Biz Buzz, Feb. 3, 2013

Wintertime is typically slow in Palisade — so much so that some businesses close and reopen in the spring.

That was an option seriously considered at the beginning of the year by the owners of the Red Rose Cafe, 235 Main St., the east valley restaurant that’s been serving up a rare blend of Vietnamese and Italian food for eight years.

Rose Casadona wanted to keep the place open. Her husband, Tom, wanted to find an additional source of income for them.

The end result? The Red Rose Cafe is now serving strictly Vietnamese food through the winter months, while Tom is cooking at the recently reopened kitchen at the Brass Rail Bar & Grill, 476 28 Road.

“Between what I make there and what she makes here, it’s better than what we were making together,” Tom said.

The food served at the Red Rose by Rose, who was born and raised in Vietnam, is part of an expanded Vietnamese menu that includes Pho soup and Vietnamese egg rolls, among other items.

As for Tom, a New York Italian, he contemplated opening a restaurant in Rifle before deciding it was too long of a drive. Then he saw a small ad in the newspaper for a kitchen for lease. He called and discovered the Brass Rail wanted to reopen its kitchen. He said the owners told him he could prepare whatever he liked.

Last month, Tom, with 40 years’ experience in the restaurant business, began serving burgers, sandwiches, burritos and a variety of Chinese and Italian specials. He also offers breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

The kitchen at the Brass Rail is open six days a week — it’s closed Sunday — until 9 p.m. The kitchen opens at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and 11 a.m. otherwise.

■ After more than 23 years of selling all kinds of sharp-edged objects employed for all kinds of purposes, Greg Trent last week cut the cord on Cutlery USA. The longtime Mesa Mall tenant permanently dimmed its lights on Thursday.

Trent said he made the decision for a variety of reasons: He’s an “old guy now,” turning 65 this coming November; the economy; overhead; and competition from Internet-based companies who, unlike his business, don’t charge sales tax.

“That puts me at an 8 percent disadvantage from the get-go,” he said.

Trent estimated he sold 40 to 50 different kinds of knives and sharp-edged weapons and devices to professional meat cutters, butchers, children and souvenir collectors. He said he worked with the Western Colorado Culinary Academy for the last 16 or 17 years. He also sold sharpening devices and offered sharpening services.

“It was a difficult decision, of course, because of the relationships (with customers). That’s the worst part,” he said, noting he had some adult customers who remarked about frequenting his store when they were kids.

While he’s ditching the storefront, Trent said he will start a mobile sharpening service soon.

Kannah Creek Brewing Company will tap a firkin keg Monday for a good cause.

The brew pub, located at 1960 N. 12th St., will tap the small barrel at 5 p.m., with 100 percent of sales going to Girls on the Run of Western Colorado.

The firkin keg to be tapped will contain an amber ale. It holds approximately 80 pints, and each pint will sell for $4. Because the beer is naturally carbonated and not refrigerated or airtight, it must be consumed in one night.

Kannah Creek taps a firkin every Monday, with firkin fundraisers held the first Monday of every month to benefit local charities.

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit program for girls in grades 3 through 8. It’s an after-school program that uses team running and other interactive activities to educate young girls on healthy living, self-respect, team building and community service. There are currently more than 1,800 participants on the Western Slope.

Past firkin fundraisers have raised between $200 and $500.

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