Mesa general store reopens after remodel

Travelers, occasional visitors and year-round residents of Mesa are rediscovering their general store.

“Last time I was here, it was rustic,” said Mike Brown, who visits Mesa once a year and always stops at the store on the corner of KE Road and Colorado Highway 65. “Now it’s a little homier.”

After 4 1/2 months of remodeling, the entire store has changed. It now has new ceilings and floors and a small dining area facing the store’s main windows where the cash register used to be. In short it now has a woman’s touch, Peggy Sue Padilla’s touch.

Closed in April, the general store was purchased by Padilla, the former owner of Padilla’s Mexican Restaurant directly across Colorado 65. She had to close her restaurant five years ago because she had breast cancer. Now, as a cancer survivor, she is taking on a new challenge in her adopted hometown.

“I just didn’t want to see it die,” Padilla, a 25-year resident of Mesa, said of the remodeled store that first opened in 1922 in the heart of town. “There is definitely a need for it.”

When the former owners shuttered the store, the only option left to residents and visitors was a tiny convenience store at the RV park a mile down Colorado 65, until Padilla reopened the store Sunday.

“People here have been waiting awhile,” said Steve Adams, a local resident.

Anyone wanting gasoline still has to travel even farther to Interstate 70. But Padilla promises to have a vendor on-site and operating the store’s fuel pumps before the winter.

“We’ve just had to plan ahead a little more,” Adams said about filling his gas tank.

But when it comes to rustling up some grub for dinner, the options have expanded at the new Mesa store.

“We are carrying a lot more groceries,” Padilla said.

Fresh fruits, steak, seafood and a variety of canned goods are available, providing shopping options residents never had before.

Speaking of options never offered before, Padilla plans to offer firearms and ammo for sale.

“I am waiting for my federal firearms license,” she said.

But for anyone with an immediate hunger, the store offers fresh and ready pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

The store even offers clothing for the American Girl Doll. The 2-foot high dolls, dressed in outfits stitched together by Padilla’s mother, Lo Ree Miller, stand in a glass case at the front of the store.

Padilla’s general store provides a variety of goods sure to satisfy travelers on their way to and from Powderhorn Resort or Grand Mesa, as well as the residents of Mesa.


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