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WIZM 2019 TOP STORIES: No. 10 — Continued business closings

Brad Williams

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Several well-known businesses in the La Crosse area have closed in the last few years, and the exodus continued in 2019. 

The trend of store and restaurant closings is ranked as our 10th biggest news story of the past year, by the WIZM news staff. 

A popular retail chain based in Wisconsin shut down its stores this summer, as Shopko had La Crosse area outlets at Bridgeview, Shelby Mall, and Onalaska. 

But Shopko still has an optical business, and has just opened that new storefront close to Valley View Mall. 

The Onalaska Shopko was near Carlos O’Kelly’s, a former Chi-Chi’s restaurant, which also shut down recently. 

TGI Friday’s closed its Onalaska restaurant in September, and the Rose Street Perkins closed suddenly this year. 

On the positive side, new buildings going up along Highway 16 will house Noodles and Company and a Pizza Ranch.     

The local business community continues to develop new marketing strategies. 

This year, Downtown Mainstreet, Inc. of La Crosse unveiled the tourism slogan “Live Mighty,”  inspired by the Mississippi.    

And some old businesses got new life, with Gundersen opening a clinic in the former Wettstein’s store.      

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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