Richard and Judy Liu were looking to retire from business and Harold Youngs was looking to buy a business.
The two parties came together at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Roseburg. When they had concluded their talks, the Lius had sold the 50-year restaurant to Youngs, who officially took ownership June 4. The Lius had owned the business for the past 10 years.
“We want time to travel,” Richard Liu said. “We’ll miss all our customers.”
Liu said he had had the restaurant up for sale for about three months when Youngs contacted him. Youngs has 21 years experience in the service and food industry, the past 16 with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and most recently at the Klamath Falls Walmart. Youngs, who is originally from Tennessee, is now a Winston resident.
“This is my first restaurant venture,” Youngs said. “I wanted to get into my own business. I wanted to be in a field where I could deal with a lot of customers. Customer service is a passion.”
The new owner added that he has enjoyed dining at steak and seafood restaurants over the years, so that style of business interested him the most.
“My first impression (of the restaurant) was that there is a lot of potential there,” Youngs said. “There’s a lot of growth and change that can be made.”
Changes in the past month included new exterior paint for the building at 227 N.W. Garden Valley Blvd. and a new, brighter interior paint with some decoration changes for the dining area. Youngs said at this point no changes are planned for the lounge area and he said the Wagon Wheel name will remain the same.
Most of the restaurant’s 11 employees are continuing on with the new owner.
Youngs said a grand opening is scheduled for July 19-21, adding that a new menu with beef and fish entrees will be revealed at that time.
After four years of being a traveling business person, Vickie Benson decided it was time to stay closer to home.
So in mid-April she opened a storefront at 102 E. Central Ave., Sutherlin, for her business, Cedar Ridge Galleries. The store is next door to the Sutherlin Chamber of Commerce.
Cedar Ridge Galleries offers Southwestern home decor and gifts. The business name comes from Benson’s Oakland-area residence, which is on a ridge with cedar trees.
Benson, who is a horse owner, originally got into the business of washing and repairing saddle and horse blankets and pads and other equine items in 1999. Several years later she became a vendor, offering her washing and repair services and selling some products, at horse shows, rodeos and fairs. She gradually expanded her inventory into home decor items with a Western theme and then added winery decor accessories.
“I’m not going to as many shows now,” said Bensen. who is her business’ only employee. “I’m staying closer to home.”
While home decor products and gifts are on display in the front of her store, Benson is still washing, repairing and making horse tack in a back shop area.
“There’s traffic flowing through,” she said of the first couple months of business. “With the tack business in the back of the store, people are walking through the store and seeing what there is. Business is picking up.
“I’m just so proud of it,” she added. “There’s so much potential here. I’m really excited about the place.”
The hours of Cedar Ridge Galleries are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The business’ phone number is 541-459-9000.
Home sales improved in May and some regions of the U.S. saw strong price increases in residential real estate, according to Neil Hummel’s monthly newsletter. Hummel is principal broker with Century 21 The Neil Company Real Estate in Roseburg.
Hummel wrote that closed sales in May for Douglas County totalled 100 versus 73 in May of last year. The average sales price year-to-date is $156,000, up 3.5 percent at this time a year ago. The number of days a listing is on the market has also dropped from 232 days in May 2012 to 195 days in May 2013.
Hummel said that the Green area has witnessed the largest gain in pending sales over the past year and that the Myrtle Creek area has had the most closed sales year-to-date, with almost 70. The average price for those Myrtle Creek properties was $128,000.
“In Douglas County, we have had a huge pent-up demand and with lower prices and low interest rates our demand has picked up,” Hummel said, noting that his office has the highest number of pending sales that it has had in the past five years. “Many of the buyers have been waiting to buy and now they are, which helps all of us.”
Marshalls, a family apparel and home fashion retailer, has announced it will open in the Roseburg Valley Mall on Aug. 29, according to the mall’s manager, Greg Henderson.
Henderson said that job applications are now being accepted for about 50 positions at the store. Applications can be picked up at the mall office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Interviews of selected applicants will begin later in July.
Marshalls will be on the south side of the mall in about 25,000 square feet of the 65,000 square feet vacated by Sears more than a year ago.
• On Biz is not an endorsement, only an introduction to businesses in the community. Reporter Craig Reed can be reached at 957-4210 or email@example.com.