Park 5 plans to stimulate the senses

Park 5 owner Mona Parisi stands behind the counter in the ice cream shop section of the business. Customers can enjoy ice cream treats throughout the day, then head next door to the bar in the evening for drinks and live music and entertainment. (Photo by Audrey Posten)


By Audrey Posten


Park 5 is named, in part, for its ability to stimulate the five senses. The new business, which opened July 6 on Main Street in McGregor, plans to be an amalgamation of sights, sounds, touches, tastes and smells.


One section is an ice cream parlor, offering customers their choice of cool treats—everything from cones and shakes to sundaes and root beer floats. The rest is a bar, complete with a stage area, pool table and extensive seating.


At roughly 4,400 square feet, the space is still a work in progress, with owner Mona Parisi, manager Jimmy Valentine and some of their trusted friends slowly but surely transforming the building into what Valentine described as “a bar unlike any other.”


Parisi, a Prairie du Chien native, has never been involved in a venture like this, but said she was inspired by those around her to do “something different” than the other shops and businesses around town.


“It’s been exciting, fun and stressful all at the same time,” Parisi said of getting the business off the ground.


She and Valentine are excited about the amount of space at their disposal, and have big plans in the works.


The bar already has a large stage area, and regularly features its own in-house DJ, DJ gramR.


“Jimmy’s a live entertainer as well,” Parisi said. “He’s going to bring it.”


Some live shows are currently scheduled for the coming months, including the group American Standard on Aug. 10, Jimmy Valentine and Lisa Strange on Aug. 17 and LaBarge on Sept. 1.


Valentine, a Minnesota native who has been in Iowa for the past 30 years, has been making music since he was 2, doing everything from singing to playing the guitar, bass and piano.


He plans to amp up the lighting and use a fog machine for shows. Because of that, Valentine said, “There’s going to be a show besides listening to the band. Whether there’s a DJ or live show, it’ll just be entertaining to be here.”


Park 5 will also feature special drinks and events. Sunday will feature Sunday fun day bloody marys. Future events will include karaoke and ladies nights.


The bar already has a pool table and dart machine, but plans to bring in bowling machines and a ping pong table. With the games and ice cream at their disposal, Valentine and Parisi said Park 5 would be a good venue for a teen night. The alcohol would be locked down, of course.


Park 5 has a kitchen, but it is not yet up and running. Parisi and Valentine are still on the lookout for kitchen equipment, and hope to have everything ready to go by this fall, just in time for football season. Park 5 also has a hog roaster behind the building that can be used for big events.


No matter the event, Parisi said Park 5 will always follow its mantra, which is “help me help you.”


“We just want to help people have a good time,” Parisi said. “They can just park and leave their troubles at the door.”


Aside from the 4,400 square feet that make up the bar and ice cream shop, Parisi also owns the buildings on each side of Park 5. Parisi said the building on the left will be a skate shop, selling skater apparel and accessories. To the right will be an antique shop. Park 5 already has a large space filled with antiques and records, but Parisi said she wants the shop to have its own entrance, instead of having people walk through Park 5 to get to it.


While a lot of work is going on inside, Parisi said the outside will also get a face lift, as the current rainbow of colors will transform into just the peacock blue color that is on the ice cream shop’s facade.


Park 5’s ice cream shop is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The bar is also open daily, and begins serving in the evening, after the ice cream shop closes.

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