Biz Buzz: April 6, 2014

Polar Bear Automotive, 436 S. Fifth St., extends “a huge thank you to the people of Grand Junction for letting my family serve this awesome valley for 30 years as of April 1,” owner Mark Berkley said.

Berkley first opened the doors to his business at a time when the economy was pretty bad. But persistence and quality service changed all that, he said. 

“We grew to 14 employees in seven years, after which we wanted to downsize and made a move to Montrose for five years,” Berkley said.

The Montrose experiment did not last. His family missed the Grand Valley too much, he said. So, he moved back to the city and started again, this time at the Fifth Street location, where his business has operated for the past 18 years.

Polar Bear Automotive specializes in air conditioning, transmissions, brakes, CV axles, electrical problems including power windows, and computers.

“We take care of all the creature comforts we love in our vehicles,” he said. 

The family expanded its business holdings in recent years by opening Berkleys Upper Cuts Salon at 12th Street and Patterson Road, and Berkley’s Computer Repair, 801 North Ave. “We love Grand Junction,” Berkley said.

■ The barn-red office building with an acrylic dome for a window situated at Grand Avenue and Eighth Street sat vacant for more than a year, but all that is about to change.

Daniel Thayer at Integrity Painting, 2129 Orchard Ave., said his crew just wrapped up a job to repaint the building in soothing earth tones for the benefit of several new businesses going in at the location.

At least one of the businesses is a salon, but other offices are planned, Thayer said.

The revival of the location adds to the growing number of professional offices — from attorneys to mental health counselors, to hairstylists — now working in converted, historic homes along Grand Avenue. 

The Ale House, 2531 N. 12th St., has expanded its outdoor dining options, upgraded its outdoor look and moved the stage so all who drink and eat at the venerable Grand Junction restaurant can see and enjoy the show, said Bob Bradley, general manager.

It is a long-term cost-saving investment, he said.

“Every year we won’t have to sand and stain the old deck,” Bradley said. “The wood started rotting out a little bit and we were having chairs falling through it.”

Clearly, it was time for improvements.

“We tried to leave it the same, but upgrade it while we were at it,” he said.

Trex Decking was used to change out the wood and all new furniture was purchased, Bradley said. 

The new space opened last week as part of the Ale House’s 10-year anniversary celebration. It is ready in time for the pub’s first Brewfest event scheduled for April 19. It will include five breweries, one distillery, and one winery.

“People love the new chairs and tables. It looks beautiful out there,” Bradley said.

■ The first baby to be born at Bloomin’ Babies Birth Center, 2241 N. Seventh St., arrived on March 16, less than six months after the center opened last October, said Dick Kandiko, a spokesman for the center.

“The baby girl was eight pounds, eight ounces,” Kandiko said. “The proud parents from Moab were very pleased to have the option of delivering at the birth center. The mom was able to walk, eat what she wanted, and enjoy the birthing tub while she labored.”

The birth center gives women another choice of where to give birth and focuses on low-risk women who want to be a partner and involved in their pregnancy, he said. Though unrelated, the center is situated a couple blocks from St. Mary’s Hospital, where it draws clients from Fruita, Glenwood Springs, Meeker, Palisade and eastern Utah.

It is the second of a growing number of birth centers opening in Grand Junction, Kandiko said.

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