Downtown Kimberly event venue partnering with upcoming coffee shop to boost business
KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Kimberly couple started up an event venue mere months before the pandemic began. Despite that slow start, they’re hoping their newest partnership will boost business.
Paul and Jane Driessen have been giving the Birch Street Center in Downtown Kimberly a facelift.
“We’ve been slowly going through it and just, room by room, revitalize this,” said Paul.
“We’re trying to make Kimberly a place where people can come and gather, trying to make more of a downtown,” said Jane.
But, their start hasn’t been ideal. They first opened the Timber Lounge shortly before the pandemic started. Though they are accepting bookings for private events like birthday parties, baby showers, and so on, business has been slow.
“It is what it is, and we expect people to keep themselves safe, so we understood that,” said Jane.
“We just kept our hopes up that this would all pass and then look into the future,” said Paul.
For the Driessens, that future vision always included a coffee shop, so as they renovated the building they searched for new business partners.
“Once we moved we were like, ‘Oh my god, there’s so much potential here, there’s so much that could be done,’” said Monica Bales.
Monica and Kell Bales had been looking for business opportunities in Kimberly after moving to the area. Once they heard the Driessens’ idea and saw what had been done with the Timber Lounge, they were sold.
“We just had an immediate connection with Paul and Jane, just really kind of felt their heart, vibe,” said Kell. “Not only for the building but also for downtown Kimblery, that sense of community we always strive for as well.”
The future il Bar Coffeehouse and Bistro is just across the hall from Timber Lounge, with both couples envisioning the possibility of using both spaces together when needed - providing a new, versatile gathering space downtown.
The idea is that people holding events could have access to all the treats the coffee shop has to offer or, if they ever experience an overflow of customers once the shop can be at full capacity again, the lounge could serve as extra seating for customers.
“That is the goal of this place. For people to connect, for people to slow down, for people to take down a seat and enjoy a nice cup of coffee, a pastry, or sandwich and just have community with each other,” said Monica.
“I think now with the spring coming in things are going to start changing and having the opportunity with the new coffee shop, we’re very optimistic that things are really going to start turning for us,” said Paul.
The Bales hope to have the coffeehouse open in early spring.
To keep up to date with the il Bar’s progress, or to learn more about what products it’ll offer, visit its Facebook page.
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