Biz Buzz, May 5, 2013

Since opening a Grand Junction-based franchise of Partyland in 1998, Roger McClelland has sold supplies for virtually every imaginable birthday, anniversary, ceremony and gala.

As the years have passed, he’s fielded an increasing number of calls from customers interested in renting equipment for those festivities.

So earlier this year, he and his wife, Kelli, purchased inventory from Rosewood Floral and opened Grand Events & Party Rentals, 2650 North Ave., Suite 107. The 8,000-square-foot business — roughly evenly split between showroom and storage space — is located a few dozen steps away from Partyland in the Red Cliff Pointe shopping center.

Grand Events rents tables, chairs, tents, portable dance floors, heaters and fans, food and beverage equipment, grills, linens, glassware, flatware and a variety of props and decorations.

“I like to tell people we do everything for parties except liquor and food,” McClelland said.

McClelland said he believes there’s room for another party rental business in town, noting that “there are a limited amount of tables, chairs and tents and once they’re gone, they’re gone.” He said business thus far has been “encouraging” and rentals have piled up for May and June.

Grand Events is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and by appointment on Sunday. The business can be reached at 241-1914.

■ The management at Le Rouge Restaurant and Piano Bar, 317 Main St., says the French eatery had such a successful last summer with patio dining, it’s decided to take some of its operations out to the crowded sidewalks of downtown Grand Junction.

Le Rouge last week introduced a self-contained, outdoor kitchen that contains all of the necessary cooking and cleaning equipment to serve a light lunch menu. That menu features a variety of crepes, salads and doner kebabs, which is a Turkish dish featuring lamb cooked on a vertical spit and served with toppings on pita bread. All menu items are less than $10.

“We had such a wonderful, wonderful tourist season (last year),” manager Gayle Hunger said. “Everybody loves downtown. We just thought it’s crazy not to utilize your market.”

Customers can take their orders to go or sit outside on the patio. The kitchen is open at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and typically closes mid-afternoon, Hunger said.

Le Rouge will run the outdoor kitchen “until the snow flies,” she said.

Chow Down Pet Supplies continues to expand on the Western Slope.

Five months after opening a location in Montrose, the Bush family in April created a location in Fruita at 225 E. Aspen Ave. The store is located in the former home of Hands and Feet Thrift Store.

“We have a lot of draw (of people) from the Fruita area that visit our Grand Junction store, so we thought we’d provide the service out here,” said Kristi Bush, who owns the business along with her husband, Joe. The couple also own a location in Grand Junction at 2518 Broadway. Joe’s brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Krista Bush, own the Montrose store. Chow Down also has locations in Evergreen and Fairplay.

Like the other locations, the 1,800-square-foot Fruita store offers high-quality pet food, toys and treats. Unlike the others, it doesn’t offer grooming services or a self-serve dog wash — yet.

Kristi Bush said the dog wash will open at the same time the store hosts a grand opening June 1. The store is working to find a groomer.

The Fruita location’s inventory isn’t as diverse as the Grand Junction store, but if a Fruita customer wants a particular item, it will be brought over from the Grand Junction store the next day, Bush said.

“It’s a real fun community,” she said of Fruita. “We like it. They’ve been really supportive of us.”

Chow Down in Fruita is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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