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NWI Business Ins and Outs: Decor Tile closing after 40 years, while Torres Martial Arts Academy, Bee & Me Boutique, and Ula Art Gallery relocate
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NWI Business Ins and Outs

NWI Business Ins and Outs: Decor Tile closing after 40 years, while Torres Martial Arts Academy, Bee & Me Boutique, and Ula Art Gallery relocate

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

The longtime Tri-Town flooring and carpeting store Decor Tile plans to shutter next month after four decades in business.

The family-owned business at 10319 Wicker Ave. in St. John has installed hardwood floors, tile, ceramic, luxury vinyl and carpeting to generations of Region residents.

"We will be retiring and closing our business, Decor Tile Inc., in February after serving the Northwest Indiana area for over 40 years," owner Diana Miller said.

Decor Tile occupies a strip mall along with a Smoke Shop tobacco retailer and a Benjamin Moore paint store in south St. John, between Alsip Home and Nursery and the Shrine of Christ's Passion. The flooring business owned the entire strip mall, which it recently sold.

"We were planning to retire anyway and an opportunity came along to sell, so we took it," Miller said.

Miller does not know what the new owner plans to do with the property, but said the other two businesses also have to vacate by February.

Founded in 1979, Decor Tile served customers in St. John, Cedar Lake, Crown Point, Dyer and surrounding communities, billing itself as "the area's leading flooring specialist."

"We took care of our customers," Miller said. "We'll miss everybody we worked with over all these years."

Relocated

Torres Martial Arts Academy moved from its longtime spot on E. 45th St. in Griffith to Hobart. The martial arts dojo and gym had a grand opening last week at 8560 E. Ridge Road in Hobart.

Torres Martial Arts Academy offers classes for men, women and children in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing and mixed martial arts. It also caters to those interested in fitness with cardio kickboxing and Zumba clases, as well as an open gym with weights. 

Owner Miguel Angel Torres, an East Chicago native, got a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu from Carlson Gracie Jr. from the legendary Gracie family. He's a former World Extreme Cagefighting Bantamweight champion who also fought professionally for Ultimate Fighting Championship, World Series of Fighting and other promotions.

Now retired, he amassed a professional record of 45 victories and nine defeats.

For more information, visit torresmartialarts.net or call 219-588-5447.

Relocated

Ula Art Gallery in Crown Point moved into the Fancy Frugal Furniture Boutique.

Owner and curator Ula Davitt said her business is now operated out of the locally owned independent furniture store at 35 W 112th Ave in Crown Point, where it will "continue to provide high-end art to NWI."

"Ula Gallery's concept did not change," she said. "I am representing famous local artists throughout the world that people who have art collections could be proud of. Art that can be found only in downtown of Chicago, San Francisco or Paris is now conveniently available in Indiana."

The new arrangement is supposed to help people match art pieces with contemporary furniture. 

"Fancy Frugal Furniture welcomed us," she said. "Someone saw the value of art. Art enriches everybody and everything around. How would the world look without the enrichment of art?"

The gallery will continue to have exhibits, including a retrospective of the late painter Robert Brasher from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 24.

For more information, call 219-213-2853, email ulaartgallery@gmail.com or visit LocalArtStars.com.

Relocated

Bee & Me Boutique, which closed at the corner of Main and Broad streets in downtown Griffith last year, has reopened in downtown Crown Point.

The boutique sells clothes, customized spirit wear, home decor, jewelry, toys and small gifts at its new location at 166 S. West St. in Crown Point. The shop specializes in "customized spirit wear for schools, teams and parents, as well as uniform items, promotional items, embroidery, silk screening and more."

Bee & Me Boutique is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 219-781-6850 or go to www.facebook.com/OurTextileHive/.

Closed

The owners of Olga's Place Pizzeria and Restaurant at 454 W. Main St. in Westville are weighing their next steps after the restaurant burned down in a fire in late December.

The mother-and-daughter-owned restaurant served pizza, calzones and other Italian food, both pasta and entrees like pesto-glazed chicken and brick oven baked salmon. They also previously owned Olga's Place at 22 Washington in Valparaiso, which served Eastern European fare like stuffed cabbage before it closed in 2018.

"Words cannot express how we feel after the loss of our restaurant. Heartbroken doesn’t even begin to describe it. While we are completely devastated, we are so grateful that no one was injured. Luckily, no one was at the restaurant when the fire started, as we are closed on Sundays," the owners posted on Facebook. "While we don’t know what the next step is for us, it has been an absolute pleasure to serve you all for the last 12 years."

Reopen

Honey Baked Ham reopened at 2004 45th St. in Highland after it was closed for several months because of a fire last year.

Launched in Detroit in 1957, the nationwide deli chain sells fully cooked smoked, honey-glazed spiral-cut hams, smoked turkey breast, roasted turkey breast and ready-to-heat sides, as well as a lunch menu of sandwiches, soup and salads. Honey Baked Ham also has a location in Merrillville Plaza in Hobart across from the Southlake Mall.

For more information, call 219-924-1177.

Expanding

Stay Healthy, a nutrition club and health food shake shop in LaPorte and Michigan City, plans to open a second Michigan City location on the south side of town.

Owner owner Kristal Taschler said Stay Healthy recently signed a lease for the local chain's third location and second in Michigan City. The first Stay Healthy Michigan City opened at 525 Franklin St. in the Uptown Arts District downtown last April.

The nutritional cafe sells meal replacement shakes, energizing herbal teas, and protein shakes for body builders.

"Whether you're looking to lose weight or gain weight, we've got a meal plan for you," she said.

Taschler said the owners were inspired to open the business because of their own weight loss journeys.

"You can get healthier and happier, lose weight and gain muscle," she said. 

For more information, find the business on Facebook.

Closed

The neighboring Southern Shore Art Association gallery and Prince Galleries on Franklin Street in the Uptown Arts District in downtown Michigan City both closed after a new owner took over the building.

Both were staples of the city's art scene and popular stops on its First Friday art walks.

The Southern Shore Art Association gallery at 724 Franklin St. was a nonprofit gallery showcasing the work of regional artists. The art association still exists but no longer has its longtime gallery space where it hung a new exhibit every month and had a gift shop with artisan crafts, including blown glass, cards and jewelry.

Prince Galleries at 726 Franklin St. sold fine art from the 18th to 20th centuries for more than 20 years, including painting, sculpture and tile work. It also carried antique furniture and decorative accessories.

If you've got tips about new stores or restaurants anywhere in the Region, or just wonder what's under construction somewhere, contact NWI Business Ins and Outs columnist Joseph S. Pete at joseph.pete@nwi.com or 219.933.3316.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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