As the seasons change, so do Rim country businesses.
There's been a flurry of activity both positive and negative within the past few weeks, so here's the lowdown on the most notable new, dead, sold and delayed businesses.
Here goes. Out with the old, in with the new, in alphabetical order:
This store, which was at 904 S. Beeline Highway until it closed at the end of last month, has been purchased by Tim Noland, who merged the product line with the existing one at Payson Feed and Pet Supply, which Noland owns.
"I became Arizona Feeds' dealer," Noland said. "Everything you could once get through them you can now get through me ... all they have to do is call me or drop by my store."
Payson Feed and Pet Supply can be found at 1104 S. Beeline Highway. For more information, call Noland at 474-4165.
After umpteen delays, Payson's new Italian bistro housed in the newly remodeled Bandana Annie's building in north Payson will finally open for business sometime between Sunday and the middle of next week, promises the bar and restaurant's manager, John Posteraro.
"We've just about got all of our permits out of the way, and there's still a couple of last-minute finishing touches that still have to be done. But we will open within the week," he said.
The menu is made up almost entirely of authentic, made-from-scratch Italian dishes, with lunch prices averaging between $5.95 and $6.95, wood oven-baked pizzas from $7 to $9, and dinner entrees starting at $12.95.
Located at 512 N. Beeline Highway in Payson, Cucina Paradiso will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 468-6500.
A Del Taco fast-food restaurant is definitely coming to Payson in the relatively near future. When and where it will begin peddling its Mexican munchies is not yet known, as neither the franchise owner nor district manager returned calls by press time.
The Timberline Restaurant
The Rim Cafe in Pine is dead. Long live the Timberline Restaurantthe new dining establishment that opened Wednesday in the Rim Cafe's old haunts at 3618 N. Highway 87.
Tari Ott reports that, under her new ownership, the eatery is now "a family-run business. Even my grandma, who's 86, is working here."
An "unbelievable" amount of remodeling has been done to the Rim Cafe building, Ott said, for which her family spent in excess of $50,000.
"We took out all of the old tile and carpets; in the kitchen, we took out everything all the way down to the sub-floors ... In the front room, we did pine tongue-and-groove all the way up the back wall and extending over the (eating counter), which is also made of beautiful pine. And we've got pine stumps for the (counter stools) ... When people walk in, they're just overwhelmed with how comfortable it is."
For now, the Timberline is only serving breakfast and lunch between 6 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. "But if things take off, we are absolutely going to open up for dinner ... maybe as early as next week, if the community calls for it."
Prices range from $2.50 for a basic breakfast to $7.95 for a "special" lunch. The menu includes hot and cold wraps on herb tortillas, soft and fried tacos which she calls "Mexican food with a Southwestern flair," along with such typical fare as reuben sandwiches, hamburgers, and a Friday fish-fry.
"If I could label myself, I would call myself a caterer ... and I'll cater anywhere. We're already catering Wal-Mart's Christmas party for 300 people, and we've got about 200 people who've signed up for us to do their Christmas parties."
Although a nonsmoking establishment now, Ott hopes to one day add an outside "corral seating area" for tobaccoholics.
For more details, call 476-3396
Remember the Goodwill store that was supposed to open a few months ago behind McDonald's? According to George Harrison, CEO of Cal-West Diversified, the thrift shop is definitely going to open, but "I have no idea when. The architects are now working with the Town of Payson to get all the permits in order. I'd say (it will open) within the next 60 days or so."
Strawberry Market and Motel
Up north, the Strawberry Market and Motel is now under the ownership of Jeffrey and Sherry Machemer, who are in the process of creating the atmosphere of an authentic general store.
The motel rooms feature two queen beds, cable TV, microwaves and refrigerators, and there's a suite with a hot tub and kitchenette. Grills and a picnic area are in the courtyard, and hats, gloves and sleds are available for children during the winter.
Santa will visit the market Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to hand out treats for the kiddies.
Swiss Village Bakery/ Strawberry Moon Cafe
Although the Swiss Village Bakery, known in recent months as the Strawberry Moon Cafe, just closed for the second time in a year, it will soon reopen under new ownership and management. Details were not available by press time.