At the existing JavaVino location, Schumaker said they are planning to update the outdoor dining patio that was introduced in 2020 as part of the city’s outdoor cafe program. Changes will also be made to the restaurant’s parking lot, she said.
La Crosse outdoor cafe program extended through mid-March
The restaurant, which features a breakfast and lunch menu, and cafe and wine bar, will also expand their drive-through offerings to include hot food.
The properties on State Road were owned by the Stroeh family for several decades, but the leases for both buildings were coming up for renewal in the near future, Schumaker said.
“The entire process was about six months long, negotiating and getting all of our ducks in a row on our side and their side,” Schumaker said. “But we’re certainly just really over the moon that it all came together.”
The property at the corner of Losey Boulevard and State Road was purchased by the Stroeh family in the early 1900s, prior to World War I. There was a rootbeer stand on the property that sat next to what later became the family home located at 1302 Losey Blvd., Schumaker said in an email to the La Crosse Tribune.
Sometime later, the property was occupied by a used car lot and during the early 1960s, Mickey Mantle’s Billiards was erected in the building that JavaVino now occupies.
It then became Johnson’s Clothing store, followed by Good Time Charlie’s restaurant, Singapore Gardens and eventually Tokyo Gardens.
In 1995 Premier Video took over the space prior to JavaVino becoming the tenant in 2012.
In the late 1970s, the Stroeh family also purchased the property at 2309 State Road. It was originally McKay Ellis Real Estate, then Coulee State Bank, then an eye clinic and Advance America.
JavaVino seeks an outdoor crowd; neighbors worried
“It’s been really interesting and unique, the fact that there is so much history on the building,” Schumaker said. “I just think it’s a really great piece of La Crosse history and now I feel truly blessed to be able to have the opportunity to continue to carry that forward.”
Schumaker said their business model and mission as a restaurant has allowed them to be successful and become a staple in the La Crosse community.
“People don’t feel like they have to dress a certain way to go there,” Schumaker said. “We have lots of contractors come in for lunch, and it doesn’t matter if they’re in their work clothes, so it’s just really an open, inviting environment.”
IN PHOTOS & VIDEOS: Riverfest 2022