Biz Buzz, July 15, 2012

When the Mesa Grande Restaurant closed in March, the community of Mesa — as well as those heading up Colorado Highway 65 to recreate on the Grand Mesa — lost half of the restaurants available in the unincorporated community that sits below Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

That didn’t sit well with Nathalie Ames Sweet. So she and her mother, Laura Sudler, who co-own Blink Coffee Company, bought the former restaurant building and its “fabulous” kitchen and remodeled the place.

The result is Blink Twice, a full-service restaurant and bar that opened its doors at 10983 Colorado 65 on Thursday.

“We had every table booked at lunch,” Sweet said.

She and Sudler had contemplated closing the Blink Coffee Company building and folding it into the new location but decided it would be too difficult to combine a bar and a coffee shop. So Blink Coffee Company continues to serve coffee and pastries, while Blink Twice offers classic American food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“The good food and good coffee at Blink Coffee, we’ve carried that over to the restaurant,” Sweet said.

She also brought in additional staff for the restaurant, including Erick Thompson, who previously worked at 626 on Rood in Grand Junction, James Sherman, who came from Dallas, Texas, and Ben Dorris, who Sweet said has cooked throughout the Grand Valley for 30 years. Both Sherman and Thompson graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

Blink Twice is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

■ Change also is afoot across the highway at Ol’ Grand Mesa Corner Market.

Brian and Lorraine Zentz bought the longtime landmark in May from Peggy Padilla and changed its name from Padilla’s Mesa General Store. And with a new name has come some new offerings.

The store boasts an ice cream bar and an old-fashioned soda fountain. Brian Zentz said he also serves a small lunch menu and a limited breakfast menu on the weekend, an idea Padilla had but never implemented. That’s on top of basic grocery items the store has long sold.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to do is create a place for people to come in and stop and visit,” Zentz said.

Having lived on Grand Mesa for about the past decade, Zentz said he and Lorraine were looking for a business opportunity. They contemplated the Mesa Grande Restaurant but chose the market when Padilla approached them about purchasing it.

Zentz comes from a retail background. He said his parents owned the gift shop at the Cameo truck stop off Interstate 70 in De Beque Canyon for 13 years.

Ol’ Grand Mesa Corner Market is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day but Tuesday.

■ After working as a therapist in Grand Junction for 17 years, Carol Mulligan figured it was time to branch out on her own.

So in June, she opened Soothing Winds Counseling Center, 1227 N. 23rd St., Suite 103, a spiritually based center that Mulligan said welcomes all denominations and belief systems.

“Spirituality is one of our main focuses and we feel the programs and the therapeutic work we do, blended with spirituality, will help a person make the changes in their lives to help them have a more full and quality life.” Mulligan said.

Mulligan, who has worked as a therapist in the Grand Valley for 17 years, particularly in substance abuse and addictive behavior, said she will contract with specialized therapists to address special issues or services.

Soothing Winds is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with classes being offered from 5 to 7 p.m. those days.

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