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Sun, July 21

Need2Know: Slow sales to shutter Ortega’s Traders, Whiskey Row restaurant on the market, and MSCO closing Cortez Street gallery

Slow sales to shutter Ortega’s Traders

Ortega’s 6th Generation Traders plans to close its Prescott store after the first of the year.


Store manager Darrin Ortega has run the family’s Prescott store together with his brother Max. (George Lurie/Courier)

“Business has been kind of slow,” said Darrin Ortega, co-manager of the store, located a 152 Montezuma St. on Whiskey Row. “We’ve been selling a lot of small items but we need to sell a lot of big items and unfortunately, we’re not doing that.”

The business has been in operation for three years. The family also has a location in Carefree. Ortega said that store will remain open.

All items in the store — from turquoise jewelry and Navajo rugs to Hopi pottery and kachina dolls — are currently on sale at between 20 and 60 percent off the original retail price, Ortega said. “People will be able to get some really good deals before we close.”

“It’s been a good run here in Prescott,” Ortega said. “But this is a very competitive business and it just didn’t work out for us here.”

Whiskey Row restaurant on the market

The Devil’s Pantry is up for sale. Located at 126 Montezuma St. in Prescott, just two doors down from the Palace on Whiskey Row, the restaurant has been in operation for five years.

“They’ve got a #12 liquor license and friendly arrangements with most of the bar owners on Whiskey Row,” said Chris Kuknyo of West USA Realty in Prescott, the listing broker and also the former owner of Patriot Disposal.

Dave Seigler, who owns the Devil’s Pantry, also runs New Horizons Disability Empowerment Center in Prescott Valley. “Dave’s heart is in nonprofits,” Kuknyo said. “Doing both the restaurant and nonprofit is just getting to be too much for him.”

On the market for $130K, which includes all of the 1,387-square-foot restaurant’s equipment and fixtures, Kuknyo believes the business has tremendous growth potential. “Last year they grossed over $350,000,” Kuknyo said. “They’ve got great, really fun food and I think up to now, it’s been underutilized there.”

Kuknyo said the restaurant even has space out back that can be converted to a pet-friendly dining area, much like its neighbor the Palace has done recently. “There must be a thousand dogs an hour that walk around that courthouse square,” he said. “Some of their owners have got to be looking for a good hamburger after their stroll.”

MSCO closing Cortez Street gallery, seeking new location

After 18 years operating from its 107 N. Cortez St. gallery inside the Masonic Temple building in downtown Prescott, Mountain Spirit Co-op will close temporarily while the owner searches for a new location.

The co-op held its final Art Walk Saturday (Aug. 25) and will shutter the gallery at the end of August.

The co-op’s lease was up and co-op owner Dana Cummins said she was facing a 55 percent rent increase.

“We believe everything happens for a reason,” she said. “We are very grateful to have been in that building. Being there has given us lots of opportunities to expand and grow and now we’re going to expand even farther.”

On its website, the co-op bills itself as a “transformational healing center that consists of an intuitive art gallery, an alternative healing clinic and spiritual education center.”

“We do have temporary housing for our practitioners and when people are scheduled, we’ll let them know where it will take place,” said Cummins, adding that she currently is “looking at a couple of potential sites” where the co-op might relocate.

“We’re looking at all sorts of possibilities right now, including reorganization of the co-op in many different ways,” Cummins said. “So if people are interested in being part of the co-op or any leadership role, including co-ownership, those opportunities are available. Meanwhile, we’ll continue on with our newsletter, website, Facebook and all of our events.”

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