11 Businesses We Wish Were Still Here in Grand Junction
A number of fantastic businesses have come and gone over the years here in Western Colorado. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Here are ten Grand Junction area businesses we wish were still here.
Regrettably, all the wishing in the world isn't going to bring these back. We can still dream, though. In no particular order, here are eleven places we sure could us again.
Long before Glacier Ice Arena, and even before Rainbow Roller Rink, you had Skateland USA. This joint hosted the best Limbo tournament in the world. The floor was shaped like a track, and had more boompity-boompities in it than you could shake a stick at. When the 1970s and the Disco era said goodbye, Skateland started to do the "Big Fade" and drifted off into oblivion.
If you were hungry for home-cooked food, one of the best places in town was Marv's Stop and Eat. As you can see in the photo, the restaurant was about the same size as the average living room. They had a great staff, friendly atmosphere, and excellent coffee. If you don't recognize the building, that's okay. It was torn down some time ago.
Grand Junction Star Trek fans used to have a local business catering to their specific needs. If memory serves, and it probably doesn't, the Transporter Room was located in the area near the railroad tracks at roughly 9th and Pitkin. They sold Star Trek models, merchandise, t-shirts, toys, etc., etc., etc.
Back in the early and mid-1990s when Country music ruled the world, you could listen to live Country bands five nights a week in Grand Junction. The Roundup, formerly the Outpost, featured bands like Rumor Hazzit, Doug Lenard, Shot Gun, and more. They ran bands Thursday through Sunday. Eventually, it closed and has since been converted to a pawn shop.
If you loved hamburgers, or better yet, .25 cent hamburgers, the place to go was Clymer's. The drive in operated for quite a while. Milkshakes, hamburgers, and more. Locally owned and operated by the Clymer family, this was a fixture for the local crowd.
Grand Junction was once home to a classy Jazz club. Boomer's operated for a number of years on the north side of Main Street. On any given night you would find the owner, Chet, sitting at the bar. Great Jazz groups including the Michelle Wilkinson Trio, Walt Smith, and more, would play there. The dress code was pretty sharp, and the atmosphere was magnificent.
If you've been around a while, you can remember a time when people didn't have home gaming systems. For that matter, you can remember a time when there was no such thing as home gaming systems. You had video games and not many of those. They were gigantic, required quarters, and were found in places called "arcades." One such place used to exist at the Mesa Mall. Pong eventually gave way to Space Invaders, which gave way to "Asteroids," and then "Star Wars." Before you knew it, you had "Dragon's Lair." One could easily blow a paycheck in one afternoon at Aladdin's. Of course, this was back when the minimum wage was less than $3 per hour.
Have you ever been to a restaurant owned by a former professional wrestler? Talley's "Big Biscuit" was located on the 600 block of Main Street. Every radio jock, and half the employees at the IRS ate breakfast there every morning of their lives. Do you see that front door? None of the past patrons of this restaurant ever did. There was a parking area behind the building, and almost everyone entered the restaurant through the back by the kitchen. For breakfast, you could order the "Waylon." That was two eggs over easy, two strips of bacon, Grits, wheat toast, and coffee.
The Oasis was the working definition of a "coffee shop." Every day of my childhood was spent there, and I think the only thing we ever had was coffee. I would go there with my dad in the early 1970's and pound coffee by the gallon. The booth seating was covered in duct tape, and the place was all the better for it. Eventually, for reasons unknown, the place changed its name to "The Prairie Schooner." It closed shortly after.
Back in the 1970's, 29 Road and North Avenue were to Hell and gone. You were out in the boonies. There were no Walmarts or national steakhouses. You had two drive-in movie theaters, a baseball field, and the biggest amusement park between Denver and Salt Lake City, Guyton's Fun Junction. They had bumper boats, Tilt-a-Whirls, miniature golf, this spider type thingy, and a way cool roller coaster.
The Cafe Caravan featured the legendary Jungle Bar. Bands like Ralph and Clyde used to play there all the time. Back before he became a big star, Collin Raye used to perform at the Cafe Caravan from time to time. The building's sign featured a messed up neon giraffe and tiger. Their heads rocked back and forth all the time...constantly...ad nauseam... for all eternity. Every once and a while, a big name act would roll through the Caravan.