Several businesses opening in Rifle in a time of national economic turmoil |

Several businesses opening in Rifle in a time of national economic turmoil

Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Heidi Rice/Post IndependentEmployee Darla Davis, left, and owner Jeanice Freeman of The Ranch House on East Third Street in Rifle set up a tablescape display in the Western-style mercantile store, which is currently for sale.

RIFLE, Colorado ” Even amidst a lagging economy across the nation, businesses in downtown Rifle seem to be doing well, with several new ones opening up in the past few weeks.

Rachael Gross was recently able to accomplish her dream of opening her own beauty salon at the new professional building at 450 West Ave. in downtown Rifle.

Ken Holgate opened the Rifle Barber Shop (formerly the Buckshot Barber Shoppe) at 228 Railroad Ave. last week and plans to run it with his wife, Suzanne.

The New Image Boutique clothing store opened two weeks ago on East Third Street ” the former site of a used book store.

Jeanice Freeman, owner of The Ranch House, a mercantile store located at the corner of Railroad Avenue and West Third Street is selling her store and says she has a good prospective buyer.

A former employee of Mac’s on West Fourth Street (formerly Pam’s County Cooking), which closed not long ago, is now working on opening a restaurant called “Tastebudz.”

All this in the middle of a recession.

Gross said she opened her salon, Shear Intensity, on Jan. 2.

“I always wanted to do this since I went to beauty school,” she said. “We’re doing really well.” The shop offers hair care, nails and tanning and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Call for an appointment at 625-3422.

Holgate opened the Rifle Barber Shop with 20 years of experience as a barber.

“I had a barber shop in Aspen for 15 years and my dad was a barber in Delta,” he said.

A native of the area, Holgate said his shop caters to men and children and that he’s renovated the previous shop.

“We’ve totally cleaned the place up and repainted,” he said. “It’s an old-fashioned barber shop that’s very family-friendly.”

The shop is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to about 1 p.m. on Saturdays. For an appointment, call 625-5624.

Freeman has had The Ranch House, a “good old-fashioned mercantile store,” at its downtown location since April 2008. She first opened the store in 2005 on Airport Road in south Rifle.

Freeman says she is selling the business only because her husband, who is in the oil and gas business, has been transferred to Texas.

“I wanted somebody to buy it and take it over, not close it,” Freeman said. “It’s meant too much to people to close.”

She said business is good and even hired an employee in the last week to help out in the store.

The store has a distinctive Western flair and carries everything from furniture, lamps, knickknacks and bedding to clothing, belts and boots.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

While newspapers cover the glass front of the former Mac’s Cafe at 117 W. Fourth St., a sign on the door says that Tastebudz Restaurant will be “coming soon” and the business is hiring cooks, waitstaff and dishwashers.

Freeman said she doesn’t believe there’s a recession going on ” at least not in Rifle.

“I don’t care what they say on TV,” Freeman said with a shrug. “I don’t believe it.”

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