Biz buzz:
Large-restaurant site vacant again

       Less than a year after a split with its founder, natural beef rancher/advocate Mike Callicrate, Wyoming entrepreneur Neil McMurry has closed one of the largest restaurants on the Westside.
       Located at 575 Garden of the Gods Road, its name since last February had been the Fire Rock Grill. Callicrate, with McMurry as main financial backer and property owner, had opened the 11,000-square-foot restaurant on 1.84 acres as the Ranch Steakhouse and Market in fall 2005.
       Dan Gurttman, financial advisor to McMurry, said this week that the doors closed because the restaurant “was not meeting its profit objectives.” No one else at this time is planning to take on the business. “The property will be listed for sale,” Gurttman said.
       He indicated the decision had not been made lightly. McMurry “put a substantial investment into it,” the advisor said. This included a major remodel of the building, which had been the home of the Hungry Farmer restaurant from the late '60s - when there was not much else on Garden of the Gods Road - until it closed in 2003.
       The split occurred when McMurry told Callicrate (whose Ranch Foods Direct has been a local meat supplier since 2002) that his product was too expensive and he was going to start buying and butchering elsewhere. McMurry's representatives touted the Fire Rock Grill as remaining all natural - a claim that Callicrate disputed.
       The Hub Car Wash & Diner, 4460 Forest Hill Road, has new owners. Michelle and Shane Squibb purchased the independent business in December.
       No major operational changes are planned for now, Michelle said.
       The car wash portion of the business is weather-dependent, usually staying open during temperatures above 30 degrees. Higher levels of car detail work are also offered.
       The diner is open daily, from the morning through the afternoon, and there is also a gift store.
       Shane Squibb owns a CPA business while Michelle had previous restaurant experience. “The previous owners were clients of ours, so it seemed like a good opportunity,” she said. So far, “it's been going really well. We have a wonderful staff.”
       The phone is 535-0346. The website is

       All Breed Rescue & Training will hold a Wash-a-Thon Friday, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wag-n-Wash, 1625 W. Uintah St. Proceeds will support All Breed, a non-profit that protects at-risk shelter dogs. Volunteers will wash and dry your dog for a suggested donation of $20.
       Appointments are recommended. For more information, call 264-6460.
       Participating in YogaDay USA for a third year, Dancing Hearts Studio, 2828 W. Colorado Ave., will donate class proceeds Saturday, Jan. 26 to DreamPower Animal Rescue.
       YogaDay USA is sponsored by the national Yoga Alliance.
       For more information, call 685-1100 or go to the website:

Do you have any news about your business? Call the Westside Pioneer at 471-6776.