Childhood friends and partner open The Buck Stops Here in Lansing







Steve Cahalan


Owen Buckmaster and Travis Wagner, childhood friends who grew up near Lansing, Iowa, have returned after living out West for years, and with a partner have opened The Buck Stops Here restaurant at 367 Main St. in downtown Lansing.

The Buck Stops Here serves breakfast and lunch and opened Dec. 16 in the former location of Nutmeg’s Cafe & Bakery, which closed in June after nine years in business. The new eatery is owned by Buckmaster, Wagner and Carl Colsch of New Albin, who have known each other for many years.

Buckmaster operated The Buck Stops Here food truck for several years, first in Tahoe City, California, where he lived for 16 years, and later in the Lansing area. Buckmaster, who returned to the Lansing area four years ago, recently sold the food truck.

Wagner moved back to the Lansing area two months ago from Billings, Montana. He had lived in Montana for 18 years and held restaurant management jobs in that state for about 10 years.

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A large The Buck Stops Here sign hangs above the entrance to the new restaurant at 367 Main St. in downtown Lansing, Iowa.




“I always knew I was coming back” to Lansing, Buckmaster said. “Our family farm is still here and my mom and dad are still here. It’s been a dream of mine for 10 years to have a restaurant. The community certainly needs it” after a few area restaurants closed, he said.

“Well, my last name is Buckmaster,” Owen said of the origin of the restaurant’s name. “And I’ve always liked the phrase The Buck Stops Here,” he said. “Harry Truman coined that term. It means be accountable for yourself.”

Buckmaster smokes the meats that go into the restaurant’s pulled pork sandwiches (listed on the menu as the Buckwich) and turkey sandwich (listed as the Gobbler). Some other items on the lunch menu include pork tenderloin sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chili dogs, homemade chili, fried mac and cheese, dill pickle slaw, hand-battered onion rings and skin-on fries.

Some items on the breakfast menu include omelets, breakfast bowl, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burrito, eggs benedict, country fried steak, pancakes, French toast, hashbrowns, bacon and ham.

Hours at The Buck Stops Here are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Wednesday, when the restaurant is closed. Breakfast is served from 7 to 11 a.m. except on Sunday, when it’s served from 7 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call 563-538-9284 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The White Buffalo Thriftery store opened Dec. 22 in its new location at 500 Main St., at the corner of Main Street and Fifth Avenue, in downtown La Crosse. It’s in the former location of the Hallodallo Thrift Store, which recently moved to 720 Main St.

Owners Katie Pehling and Jose Vargas moved White Buffalo Thriftery from 121 N. Fourth St. The store first opened in March 2022 at 111 N. Fourth St.

The new and used home decor store provides a unique shopping experience with new and thrifted Mid-Century Modern Boho Chic, Western-inspired and personally selected home decor items, Pehling said. It offers such new and used items as home furnishings, decor, dishes, throw pillows, blankets, artwork, jewelry, purses, bags and furniture, said Pehling, who describes the store’s merchandise as eclectic. White Buffalo purchases its merchandise at places such as flea markets, online auctions, antique stores and thrift shops.

Pehling and Vargas plan to add a room of consigned items by March. “By spring, we plan to put in a candle bar, so people can make their own candles,” Pehling said. “We’ll also have live plants (for sale) by spring.”

Store hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday and Tuesday. A grand opening celebration is planned, tentatively for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20.

White Buffalo’s merchandise also can be purchased on its website, wwwwhitebuffalothriftery.com. For more information, visit the store’s website, or Facebook or Instagram pages.

Domino’s Pizza franchisee Mark Forder of New Richmond opened his ninth Domino’s store on Dec. 6 at 1114 N. Superior Ave. in Tomah. The new pizza store occupies about half of the former Sears Hometown store.

“We’ve got some others in the area, Black River Falls being the closest,” Forder said of his decision to open a Domino’s in Tomah. “The town is of a size that could support a (Domino’s) store.” His family owns a cabin in nearby Warrens, he added.

The Tomah Domino’s offers such fare as pizza, pasta, chicken wings, cheesy bread, bread twists, salads and desserts. Delivery and take-out are available, and one table is available for dining in.

Hours are 10:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The Tomah store’s telephone number is 715-972-2020.

Steve Cahalan reports on local business developments every Saturday.

Steve Cahalan writes about business news and can be reached at stevecahalan.reporter@gmail.com.



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