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New vibrancy, hit Italian restaurant, new digs for Titan Machinery Tell North Platte what you think
 
Photo by Jay Huff
Jack Barraclough is happy at Luigi's.
Photo by George Lauby
Missy Black of Reclaimed Brands offers clothes and apparel downtown on the bricks.
Photo by George Lauby
Patty Young at the Turquoise Junkie and Curvy Women downtown on Dewey Street.
Photo by George Lauby
Lyle Stockall operates the Platte River Gun Gallery at 409 N. Dewey.
Photo by Darla Golden
Platte Valley Pawn
Photo by Jay Huff
Inside Titan's new building
Photo by Jay Huff
Luigi's manager Tony Nuredini in the dining room.
Photo by Darla Golden
Frank Johnson

Missy Black is excited to be downtown.

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Black, who runs the Reclaimed Brands clothing shop with Scott Couse on the bricks near Sixth and Dewey, senses an exciting energy.

Dozens of interesting projects are underway or recently completed in North Platte, aside from the massive construction at Great Plains Regional Medical Center. North Platte Development Director Dave Hahn said it is an unusually busy winter, construction-wise.

Black moved into the store in early October. She offers two big rooms of new and reclaimed clothing at affordable prices.

“There is lots of positive energy down here,” she said. “I’m seeing lots of new faces, including people from out of town.” Black said the building owner, Chris Blakely, has made many improvements and is still making them to the oldest building still standing downtown, the durable Dixon building.

Construction of the building began in 1879.

Together, Black and Blakely plan to remove the suspended ceiling of her shop to reveal the original tin ceiling, which she said is still in good shape. The interior already has several accents, including a wall of corrugated aluminum with a wood floor below, new carpet and paint, remodeled rooms and tastefully arranged racks of women’s and men’s clothes.

“We are kind of like Plato’s Closet, a chain in bigger cities,” Black said. “We buy clothes outright and resell them. We sometimes buy clothes with the tags on them, or clothes that were only worn once. We sell jeans from $9.99 to $90 a pair, depending on what you want.”

Black is open seven days a week. She opens at 11 a.m. and she stays open until 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday so people can shop on lunch hours and after work. She also utilizes Facebook, frequently posting a new bargain item there and selling it in short order.

Black’s store is next to the Art and Gift Gallery.

South of the gallery is the Turquoise Junkie and Curvy Girls store, offering women’s clothing of all sizes, plus turquoise jewelry, boots, scarves and other accessories, as well as antiques and crafts, including painted outdoor cement accents.

It is a family venture, owner Patty Young said. Patty operates the Curvy Girls part of the store with plus-sizes for women and her daughter handles the Turquoise Junkie. Husband Jim pitches in. The Turquoise Junkie store was previously in the Platte River Mall. Patty said the foot traffic is more interesting downtown.

“We get a lot of local customers,” she said. “We get local people who walk the bricks, from one end to the other. People love to shop downtown.”

The Turquoise Junky and Curvy Girls merchandise has a western feel. A decorative roping steer named Turk, bedecked with turquoise accents, is the store’s mascot.

“We strive for an updated, cowboy country flair,” Young said.

Clothing and apparel shoppers have other options downtown, including Dr. Scrubs and More, which offers a good supply of clothing next to Brown’s Shoe Fit at the corner of Fifth and Dewey.

Across the intersection, the Espresso Shoppe also offers a variety of clothing and craft items, in addition to coffees, syrups, tea and sandwiches.

Hirschfeld’s at the corner of Fourth and Dewey offers the finest in men’s clothes.

Gun gallery too

A couple doors north of Hirshfeld’s is the River Valley Gun Gallery, which opened in mid-August.

“I’ve been well pleased with business,” Manager Lynn Stockall said. “Sometimes it’s almost more than one person can handle, though I have no plans to change that.”

Stockall offers a variety of rifles, shotguns and handguns, along with ammo and other accessories, including gun cases, cleaners, scopes and earmuffs for the firing range. He buys, sells, consults and appraises firearms. He also has some outdoor antiques and artwork, including a couple of antique Fred Slimmer duck decoys from the 1940s-50s.

Slimmer decoys, sewn in canvas and made in North Platte, were sold regionally, he said.

Stockall hopes to add a line of outdoor clothing in the future.

Stockall is the former manager of Pro Team Sporting Goods, which closed downtown in 2011 after 44 years in business. He feels right at home on the bricks. And in a pinch, he also laces ball gloves on request. With a grin, he said he is evidently one of the few people in town who still knows how to do it.

North side

Frank Johnson opened a pawn shop Jan. 20 at Eighth and Jeffers called Platte Valley Pawn. Johnson is excited to be in one of North Platte’s oldest buildings, which was built in 1907. The second floor was the city’s first hospital until 1917. Later the building housed the Mayfield Rooms and is still known as the Mayfield building. It has been used for storage for several years. Johnson bought it in mid-November and is giving the building new life. The utilities are in good shape but he said some of the ceiling tile needed to be restored.

Johnson has cleaned and brightened the front of the building. His pawn shop takes up one-half of the first floor. The other half will be available to rent after he finishes the fix-up.

Johnson, 34, is from California, where he was a firefighter and an EMT. He sustained a back injury in 2010 and after he got on his feet again, moved to be closer to family in Colorado. He started out in Benkleman, where he bought a house off Craig’s list, sight unseen. When he arrived there, he realized it was not what he wanted, so he resold the house and found North Platte.

“I fell in love with North Platte,” he said. “I love to fish and hunt and I can be on the lake in five minutes. And I worry less about crime than any place I’ve lived. It is a good place to raise my daughter.”

Johnson said his mother bought and sold antiques and he has brothers in the pawn business in Colorado. He decided to jump in too. Longer-range, he plans to sell guns and hopes to have an indoor 3D archery range.


New building for Titan

At 3211 Rodeo Road, the old Kaschke building is in the beginning stages of a remodel, both inside and out, preparing for Titan Machinery to move in.

Titan Machinery, formerly known as Fairbanks, is currently located a mile or so east at 1900 Rodeo Road. It is a Case-IH-Ford farm equipment dealer and service center, headquartered in Fargo, N.D.

Marty Porter of Platte Valley Electric said the building will not be expanded, just reconfigured to accommodate the needs of the new owners.  Orville Kaschke operated a John Deere dealership out of the building for 36 years, from 1972-2008 when he sold the dealership to Plains Equipment Group, who built a new building south of I-80 at 2700 East Walker Road.

The Rodeo Road building has been empty since 2008.

Titan Machinery has 105 dealerships in 11 states as well as 14 European dealerships.

Italiano

On Dec. 7 Luigi’s Italian restaurant arrived in North Platte and has been serving happy customers since with fresh authentic Italian foods. The restaurant is on the southwest corner of E and Jeffers. According to manager and chef Tony Nuredini, business has been good and customers are happy.

The restaurant is doing a brisk business. On a Tuesday, Luigi’s dining area was packed for lunch and still half full at 2:30 p.m. 

Nuredini is from Italy and he stressed that all the food is made fresh, without any shortcuts. Nuredini said plans are in the works to redecorate the dining area with new furniture and other décor. As far as he knows, Luigi’s will remain at the present location.

Customer Jack Barraclough of North Platte was highly pleased Jan. 21 with the food and service. The menu offers a variety of Italian foods at prices comparable to other family style restaurants.

The Luigi’s brand is expanding, with a Luigi’s underway in McCook on the main floor of the Keystone Business Center at 402 Norris Ave., the McCook Daily Gazette said. Nuredini said the same menu is offered there.

The owners are brothers Joe and Nick Terziv, natives of Italy. They told the Gazette they are planning to open a third Nebraska restaurant relatively soon but as of mid-December had not decided on the location yet. Joe Terziv was the first of the family to move to the United States in 1999. He now resides in McPherson, Kan., the Gazette said.

The owners could not be reached before the Bulletin’s press deadline. Luigi’s in North Platte is closed Wednesdays. It opens every other day at 11 a.m. and remains open until 9 p.m. or later on weekends.

Gateway

Gateway Realty is steadily preparing to move into the former Village Inn restaurant building near the main I-80 interchange, later this year.

Owner Shari Bourne said that the construction bids are let and she expects to have a contractor within three weeks. The building will double in size, with an addition on the north and east side. 

Bourne said Gateway’s business is doing very well.

“Nebraska is one of the bright spots in the nation for real estate,” she said. Nebraska did not suffer the tremendous downturn in the nation’s housing market that began in 2008, and agricultural ground went up sharply in value.

“We have really been blessed,” Bourne said.

Bourne said everything inside the old restaurant will be gutted and the old Village Inn building will have a fresh exterior color, although she is not sure yet what that will be.

“I have a group of advisors within the business,” she said. “They are making some significant decisions.”

Bourne said Gateway’s current building at Philip and Dewey will be available for rent in September if all goes as expected.

Elsewhere around town:

• Keith Hinrichson is building a new retail/office building at the corner of F and Jeffers. The walls are framed and a copper-colored roof was recently covered. The occupant is yet to be determined.

• The First United Methodist Church at 1800 West E Street is undergoing an extensive $1.2 million renovation that includes a small expansion of the building.

• On East Fourth, Bob Spady Buick GMC is renovating the front corner of the dealership building and adding a new soffit all around, at a cost of about $397,000. 

• Steele’s Construction office building at 1721 East Sixth is undergoing a $30,000 renovation.

• On East Philip in the Industrial Park, work continues on a series of storage units, a $200,000 project that began in late 2012. Four storage units are built and four more are planned in the future. Currently, a new office building and a climate controlled storage building are under construction there.

• A few doors down the street, Kelly Supply is expanding with a 40x40 addition.

• Levander Body Shop on East Philip, which opened last fall, is building a 70x80 square foot addition.

• Near Love’s Truck and Travel Center on the east edge of town, the Boss Truck Shop is undergoing an $80,000 renovation to accommodate the Peterbilt company, a semi-tractor manufacturer. Peterbilt and the Boss Truck Shop will share the building when the work is finished. 

 

This report was first published in the Jan. 22 print edition of the North Platte Bulletin.


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 2/23/2014
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