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StartingBlock to draw, keep talent in Dane County

Madison's growing community of entrepreneurs will soon have a new place to potentially call home, StartingBlock.

The project has garnered big investors, including American Family Insurance, and the city has put aside $1.5 million for the effort in its Capital Budget.

Some say the project will help bring new life to the city's East Capitol District.

Sector67 and startup accelerator Gener8tor will move into one space on East Washington Avenue and Livingston Street. The space will be called StartingBlock.

Startingblock, a more than $30 million endeavor, would be the anchor tenant of a new mixed-use building that would include space for mentor program, collaboration and a performing art venue.

It would be a space dedicated to sparking new ideas and giving 20- to 40-year-olds more reasons to keep their talents in Dane County.

City wants to expand car-sharing options

City wants to expand car-sharing options

The city of Madison is exploring options for expanding car-sharing options for residents.

City Parking Utility Interim Parking Operations Manager Bill Putnam told News 3 there is one car-sharing company operating in Madison and another on the University of Wisconsin campus, but neither operation rents spaces from the city.

A public meeting scheduled for Jan. 28 will include presentations from car-sharing companies.

Putnam said they are early in the process of coming up with ideas to bring more companies to Madison and support the concept of car-sharing in the city.

One outcome is the city could request proposals from companies to rent spaces in city lots and garages.

A release from the city states that car-sharing reduces the need for car ownership and can replace as many as nine to 13 individually-owned vehicles, leading the less congestion, demand for parking and emissions.

Jolly Bob's to close after 22 years

Jolly Bob's to close after 22 years

After 22 years, the Williamson Street staple Jolly Bob?s is closing down.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported the owner has already stopped serving food and the bar will stop serving Saturday. Jolly Bob's will also host its last DJ dance party Saturday night.

The owner told the Wisconsin State Journal the restaurant business has taken a toll on him, so he's getting out, but he said he'd be willing to sell the business to an interested buyer.

Badgers game brings potential shoppers to Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Madison saw an extra several thousand potential shoppers on the streets, thanks to the Badgers' final home game.

Whether that additional foot traffic benefits local shops, though, is up in the air.

Mary Carbine, executive director for Madison Central Business Improvement District, says every home game brings big business to small shops in the State Street area.

"What is so much a part of the Badger game experience for many people is visiting State Street and the Capitol square," Carbine said. "Badger athletics is terrific for downtown business and downtown shopping."

The outlook is a little different several blocks away, on Monroe Street. Carol 'Orange' Schroeder, the owner of Orange Tree Imports, says she would prefer home games don't fall on the same Saturday as the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season.

Nearly 50 restaurants offer fare for summer's 'Restaurant Week'

Nearly 50 area eateries will take part in a semi-annual area food event next week. 

Madison Magazine's summer season Restaurant Week runs July 20-25. Forty-seven restaurants from Madison, Middleton, Verona and Fitchburg will offer special menus during the week. Each menu features three courses for a fixed price that shows off the eatery's culinary specialty and offers diners the opportunity to sample new or favorite cuisines from local establishments. 

Executive Chef Charles Lazzareschi at Dayton Street Grille in downtown Madison previewed some of the restaurant's planned menu. Dayton Street Grille is offering House Cured Salmon Spring Rolls as one of three appetizer options on the dinner menu. 

Ice cream eatery offers walk-up window

The most recent Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream eatery to open offers a walk-up window.

The company-owned location at 2302 Atwood Ave. on Madison's near east side is near the Capital City Bike Loop and offers 24 of Chocolate Shoppe's 110 flavors.

The Atwood shop opened in early May offering outdoor seats for treat-seekers, Vice President Dave Deadman said.

"This is our new location with a walk-up window," Deadman said. "It's fun to walk to the ice cream store, get an ice cream cone, sit on our back patio and just enjoy the day."

Deadman said each July the company releases a new customer-created flavor during National Ice Cream Month.

"We really try and focus on (how ice cream) should be fun, it should be a treat," Deadman said. "It should make you smile."

Committee focuses on 3 possible public market locations

Committee focuses on 3 possible public market locations

Monday night the city's Local Food Committee decided to focus on three possible locations for a public market.

Locations being considered include one on the north side at Northport Drive and North Sherman Avenue, on the east side at East Washington Avenue and First Street, and on the south side at the former site of Thorstad Chevrolet on Park Street.

The public market would be an indoor, year round facility that supports local food businesses.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin likes the final locations enough to consider more than one.

"They all have their own individual advantages, which is why they made the short list, but there's one thing I think we have to remember that I think is kind of exciting -- there is no rule that says you can't have more than one public market," Soglin said.

He said they would pick one of these sites first, but could develop another later.