An established Nebraska City business is making major changes to its facility this summer.  
Kelly Bequette, owner of The Keeping Room at 717 Central Avenue, said her store is expanding to the east into the space previously occupied by Victorian Heart.  Victorian Heart moved earlier this summer into a shop at 700 Central Avenue.
The new space will connect with the Keeping Room and, in addition to housing more retail items, will have a small kitchen and bar.  
Bequette said the plan is to offer a limited, family-style lunch option.
“We will serve seasonal, locally grown items,” she said.
The bar will serve coffee, tea, wine and tap beer.  The space will have seating for 20-25 people.
“A lot of groups coming to town are looking for a variety of options for places to go,” Bequette said.   “We can offer a place to have a small bite to eat, something to drink, and a place to shop.”
Bequette stressed that the final details of what will be offered are still up in the air.  In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done on the new space.
“We have exposed the brick walls, we are redoing the tin ceilings, and we soon will refinish the original hardwood floors,” she said.  Bequette said the new space should be ready to open this fall.

La Mexicanita
It’s been fourteen years since David Ramirez opened La Mexicanita at 619 Central Avenue.  Today, La Mexicanita is growing into new digs at 1406 Central.
Ramirez and his wife, Maria del Carmen, ran La Mexicanita at the 619 Central location for seven years.  In 2007, they moved the business to 706 Central.
“I like taking small steps with my business,” Ramirez said.  
Ramirez took a rather large leap when the move to the former home of Food Pride.
“We have so much more room here,” he said.  “We just want to serve the community and hope we get support.”
La Mexicanita opened in their new location in early July.  Ramirez has big plans for the big space.
“We will add fresh produce, dairy, a meat counter, and a deli counter,” he said.  Ramirez also plans to hire employees to help carryout groceries.
However, Ramirez is not stopping there.  Long term plans include walling off the western part of the store to house an authentic Mexican restaurant and implementing a grocery delivery service.
“We will focus on groceries for now,” he said.  “It will be nice to carry more things.  There are walk-in coolers here, and we didn’t have anything like that at our old store.”
Right now, Ramirez is working on extending his lease for the building and hopes to even purchase the structure in the future.  He said they will have a Grand Opening after he has a chance to fix up the building a bit more.
“For 14 years, we have been growing little by little and I didn’t think at first that we should move to such a big location,” Ramirez said.  “But maybe God opened this up for us.”