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Business Notebook: New party venue opening in Dixon

DIXON – There's a new venue for wedding receptions, reunions, birthday parties and the like opening Monday in the downtown.

Salamandra Restaurant, 105 W. First St., is opening The Gathering Place next door to the popular Mexican restaurant.

It'll be a big party room that can seat up to 100 people, co-owner Kora Bajrami said. Cost to rent will be $150 a day, and the restaurant also can cater an event, if needed, she said.

Give her a call at 815-285-0874 for all the details.

'Fine wines and weird beers' coming to Sterling

STERLING – A foxy new bar is opening soon in downtown Sterling.

The Rusty Fox will feature "fine wines and weird beers" in an intimate atmosphere, co-owner and bar manager Rich McNinch said.

He and his dad, Tim McNinch, who also own AirPlay Sports and Espresso up the street, hope to open in the former Main Street Wine Cellar at 1 E. Third St. later this month.

You'll know they're ready when the paper comes down from the windows, Rich said.

The Rusty Fox will serve craft and import beers, fine wines, meat and cheeses, and food from the AirPlay bakery – essentially appetizers and finger foods – "things that are not necessarily carried by our neighbors," Rich said.

There will be open mic nights, probably on Fridays, bands and other live entertainment on Saturdays, and a jukebox all day long. Sundays, and maybe Mondays, the bar will be closed.

You won't hear the ping of video gambling machines, though. "We're going for an atmosphere that that will disrupt," Rich said.

Both ventures are family affairs: Rich's sister, Rebecca McNinch Ryan‬, and mom, Mary Ellen McNinch‬ "are kicking butt on this project (and ‪Air Play Sports & Espresso‬), they're just not seen as often because they have kids and a real job, respectively, and can't work all day like us chumps," he said in a Facebook posting.

Sister Amanda Happ‬, who lives elsewhere, also is an owner and is the artist who created the Rusty logo.

Keep tabs on the new bar at on Facebook; the phone number is 815-625-4708.

Relics for sale in Dixon

DIXON – Have a taste for primitives and other funky antiquities? Then you may want to check out Reuben's Relics.

There's a fun mix of antiques and collectibles in the little building at 1112 S. Galena Ave.

Dixon couple Rick and Denell Reuben open shop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and by appointment. Call them at 815-994-0707.

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