Ken and Kathy Smith have opened Smith Family Furniture at 47 Copeland Ave., across from the Candlewood Suites hotel in La Crosse.

Ken Smith, who has been involved in retail furniture businesses in the greater La Crosse area since 1980, said the new store opened last month. Its grand opening is under way.

The store sells furniture for the entire house, such as living room and dining room furniture and beds. Free delivery is available within 100 miles, and the store also offers 12-months interest-free financing with approved credit.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Smith Family Furniture’s telephone number is 608-782-6288 and its website is

Classes begin March 7 at the new just drive driver’s education school in Suite 180 at 1052 Oak Forest Drive in Onalaska.

The business is owned by Dan Balfanz, who said it serves Onalaska and surrounding communities. He bought a franchise from just drive, a driver’s education school that was founded in 2005 in Port Washington, Wis., and now has many locations in Wisconsin. Each is locally owned and operated.

Balfanz lives in Onalaska and said he has many years of experience in the transportation field, which began when he was a school bus driver for 10 years. Most recently, he worked for the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles as a driver license examiner.

For more information, call just drive in Onalaska at 608-352-8585 or visit

Feb. 12 was the last day for the Wehrs Oasis cafe just south of Bangor.

“It had been slow (at the cafe) for the last few years,” owner Larry Wehrs said last week. The cafe had been open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. While it did a fair amount of business from about 8 to 10:30 a.m., the number of diners during the noon hour had declined, Wehrs said.

The cafe was inside his Wehrs Truck & Auto dealership, which sells used cars and trucks and services and repairs automobiles. The cafe began in 1978, when the Wehrs dealership moved to its current location from downtown Bangor.

The Mega Co-op grocery store in Whitehall closed Feb. 20 and reopened last week as a Gordy’s Market.

The Whitehall store had been operated by the Clipper family as Clipper’s Foodliner since 1964, until it was purchased by Eau Claire-based Mega Co-op last fall.

In January, Chippewa Falls-based Gordy’s Market and Mega Co-op announced a deal by which Mega grocery stores would become Gordy’s Markets and Gordy’s Express convenience stores and fuel centers would become Mega Holiday stations.

As for the Whitehall grocery store, Gordy’s spokesman Matt Selvig said, “The only real big difference people will see are the ‘Gordy’s’ items like our smokehouse meats” such as bratwurst, snack sticks and hot dogs. The chain’s well-known Donna Mae line of pot pies also are available in the store’s deli, Selvig said.

For more information, visit

Monday was the last day for the Happy Hollow restaurant and bar between Melrose and Ettrick.

The business closed because of continued harassment by a few people, Traci Malin said Tuesday. She and her husband, Roy, bought Happy Hollow about 1½ years ago.

Happy Hollow is for sale, Traci Malin said. “We’ve had great customers” apart from those who caused problems, she said. For more information, visit Happy Hollow’s Facebook page.

Steve Cahalan can be reached at or at 608-782-9710, ext. 8819.