BELOIT (WREX) – If you haven’t been in downtown Beloit in the past few weeks, odds are the city will look a little different.
Two restaurants, a coffee shop, and a boutique hotel have all opened within a month of one another.
“The original plan was to open them over six months,” says Geronimo Hospitality CEO Jeff Whiteman. “But due to construction delays suddenly everything got truncated and we were on that mad dash to get everything open at once. We have Truk’t our tequila whiskey and taco location, as well as Hotel Goodwin, another boutique hotel. We also did Velvet Buffalo which is a wine focus, artisan pizza, small plate concept.”
Next door to Truk’t is Blue Collar Coffee. Whiteman believes more and more people are turning to Beloit for their dining experience.
“What we found is people want authentic, real, and interesting concepts. Maybe flavors and foods they don’t usually get. Whether it’s Rockford, Rockton, Roscoe, Janesville, it’s become a centralized location to get that unique experience.”
The Geronimo Hospitality spots have brought in roughly 500 jobs to the area. Whiteman says the impact is spilling over into other local businesses.
“We’re seeing all the other businesses downtown, they’re telling us how much more successful they’re becoming with the flow of traffic downtown. ”
“I really love everything that’s going on because it gives a reason for people to come down here,” says Velvet Buffalo General Manager Rocky Kitzman. “Which hasn’t always been the case in downtown Beloit. We have wonderful local companies and I think this will just help drive that business and economic growth of Beloit which I think is just fantastic.”
In addition to these spots in downtown Beloit, the company has also opened Bessie’s Diner at the Janesville Airport.