Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Hungry travelers in our area will definitely want to check out the newest restaurant in Cuba, Missouri called The Fourway Restaurant. It’s conveniently located at the intersection of Highway 19 and Old Route. Anyone who is headed back to I-44 after visiting the winery will be passing right by it.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

The Fourway is owned by Joanie Weir, a restaurant veteran who has worked administration for restaurants in St. Louis like Michael’s Bar & Grill and Molly’s.  I stopped in to chat with Joanie this past Wednesday, just as she was getting the restaurant ready for service.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Joanie and her family have been visiting her grandparents farm in Steelville for years during vacations and weekends. Two years ago Joanie got serious about making her dream of owning a restaurant a reality.  She worked with the Wallis family to lease and fix up the historic gas station located at the intersection.  Visitors can enjoy a colorful mural on the outside of the building painted by artist Ray Harvey, and an eclectic collection of art & antiques on the inside that Joanie has amassed over the years.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Of course, visitors will also enjoy the delicious American/Mediterranean fare that The Fourway serves.  Joanie’s son Samuel joins her as the chef for The Fourway after working the kitchen for The Block in Webster Groves.  Joanie’s daughter Haley is training to be the floor manager, so this is a true family endevor!

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant
I tried the chicken kabobs, served with tzatziki sauce and am happy to recommend that item from the menu!  In fact, everything at The Fourway that I tried was made from fresh, healthy ingredients and cooked to order.  They also carry a small selection of Peaceful Bend wines that I highly recommend sipping on while you enjoy your meal! 😀

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Joanie hopes to expand the parking area next to the restaurant, but for now, those who are looking for parking, turn in to the side street on the far side of the grass lot and park on the gravel.  It’s a short walk over to the front door, and you can enjoy a bit of the Route 66 scenery!

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

There’s a cute little garden spot the Viva Cuba maintains located just across the street from the restaurant. I couldn’t resist checking out the painted utility box and flowers while I was checking out the restaurant.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant
Well, that testimonial might just be enough said about why you need to visit The Fourway! 🙂 They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 9pm. Plus, they will be open for Memorial Day tomorrow, so stop on in if you are in the area. You can learn more about The Fourway on their facebook page here. Cheers!

Just Up The Road: Creekside Fudge & Gifts

Fudge shop owner measures fudge

Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!

List of fudge at Creekside Fudge & Gifts in Steelville, MO

For those of you who love sweet treats, this month’s featured Steelville-area business will be right up your alley!  Creekside Fudge & Gifts opened in August last year after owner Marilyn Lakaner purchased Elsie’s Fudge Shop, located on Main Street.

Fudge shop owner measures fudge

Marilyn has been a full-time insurance agent since 1993, but has always wanted to build a fun retirement career so the fudge shop seemed like the perfect solution.  After purchasing the business, Marilyn renamed it to Creekside Fudge & Gifts in honor of the creeks in our area.  She kept the same fudge recipes, but has been hard at work updating the decor & gift offerings in the store.  These days you’ll find her in the fudge shop on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while friends help out on Thursdays & Fridays.

Sidewalk view of Creekside Fudge & Gifts in Steelville, MO

I stopped in the other day and was allowed to watch while Marilyn made up a new batch of vanilla fudge.  I even got to help out a bit (oh yeah, and sample a little bit too). Of course, I had to take several photos of the process to share with you all.

collage of fudge making photos

To start the fudge-making process, Marilyn mixes up her proprietary ingredients in a commercial mixing pot, which constantly mixes and heats the ingredients.  After about 14 minutes, she adds flavoring to the fudge (vanilla extract for this batch) and allows that to mix in thoroughly.

Pouring Fudge into molds at Creekside Fudge & Gifts

Finally she prepares to pour the fudge into molds.  First she pours the fudge out of the commercial mixer and into a handy bowl with a pouring spout.  Then she pours the fudge into the fudge mold of choice and evens out the top with a spatula.  The fudge takes about 2-3 hours to set up, then it’s ready to go.

Pouring Easter Bunny shaped fudge

These Easter bunnies have been very popular this week, so Marilyn was making up a batch to make sure she had enough for the upcoming holiday. First she pours the fudge into the bunny shaped container, then adds the eye, marshmallow tail, and a happy Easter greeting (the bunnies are also available in chocolate, just in case you aren’t a vanilla fudge fan).

Katie decorates fudge Easter bunnies

I had to get in on that decorating action too!  If your bunny looks a little funny, it’s probably because it’s had a little nip of wine. 😀

Crumbling oreos into fudge

After the rabbits were poured, she mixed up a batch of cookies ‘n cream fudge to pour into a slab mold.  All the additions to the fudge like the cookies, or nuts, etc. are stirred in by hand after the fudge is taken out of the cooking pot.

various cadies offered at Creekside Fudge & Gifts in Steelville, MO

Marilyn has lots of fun ideas for candies too – here you can see the saltwater taffy she sells along with Easter fudge pops complete with a bunny peep inside.  She’s made fudge dipped oreo cookies, peanut clusters, and caramel pecan turtles; all available in the shop or by special order.

Slabs of fudge

Marilyn plans to offer fudge dipped strawberries for mother’s day by special order, so be sure to place your order early if you want to give your mom a special treat this year!  I tried her new ‘birthday cake’ flavored fudge, and yes, it really does taste like cake.  Marilyn will be offering adorable little fudge birthday cakes made out of this flavor by this summer.

Cute clothing and T's offered at Creekside Fudge & Gift Shop

Creekside Fudge & Gifts is open Wednesday-Friday from 10-4 and Saturday from 10-5.  You’ll find the store at 100 west Main Street in Steelville.  They can even ship, so if you would like to get in touch, give them a call at 573-775-2218.  Marilyn also has a booth at the Meramec Music Theater, so if you head to concert, look for her there!

I hope you can give Creekside Fudge a visit next time you are in the area.  If you swing by the winery afterwards, I’ll be happy to recommend a wine to pair up with whatever flavor of fudge you pick out.  Cheers!

Just Up The Road: Lange General Store

Todd Rehmert of Lange General Store

Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!

Todd Rehmert of Lange General Store

On Tuesday this week, just as the snowflakes began to fly here in Steelville, I ventured out to Lange General Store on Main Street where I met owner, Todd Rehmert.  Todd and his wife Alicia opened Lange General in 2014, and have created a nostalgic and warm atmosphere inside that made me instantly forget about the iciness outside.  If you’re visiting us, I highly recommend a stop here!

Todd & Alicia both come from a long line of general store owners.  Todd’s great-grandfather ran general stores back in the early 1900’s while both of Alicia’s grandparents owned general stores in rural Missouri towns.  When Todd and Alicia retired, they knew they wanted to continue the family tradition.  So after many years of traveling through Steelville, they decided to set up roots here and took over the old Puckett General Store on Main Street.

Lange General Store in Steelville carries a wide array of merchandise

The Rehmert’s passion for preserving history and adding a modern flair is obvious in the restoration of the building.  Three layers of muck hid a beautiful wood floor that Todd refurbished as much as possible using old-time techniques (see if you can find the soup can repair to a hole in the floor when you visit). The original tile ceiling was left in place but brightened up with a layer of white paint.  On the outside, the Rehmerts tuck pointed the brick, installed new colorful posts and a new awning to welcome guests into their store.

Authentic antiques add to the atmosphere at Lange General Store

The inside features lots of fun antiques like this old fortune-telling weight machine that still works!  I declined finding out my ‘wate and fate’ since I was in a candy store and knew pretty much what was coming in the very near future! 😀 Todd tells me the Coca-Cola cooler behind it dates back to 1947.

old Steelville area signs on display at Lange General Store

Be sure to look up above the windows and displays while you are in the store.  Lots of old Steelville signs are on display.  Todd pointed out a few pieces of trivia related to those signs like the hotel sign that misspelled our town’s name, the bullet holes in the old Wildwood resort sign, and the sign for an eye doctor where the Steelville Giant’s skeleton was once on display.

Lange General store offers 120 varieties of glass-bottled sodas

Todd carries 120 different varieties of glass-bottled sodas.  Each one is made using real cane sugar, and many are rare finds.  I was delighted to find out that Todd’s a true historian of sodas – if you see him in the store, be sure to walk down the soda aisles with him.

JicJac was a St. Louis based soda company

He’ll point out lots of neat sodas, like this old St. Louis-based brand, Jic Jac or ginger ale made using Vernor’s original formula.  Todd knows each soda’s story from their inception, to who owns the formula rights now and which soda has won big awards.

old fashioned cadies available in bulk

Soda’s not the only unique offering available in the store either.  Barrels of old-timey candies are available to puchase in bulk, a wide array of coffee beans, old-time toys, and hand-crafted goods are all on display.

Lange General Store owner Todd Rehmert and patron Laura Schreiner

I happened to be in the store the same day that Steelville local,Laura Schreiner, was there picking up her favorite candy, licorice snaps.  She says she eats about a bag every other week, and loves the fact that Lange General carries this hard-to-find favorite.

I scooped out a 1/4 pound of bit ‘o honey candies for my mother-in-law (along with a 6-pack of sodas to try when I’m not drinking wine!).  You’ll also find lots of gift items like cookware, accessories, candles, and gourmet foods.

While the store seemed full to me already, Todd told me that they plan to expand their offerings this spring to include Amish-made bent willow furniture, a new line of toys, and more masculine gift items such as pocket knives.

An old Coca-Cola coolers keeps a variety of sodas cool

You can connect with the Rehmerts on Lange General Store’s facebook page or by emailing langegeneralstore@gmail.com.  In the winter, Lange General is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10-5.  In March the store will expand hours  to 10-5 Monday – Saturday and Sunday from 11-3.

Sorry, no outdoor photos of Lange General Store since the snow was flying and I didn’t want to linger outside too long!  But look for the store on the south side of Main Street near the three-way stop.

By the way, I LOVE living in a town where you can give directions according to the only 3-way stop in town!

I hope you all can plan a visit soon.  Pick up your favorite candy at Lange General, and then come on out to the winery where I’ll recommend a good wine to pair with it.  Cheers!