Biz buzz, Feb. 20, 2013
Junct’n Square Pizza, a downtown staple for more than three decades, is getting a modernizing face-lift. Its menu, though, will take diners back to the 1970s.
A three-week renovation will come to an end when the restaurant at 120 N. Seventh St. reopens Monday.
“I want to make it a little bit more modern, clean it up a little bit, give it a fresh look,” said owner Sara Donaldson, who took over the business from her parents last spring. Earl and Mary Stevenson founded the restaurant in 1977.
The interior is getting new paint, new furniture, new lighting and a new heating and cooling system. The menu will be new, too, though it may look familiar to longtime customers.
Donaldson dug up the restaurant’s original menu and will reintroduce it — pizza, salad and a few pasta dishes. Those are the things that sell well, she said. Donaldson said she’ll keep chicken alfredo on the menu because of its popularity, but other items like sandwiches and a more expansive variety of pasta the restaurant had featured for years will be eliminated. The menu will be printed on pizza paddles.
Donaldson grew up in the restaurant and attended college for restaurant management. She has lived and worked in food and beverage in Las Vegas, Nev., for the past 15 years but plans to move back to Grand Junction at some point.
The renovation could be just the start of changes implemented by Donaldson. She said she’d eventually like to open additional Junct’n Square restaurants in other locations.
■ Janet Brink kept Brink’s Fine Jewelry open after the death of her husband, John, believing the man who spent nearly 40 years fashioning a variety of rings, necklaces and other pieces would have wanted the business to continue.
But eight months after John died in a surfing accident in Mexico, Janet says it’s just not the same without her partner in life and in business.
Brink’s, which has made its home at 120 N. Fifth St. since 2001, will close at the end of February.
“There is no more joy in trying to make this business go,” Janet said, acknowledging it was a difficult decision.
Brink’s hired a new jeweler but customers had come to expect the innovation that John brought to his craft, Janet said.
“The business could go on, but as far as what John created, hang onto it and cherish it,” she said of Brink’s customers. “You just don’t see that kind of craftsmanship.”
Janet said Brink’s will have a going-out-of-business sale. She said she hopes to lease the building to a new tenant.
■ Citing underperformance, discount retailer ALCO Stores will close its ALCO store in Grand Junction in April.
The Abilene, Kan.-based company announced last week that the store at 2696 U.S. Highway 50 has begun marking down prices and that employees will have the opportunity to be considered for positions at other ALCO stores. The store is expected to close by April 29.
A store spokeswoman couldn’t be reached for comment on how many employees will be affected by the closure.
“We have valued the opportunity to be a part of this community, but unfortunately the store’s performance does not meet our financial requirements,” Dan Roth, vice president for store operations for ALCO, said in a statement. “The economy has clearly had an impact on store sales, and we’ve made the very difficult decision to close.”
■ Website design company Grand Valley Design recently doubled its staff — from one to two.
It’s not exactly an unemployment rate-denting move, but owner Christine Jackson has gotten busy enough and added enough clients in her three years in business that she decided it was time to find some additional help.
Late last fall, she hired David Foster to serve as an account manager. He said he helps market the business, searches for new customers and works as an intermediary between Jackson and her customers.
Grand Valley Design offers full-service web development, search engine optimization management and search engine marketing administration.
“Anybody can build a web page. It’s making it searchable on the Internet that makes it valuable,” Foster said. “A lot of folks do their own (website) and you can tell they do their own.”
Learn more about Grand Valley Design at grandvalleydesign.com.