Biz buzz:
Thunder & Buttons opens smokers’ deck

       Responding to the new state law, Thunder & Buttons has built a smokers' deck.
       “The people that come here and use it are happy with it,” said business manager Steve Wiley. “They've liked it on Sunday afternoons, when they can smoke and drink and watch the game.”
       The 300-square-foot partially enclosed area was cut out of the rear of the second floor of the tavern at 2415 W. Colorado Ave.
       The law, which took effect last July, disallows smoking within the enclosed part of a bar, but allows an open-air deck for patrons who do smoke, as long as the two areas are physically separated.
       Other Westside bars that have created smokers' decks are Mill Hill Saloon and Benny's.
       Such decks can be heated. For this purpose, T&B's uses two large, ceiling-mounted gas heaters, while fabric shades (also permissible under the law) help hold in the warmth, Wiley explained.
       Costing $20,000, the deck was built in the fall, with the heating added six weeks ago. Although just in time for the recent cold weather, the flip side was utility bills that are “way high,” Wiley said. However, he added, “If you don't do it, you lose customers.”
       Crying Out Loud and Red Palm, both of Old Colorado City, are combining their businesses under the new umbrella name of Bohemian Mercantile.
       The location will stay in the 2500 block of Colorado Avenue, at 2508 W. Colorado Ave.
       Deb Dufford has owned Crying Out Loud (specializing in children's clothing) for five years; Christine Farrell bought into it a year ago when Red Palm (a women's clothing store) became a part of their joint enterprise.
       The duo design their own line of women's clothing and buy from small companies. They also carry clothes and gifts for women and children - newborn to age 14 (girls) and age 8 (boys).
       The store is open daily. The phone is 636-2626.
       HealthQuarters Ministries at 3620 W. Colorado Ave. recently purchased the neighboring property at 3626. The 13,000-square-foot property will continue to be used for rental units, as it has been, but “we'll try to fix it up,” said HealthQuarters lodge manager Terry Anderson.
       The property's utility building and all but one of its 10 apartment buildings (holding a total of 12 living units) were constructed in the 1930s, according to Assessor's Office records.
       HealthQuarters is an education and resource center focusing on improved health through nutrition.
       Puttin on the Paint will be at its new location by the 1st of March, according to owner Kathy Osborn.
       She is moving from the 2500 block of Colorado Avenue to 2616 W. Colorado, next door to Mom's Too Envy and beneath Jake & Telly's.
       The business had been at the old location since 1998. Osborn said the move will provide more space and parking availability. The phone will stay the same: 633- 5330.
       Jim Heikes, owner of the Thunder Mountain Trading Company, was elected president Jan. 23 of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group's board of directors for 2007.
       He will have two vice-presidents: Howard Walters, co-owner of Just for You and Expressions; and Julie Fabrizio, owner of the Holly Leaf. Other officers will be Nancy Stovall, secretary; and Don Wick, treasurer.
       The OCCA is a group of dues-paying Old Colorado City merchants that plans and organizes marketing activities and public events for the area.
       Heikes, a returning member of the board this year, also serves on the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District committee, a City Council-appointed volunteer board that looks out for Old Town's upkeep.

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