Biz Buzz, Jan. 1, 2011

Cafe Rio will open Tuesday between Bedroom Gallery and Subway in Mesa Village at 2412 F Road. The restaurant will host a ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m. opening day and donate $2,500 to School District 51.

The Mexican restaurant chain, which opened its first location in 1997 in St. George, Utah, prides itself on fresh ingredients and makes tortillas from scratch. Each restaurant uses USDA Choice meats, makes guacamole, salsa, sauces and salad dressings from scratch daily, and goes without freezers and microwaves to ensure freshness. Menu items include traditional fare such as burritos and enchiladas as well as flan, pie, tortilla soup, salads and chips with salsa, queso or guacamole.

There are 38 Cafe Rio Mexican Grills in the western United States. Grand Junction will host the chain’s second restaurant in Colorado. The other is in Denver.

“Opening a second location in the great state of Colorado is a thrill for us,” Cafe Rio Chief Executive Officer Bob Nilsen said in a press release. “The people of Colorado who enjoy a healthy active lifestyle seem to appreciate our commitment to freshness and top-quality, real food made from scratch every day in our restaurants.”

While Grand Junction will gain a Mexican restaurant, it lost one, too. Paco’s Tacos at 1133 Patterson Road in the Village Fair Shopping Center planned to close, according to an employee at the restaurant.

The third of three Maverik Country Stores to locate in the Grand Valley in 2010 opened Thursday at 2948 F Road.

A Maverik store opened in April at 1103 E. U.S. Highway 50 in Fruita and another opened in September at 3249 F Road in Clifton. The convenience store and gas station chain has only one other location in Colorado, in Cortez.

Maverik Regional Director Lynn Rasmussen said the North Salt Lake City, Utah-based company is “thrilled” to be in western Colorado, and another Maverik opening is planned for Delta in 2011.

“We saw a wonderful opportunity to come to the beautiful Grand Junction area and service the citizens of the Grand Valley,” Rasmussen said of the company’s decision to expand into Colorado.

Utah has the highest concentration of Maverik stores, but there are locations in Colorado, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and, as of Wednesday, Washington.

Patients are being accepted at the new Oral Health Partners location at 2552 Patterson Road.

The dental practice opened in the new building Dec. 20. The practice brings together pediatric dentist Glen R. Dean with his son, general dentist Derek L. Dean. Orthodontist Spencer Johnson will begin seeing patients at Oral Health Partners on Jan. 10, and the practice is hiring at least one more dentist.

The dental office is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Following the launch of its Greenback$ program earlier this year, which encourages small businesses to become more energy efficient, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce took its own advice and began installing energy-efficient lighting Monday in the Chamber office at 360 Grand Ave.

EC Electric, 2535 W. Pinyon Ave., is performing the installation on all three levels of the Chamber building. The new, more efficient lighting will replace fluorescent bulbs, a cost-saving practice identified earlier this year when Energy Wise, 786 Valley Court, performed an audit of the building to see how the chamber could operate it more efficiently.

The light replacement project will cost an estimated $3,747, following an Xcel Energy rebate. The chamber expects to recoup that investment within two years through energy savings.

Yanus Nelson has been named community banking president for western Colorado for Wells Fargo retail banking. Steve Irion remains community banking president for Wells Fargo overall in the area.

Nelson, who is based in Grand Junction, has been with Wells Fargo for 11 years and manages 23 of the company’s retail banking stores in his new position. He most recently served as district manager for Larimer County.


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