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Business notebook

New restaurant opens in Oregon

OREGON – A girlfriend’s term of endearment has inspired the name of a new restaurant in Oregon.
Jackass BBQ opened Oct. 6 at 501 W. Washington St.

Owner Andy Riegel said that’s what his girlfriend, Jeannie Hennis, calls him frequently. Riegel decided the business name would be memorable and he could have a donkey logo.

Hennis makes all of the restaurant’s homemade side dishes, such as baked beans, coleslaw and salads (potato and macaroni), and the barbecue sauce, he said.

Customers order at a counter and their orders are called out when ready. He’s trying to get a liquor license, too, Riegel said.

His specialty is “the jackass sandwich,” a shaved, smoked prime rib Philly cheesesteak with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and provolone on a 6-inch hoagie.

Jackass is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Go to, call 815-520-2137 or find the business on Facebook for more information.

Former M&D’s now Johnny’s Bar & Grill

STERLING – M&D’s Sports Bar and Grill is no more.

The bar at 707 Freeport Road has been owned by John Alimi, 30, and his dad, also John Alimi, for 3 years. The name change to Johnny’s Bar & Grill, and the new sign that goes with it, is recent.

The bar is named after the senior Alimi, his son said, adding that he wants more of a pub than a sports bar, although you still can drop by and watch the game.

His hot chicken wings, which cost 30 cents each, are the best in the Midwest, guaranteed, and are from a local farmer, he said.

Speaking of hot, he’s planning a grand opening from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 8; Cal Stage, a hot country band from Sterling, will perform.

Johnny’s is open from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Sunday. It also can be rented for banquets and special events. Call 815-626-7767 for more information.

Consignment store opening in Oregon

OREGON – A consignment shop selling antiques and local artwork opens Tuesday at 221 W. Washington St.

Artifacts also will carry purses, scarves and jewelry, and some new items, said owner Karen Tucker, 51, a 1979 Dixon High grad living in Grand Detour.

Tucker will keep 20 percent of consignment sale prices, she said.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 815-440-4931 or email Tucker at for more information.

Maria’s Pizza in Amboy to move

Maria’s Pizza in Amboy is scheduled to open in a new spot, 110 E. Main St., by Nov. 10.

The renovated, 3,200-square foot location will have a larger dining room and a banquet room, both of which can seat 50 to 60 people, owner Joe Mazzarisi said.

The current location at 203 E. Short St. was too small, said Mazzarisi, who used enterprise zone incentives to move downtown – abating sales tax costs during construction, he said.

He and his wife, Emma, also will introduce beer and wine to their menu.

Church plans a move after New Year’s

STERLING – New Life Lutheran Church is expecting to move to its new building right after Jan. 1, said the Rev. Bill Sullivan, its lead pastor.

Some work still needs to be done at the new building at 702 W. Lynn Blvd. As of Tuesday, it needed ceilings, flooring and bathroom fixtures, and a coffee bar for the atrium hadn’t yet been installed.

A water line also is being installed from Kroger on Locust Street to the Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA that the church will connect to, Sullivan said.

“We are just real pleased at the progress,” he said. “It’s really impressive.”

Some of the church’s 480 members have done much of the work.

The church continues to hold services at 3312 E. 23rd St., where it has been for almost 3 years. The church offers traditional worship services at 8:30 a.m., Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., and contemporary worship at 10:45 a.m. Hours will stay the same after the move, Sullivan said.

Call 815-499-6552 or go to for more information.

Have a business tip? Let us know. Email SVM reporters Bridget Flynn, or Derek Barichello,, or call 800-798-4085, ext. 521 or 526. Sauk Valley Media reporter Derek Barichello contributed to this story.

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