Ron Levinson is transforming a large, vacant building that has become an eyesore into a lively, attractive business.
The Coeur d’Alene businessman is turning the abandoned Pay ‘N Pak building on West Appleway into The Furniture Broker.
Levinson had a similar business in California before starting Bogey’s Billiards & Bistro in downtown Coeur d’Alene last year.
Already renovating the interior of the 28,000-square-foot building, Levinson closed on a lease this week with Spokane landlord Harlan Douglass. Levinson said he purchased the bulk of his inventory in July and should open the new store by mid-October.
Using volume sales as a base, Levinson plans to sell middle- to upper-end home furniture for discount prices. His products will include all furniture for the home, including home entertainment, computer and office furniture - not electronics or appliances.
Decorators and designers will be available and special orders will be offered.
“We’ll give customers value for their money,” Levinson said. “If they buy a good product and save a lot of money, they have something to talk about.”
Levinson had a Furniture Broker store in San Luis Obispo for 11 years. He said the store was very successful, but his family decided to relocate in the Pacific Northwest. Coeur d’Alene was highly recommended by California Realtors, he said.
Although Bogey’s is for sale, Levinson said business “has been very good.”
The Furniture Broker will use 20,000 square feet for showroom space and 8,000 for storage in the Pay ‘N Pak building. The store will start with six to eight employees and expand to 15.
North Idaho native Randy Wilson has a new pizza store and delivery business that he hopes will expand to other locations soon.
He says his Little Rascals Pizza, in Seltice Center at 205 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls, features hand-tossed, custom pizzas with 100 percent fresh ingredients.
Little Rascals Pizza offers carry out and free delivery. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays and until 2 a.m. weekends. Phone: 773-1923.
A Post Falls High School graduate, Wilson describes himself as a “pizza veteran,” working for national chains in Seattle and Denver before returning home.
Max’s Italian Subs & Espresso opened last week next to Little Rascals Pizza.
The business features “Eastern-style sandwiches, like hoagies or grinders, with special oils and vinegars,” said Tony Frost, who owns the business with Cathy Paupst. They also offer beef and chicken cheesesteaks, pasta, potato and chef’s side salads, pasta e fagoili (pasta and bean) soup and espressos.
Frost is from Southern California and Paupst is from Spokane, where they also have a Max’s Italian Subs store. Their Post Falls weekday hours start at 7 a.m. Saturday hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Phone: 773-2514.
Gifts, decorations and foods with a Pacific Northwest emphasis are the specialty of Cougar Bay Trading Co., which opened last week in the lobby of The Coeur d’Alene Resort. The store occupies 900 square feet formerly home to Quicksilver One-Hour Photo, which joined its parent company, Quicksilver Studios, a block away on Front Street.
Owners Marie and Steve Widmyer feature a rustic lodge motif in the new store, managed by Marilyn Cooper with four employees. The Widmyers also own Marie’s Boutique, which Marie manages in the Resort Plaza. He is comptroller for the resort. They both were raised in Coeur d’Alene.
Deborah and Jeff Murphy of Hayden Lake have a solution for getting to and from Spokane International Airport without having to leave a car or beg someone to give you a ride.
It’s Payless Airport Shuttle - two, new seven-passenger vans available 24 hours a day from nearly anywhere in Kootenai County. The rides are by appointment only for a starting frequent-rider rate of $19 each way. Phone: 762-RIDE.
The Murphys came to North Idaho six years ago from Whittier, Calif. They formerly had a mobile truck-washing service.
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