Visitors to the Wisconsin Dells this summer will find themselves traveling along the Dells Parkway asking themselves, “When did they build that new restaurant next to the Pizza Pub?” When they turn into the parking lot for the new B-Lux Grill & Bar, the new gourmet burger and sports bar, they will be in for a surprise.
As guests approach the building, they will feel welcomed by an inviting and spacious outdoor patio that includes a metal and wood trellis system with a great southern exposure. Once inside, guests are treated to great food in a casual and comfortable environment that includes extensive reclaimed wood, brickwork and tile on the walls, and plenty of televisions to watch all their favorite sports teams. Thanks to the building’s layout, both large groups and couples can find comfortable seating areas that give them either the room they need or the privacy they are seeking. Kids will enjoy the complete game room just up the steps from the main dining area. Yes, the B-Lux Grill & Bar is vintage Dells…great food and drink and a fun atmosphere in a beautiful and inviting new facility.
What visitors may not realize is that, just six months ago, this was a shuttered former Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar, complete with hibachi grills and three levels of bars. Red metal roofs and multiple rooflines—thanks to the many building additions that had occurred over the years—were the first things visitors to the building would have noticed. And, prior to that, the front part of the building had been a small, two-story house.
B-Lux Grill & Bar’s owners, the Ajvazi family, are no strangers to the restaurant industry. They own both the adjoining Pizza Pub and the Port Vista in the Dells. When they purchased the property last year, their goal was to create a place that daughter Merije Ajvazi described as “a place with a great neighborhood bar with family-friendly amenities and a casual, but sophisticated, ambiance.” At the same time, co-owner Elvis Ajvazi wanted to make sure that the building felt new, not just slightly remodeled or simply repainted. He also wanted to ensure that the building would be inviting and would feature the outdoor seating that visitors to the Dells are always seeking.
So, during the summer of 2015, the family assembled a project team that included Parasole Restaurant Holdings out of Minneapolis for help with the restaurant concept and menu; Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. (ADCI) of Lake Delton for architectural, structural and interior design, and Friede & Associates of Reedsburg as the general contractor for this design-build project. Once plans were approved, interior demolition began in September. Construction began in November, with the goal of having the building open for business by Memorial Day of this year.
As with nearly all remodeling projects, flexibility was the key to success on this project, as ADCI and Friede staff routinely met with the owners to discuss minor changes that would be necessary as the project moved forward and as more information about the existing structure became available. The fact that the building had started as a small house and then been added onto many times meant that ADCI’s design would need to create comfortable dining areas that were tied together, yet didn’t require complete demolition and starting from scratch. They also needed to create a way to blend the three separate floor levels that the additions had left, both for accessibility and for customers and waitstaff. ADCI came up with a new entry and patio plan that met everyone’s goals—attractive, inviting, yet still functional. The end result shows just how successful this collaboration with the owners, designer and construction crews proved to be.
The B-Lux menu combines unique ingredients and features “Wisconsin Dells’ Best Burger,” which is char-grilled and made of fresh—never frozen—chuck and sirloin. The menu also features main entrees, fresh salads, great appetizers (including made from scratch cheese curds), and shareable desserts. So the next time you’re visiting the Wisconsin Dells, be sure to stop into the new B-Lux Grill & Bar and see if Elvis is in the building…or if he has left and crossed the parking lot to the Pizza Pub.
Watch the timelapse construction video:
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