Briefs: Biz Briefcase November 23, 2008

A spokeswoman for Carlson Vineyards Winery says Thanksgiving is the No. 1 wine-buying holiday.

I’ll buy that. I grabbed a bottle of Reeder Mesa Riesling for Thanksgiving last year. It was the first one we opened for premeal wine tasting, and it cleared out before the meal blessing. I barely got a glass myself. I also bought cherry wine from Carlson and the limited-edition dessert wine from Plum Creek Winery.

• Carlson is hosting its 17th annual Ho-Ho Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the winery at 461 35 Road on East Orchard Mesa, above Palisade. There will be door prizes, discounts, holiday party help and tastings of the cherry wine rimmed with Enstrom’s dark chocolate and one I regrettably didn’t get to try the weekend of Colorado Mountain WineFest: the Warm Peach Cobbler in a mug. Information: 464-5554.

•  Pizza, then turkey: Pablo’s Pizza on Main is not open on Turkey Day itself but expects the usual huge influx of business Wednesday night before the holiday.
“We get pretty busy here,” said one pizza maker. “We have to staff extra people that night.”

•  Let’s Dance: The new Dance International, 634 Main St., Suite 1, is having a grand opening special, a 30-minute free introductory class. No partner or experience required. The dance company offers classes in all ballroom styles for groups, singles, couples and competition training. It also provides choreographed dances for special events. Information: 720-205-1191.

•  Black Friday begins: Mesa Mall is gearing up for its biggest shopping day of the year with some stores opening at 4 a.m. and the whole mall opening by 6 a.m. Friday. Meanwhile, the Downtown Business Partnership released a mailer with coupons for Main Street vendors.
My advice: make the list, shop the ads, line up what you want early. If there are good deals, buy half now, half later. If deals are not good, push the bulk of shopping to later in the season.
The one time I did a one-day Christmas shopping spree on Black Friday, I actually made a new friend at 5 a.m. in below-zero weather, waiting in line outside a Target store while we were trying Starbucks hot chocolate and eggnog latte samples. We might repeat the event on the third-year anniversary, minus the weather.

•  Cheesecake profiteer Lee Mathis took a blue flame to a porcelain bowl filled with his holiday cheesecake on the porch of Fruit and Wine Real Estate at the Palisade chamber after-hours event and provided samples to several onlookers Tuesday. His latest creation got rave reviews. It’s a brandied pumpkin spice, which was a hit as a creme brulee. Look for it at his dealers before it’s all gone. On the Web:

•  Word has it business is good for Grand Junction-based American Spirit Shuttle, which is being heavily recruited by oil and gas companies to shuttle workers to and from work. It sounds like a good idea, based on a claim that 80 percent of oil field accidents are vehicular.

•  A loyal customer of the Montrose Smugglers Brew Pub wrote to say the Grand Junction location of the restaurant by the mall is one to two weeks from opening.

•  Robert Melot, owner of Castle Rock Construction, has put up the new building of timber and rock/stucco with courtyards at 125 Peach St. in Palisade and is seeking unique businesses interested in relocating or starting a business that fits with surrounding retail.
Businesses Melot has in mind include a cafe that serves buffalo burgers or wood-fired pizza, trending toward organic local products. Other businesses he says would fit well would include a massage therapist, acupressurist and chiropractor. Information: 464-0188.

•   Gelato Junction, 449 Main St., has added Belvedere chocolates, a line of Belgian chocolates provided by a Belgian couple that owns a shop in Castle Rock. The damages: $1.25 a piece or $62.75 for a box of 64. They range in flavors from ginger to egg nog.


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