WATCH NOW: Steve Cahalan: opening of the SAGRA restaurant in La Crosse; Food Dudes arrives in Holmen | Company

By Steve Cahalan For La Crosse Tribune

Mitchel Weber and Katie Eisler opened SAGRA Gastronomy and Wines, a new pop-up restaurant in early July on the second floor of the Pioneer Foundry building in downtown La Crosse. It’s above Piggy’s Restaurant & Lounge, 501 S. Front St.

Meanwhile, James Condos, his wife Kyla Worthing and their son Kaiden Condos plan to open Food guys restaurant at the end of September in the former restaurant The MOB Stop in Suite 100 in the Old Town Center development in Holmen.

Weber, who is the chef at SAGRA, said his menu was Italian-inspired. He said he uses seasonal and locally produced ingredients as much as possible.

“We do a lot of (different) versions of classic Italian dishes,” Weber said. The most popular starter is the saltimbocca, which Weber says is made with a pork chop he cuts from locally sourced pork loin. The pork chop is then tenderized, brushed with butter, seasoned with fresh sage and Parmesan cheese, wrapped in slices of prosciutto and pan roasted. It is served with a garnish of vegetables such as cherry tomatoes.

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Another popular dish is Chicken Milanese, which Weber says is a fried chicken cutlet topped with red sauce, burrata cheese, herbs, and roast chicken jus.

Some other popular menu items include suppli al telefono, a fried snack made from risotto; spicy Caesar salad and charcuterie boards with meats, mostly those created by Weber. “We make all of our desserts from scratch, like tiramisu, panna cotta, cannoli and ice cream,” he said.

SAGRA offers 14 wines, including many from Italy, and Peroni beer from Italy. The restaurant can accommodate 50 people and its decoration includes works of art mainly from Italy. SAGRA is basically a trattoria — a small, informal Italian-style restaurant, Weber said.

The company has started by offering dinners on Sundays, with reservations required which can be made by emailing [email protected] Weber plans to open additional days as the business expands.

The La Crosse native has served as a chef at area restaurants such as Piggy’s, Edwardo’s and Le Charmant, and at some award-winning restaurants in Portland, Ore.

Information about dinner times and dates is posted at and on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

As for Food guysJames Condos said the new Holmen restaurant will tentatively open on September 27, where The MOB Stop closed in March.

“We will have a variety of gourmet burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as specialty grilled cheese sandwiches” on the menu, Condos said. He plans to open with 14-16 menu items and possibly expand the menu.

Food Dudes meats will be fresh and never frozen, he said. “And we’ll make our sauces from scratch,” Condos said.

“We’re going with a Japanese anime theme,” Condos said of the restaurant’s interior design.

Condos is leaving (effective August 31) his position as assistant general manager of the Coulee Golf Bowl in Onalaska to start the new restaurant Holmen. He has 34 years of experience in the restaurant industry. “It’s been in everything from fast food to fine dining,” he said.

“We don’t have a Facebook page setup yet, but it will be created in the next few weeks.” Condos said.

You probably noticed Amazon delivery vans stopping in your neighborhood for the past few weeks.

Amazon has about 150 employees at its new delivery station, in the former McKesson Pharmaceuticals distribution center at 3003 Airport Road in La Crosse, an Amazon spokesperson told me a week ago.

The Amazon facility opened in May, she said.

As I mentioned in a business column last September, Amazon’s delivery stations represent the last leg of its delivery network for small packages and heavy/bulk packages. Customer orders are prepared at delivery stations for last mile delivery to customers.

One of local businessman Don Weber’s companies bought the old McKesson building in 2020 and leases it to Amazon.

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