New businesses breathe new life into west end of Grand Junction

By: Cecile Juliette Email
By: Cecile Juliette Email

The area around Patterson and 24 Roads has been a popular place to shop in the last few years, home to places like Home Depot, Mesa Mall, Fisher's Liquor Barn, and a host of other retail options.

But just a few blocks west, the Mesa Village Shopping Center has had a lower profile. Subway moved into the building in the last year, but it failed to gather a lot of attention. Another business owner says he's invested into two local stores that have gone largely unnoticed.

But that's all changed.

In the last month, City Market opened to spectacular fanfare and excitement at the corner of 24 and Patterson Roads, raising the level of interest in shopping at the west end of Patterson.

This week, Cafe Rio, a popular Salt Lake City eatery, opened it's second Colorado location at the corner space of the Mesa Village Shopping Center, just yards away from the drive leading up to City Market.

Tuesday, the day of the Cafe Rio's grand opening, the parking lot was packed for lunch. Eric Landis, owner of Oak Tree Furniture and All Sound Designs, says the foot traffic into his two stores increased immensely.

Landis says, "I wanted to be by the mall so people could see us, we've been here two years and no one knows we're here."

Landis is a Grand Junction native. He says he didn't know these new businesses would be moving into his area, but he's excited to watch the growth. He says, "this building was considered one of the wasted spaces in Grand Junction area. The building has never been vibrant, it's never been live."

On Tuesday, Redlands resident John Merachin and a friend stopped in to have lunch at Cafe Rio, and noticed All Sound Designs around the corner. Merachin says he had never noticed the store before, even though he lived and worked in the area. Merachin said he makes it a point to shop at local businesses, and he's excited to find more shopping options close to home. He says "it's convenient, it's close, kind of a critical mass. I get what I need without running all over town."

Landis wants to see his two businesses flourish, and he's banking on the fact that Cafe Rio will energize the tiny Mesa Village Shopping Center that he has invested so much in. He says, "we've got some real energy, this building is finally being used to it's potential."

Another local business owner in the area says the growth will continue. He says two more national chains are scouting the real estate near 24 Road and are weighing their options.

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