Biz Buzz, Jan. 17, 2010

Learning Works, a store that specializes in educational supplies and toys, left the basement at 546 Main St. for a new home. Learning Works owners Pat and Christy Prickett closed shop downtown after the holiday shopping season. Now, the store is open at 1938 N. First St. in Hillcrest Plaza.

The reasons for the move, Pat Prickett said, were: “We wanted to get out of the basement, they were going to tear up Main Street, and it’s higher visibility, I think. It was hard to find us. (Now) it’s cake.”

The new location is little larger, and the Pricketts said they have plans to make use of that space with a meeting room, a coffee shop and possibly contracting with the U.S. Postal Service to provide mail services.

Yoga Vinyassa, 2500 Broadway, and Crossfit Red, 625 Colorado Ave., recently agreed to offer joint memberships at a discounted price.

“People were saying they wanted to do both, but they couldn’t afford both,” Yoga Vinyassa owner Tess McInnis said.

McInnis said she and Crossfit Red owner Patrick Bland discussed the dilemma, and Bland came up with the idea of a joint package that both workout businesses would be happy with. Even though the members pay each business less money, McInnis said it was a good compromise.

“We’re not forcing people to choose, and we’re both benefitting,” she said.

Moreover, the joint members benefit, as Bland said, “If you cross-fit (train) and do hot yoga, then you are truly finding one of the most balanced ways to approach fitness.”

Evan’s Deli and Catering, 560 Main St., in late October began catering to the late-night crowd produced by the downtown bars. Thursday through Saturday the restaurant is open from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. in addition to normal business hours. Evan’s also runs the hotdog stand that sits in front of Quincy Bar, 609 Main St.

Tenacious Brothers Pub, 701 Main St., has given the deli more business, as Evan’s provides food for the recently-opened bar to serve its patrons.

The Shake, Rattle & Roll Diner, 3235 I-70 Business Loop, closed its doors for good and auctioned its belongings Dec. 29. Part of the auction notice on the door said: “After 10 years of great business, the lease was not extended.”

The building won’t sit empty long. The Grand Valley’s third SmashBurger is slated to move in this year, joining the ones that opened last year at 115 W. Grand Ave and the southeast corner of 12th Street and Orchard Avenue.

The Finishing Touch is just about finished as a Grand Junction business, the latest to be stained by the recession.

The unfinished wood furniture store, which has operated in town for 21 years, the last 11 at 461 Grand Ave., will close this spring.

“I had to take a long hard look,” owner Jay Warkentin said, indicating he began thinking about closing up shop last July. “Can I make it almost another year with the economy like this? And I had to decide I couldn’t do that.”

Warkentin, who purchased the business about a year and a half ago, said about 60 percent of his sales came from customized wall units such as entertainment centers and office equipment. But it dropped to about 40 percent of his revenue when the local housing market screeched to a virtual halt. He was forced to lay off five of his seven employees. He said rising unemployment rates dried up the rest of his business.

Warkentin said The Finishing Touch is due to receive two trucks’ worth of furniture Wednesday. He said he’ll close the store for six days to prepare for a going-out-of-business sale, then reopen Jan. 27. He said he expects to move all of his inventory by April.

Valley Lumber, 432 North Ave., closed at the end of December.

The Snowflake Bar & Grill, 539 Colorado Ave., has been open for a year and a half, but never had a grand opening, according to Snowflake Manager Connie Plum. Now, it will have a “grand reopening” on Jan. 25 after it was forced to close for 20 days because of a liquor-license violation, Plum said.

Some renovating is being done during the down time, such as painting and putting up a new mural, Plum said.


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