Boogie Down in Villa Grove
Live Music, Movies in Saguache County
Are you still shaking off some of that winter funk? Maybe you want to get out but not quite sure what you want to do or how far you want to travel to do it? Well like the frozen earth beneath your feet, it’s time to break free. So as some valley-wide restrictions are lifted and in-person events return, it’s time to get those blue waters flowing once again!
At the top of the entertainment marquee this weekend is some boogie-down fun happening at the northern tip of the San Luis Valley. This Sunday, May 23 the fun kicks off with the return of live music to Villa Grove Trade. Come, tap your toes and kick up your heels with some original tunes from The Blue Rooster. This country bluegrass favorite will be giving you something to smile about from 5 – 7 p.m. on their outdoor stage. It’s a short drive from anywhere at 34094 Highway 285 in Villa Grove, CO 81155.
Blue Rooster is a Blues, Rock, and Funk band playing the kind of music you just cannot resist dancing to. The boys have all paid their dues over the years, playing in different bands, till getting it exactly right with Blue Rooster. The foursome is based in Crestone, Colorado but will be bringing the funk to Villa Grove Trade this Sunday, May 23 in the outside music garden. You can connect with the Blue Rooster Band on Facebook or check out their YouTube Channel.
A reminder that the Villa Grove Trade restaurant is open from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and will be offering a special White Chicken Lasagna with tomato feta salad and garlic toast. You can read more about the cafe in the below story. Support your local Villa Grove businesses!
Blue Rooster Band Crestone Live Stream
Villa Grove: Stop In, Don’t Blow By
When traveling through the San Luis Valley, no matter what direction, you will (hopefully!) be slowing your roll through the northern anchor in Saguache County: Villa Grove! A former railroad junction, the 151-year-old town sits unassumingly along Highway 285 and boasts among its business offerings a colorful pottery shop, a retail pot shop, a couple of bed & breakfasts, and the quaint country store and restaurant hot spot Villa Grove Trade.
It may the one of the last quintessential small-town stops left in Colorado. Villa Grove is certainly worth the pull-off if you have the time to relax, do a little shopping, and grab a plate of delicious homestyle cooking. For many, the idea of leaving the big city behind and running a small roadside cafe is the stuff post-pandemic dreams are made of. If that’s you, then check out the following story about the owners of Villa Grove Trade. It was first published shortly after they took ownership on January 19, 2019. Enjoy! And dream a little dream in Saguache Today – there are still some good deals out there!
By Kathy Bedell, © Saguache Today
“We stumbled on this opportunity,” said Allen Plumley who along with his partner Jamie Williams became the new owners of Villa Grove Trade on January 1, 2019. “I don’t think it was something we were looking for when we came to the valley.”
And maybe that’s just how these Old West stories are supposed to go, the less planning the better! Regardless, the pair now steps to the helm of one of the most historic businesses, as well as the established port of entry at the northern end of the San Luis Valley. Villa Grove Trade has been a general store since 1882 and includes a restaurant and retail area that promotes local food, artists and musicians. The business also includes The Inn @ Villa Grove.
The new owners hail from Hutchinson, Kansas and both have restaurant management experience. They have been working on site with the former owners Amber and Jeff Shook since last summer.
“Jamie started working here in mid-June, and my sister had worked here before,” said Plumley in an interview with Saguache Today in December. Plumley arrived in late summer after discovering that the place was up for sale, which accelerated the pair’s plans to move west to Colorado.
“Originally there was somebody else that was going to buy it,” explained Plumley, confirming earlier reports that Villa Grove Trade was going to be bought by a Sous-Chef-from-Boulder.
Yes, for those who may not have heard, it was the tongue-wagging news that the long-time owners of Villa Grove Trade were going to be selling the place to a Sous-Chef-from-Boulder that manifested more than a few puzzling looks. As expected, there were concerns that things would change, drastically.
“It wasn’t something that a lot of locals weren’t looking forward to,” stated Plumley.
But who could blame the Shooks for wanting to sell the place – to anyone!? Hadn’t they done their time, 15 years in all? Running the only game-in-town for food and lodging can wear on folks. Sure it’s fun when the summer visitors pass through with their tips and tale tall adventures. And no doubt, there’s always time for a visit when the locals pop in for pancakes and coffee. But those 15 years that Amber and Jeff ran The Villa, also included some lean times. You wonder how you’re going to get through February, then March and maybe even as late as June until the money starts to flow again along with the spring run-off. So it’s nice when friends and neighbors see hard-working people like the Shooks get the pay-off in the end.
“I just want to sit and rock my grand babies,” Amber said during an October visit. “But we’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be here in Villa,” she added. That was back when the other buyer was the front-runner.
But the San Luis Valley has a strong spiritual reputation for a reason. So it was a comfort for many to learn that the winds of fate had changed direction and that people with a more congruous vision would be buying the place. For now, it doesn’t seem like there will be too much will change at the northern end of the SLV.
“Our plan and our vision is probably not too different from what Amber and Jeff have; we plan on keeping it the same,” Plumey confirmed.
While regulars can expect to see the same menu, like any new owners the pair will introduce some new items as well and perhaps some extended hours during the summer, including a weekly dinner night. Of course, a good meal is nicely paired with live music, another mainstay regulars can continue to look forward to. Sounds like The Villa will be grooving again come this March, with Jeff agreeing to help set up the local gigs.
As for now, you can find the Villa Grove Trade open with the same hours which are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Daily, closed on Tuesday. The establishment is located officially at 34094 Highway 285 in Villa Grove, CO 81155. You can also stay connected through the Villa Grove Trade Facebook Page.
Congratulations to the new owners, Allen and Jamie! And many thanks and best wishes to Amber and Jeff. Much peace and joy to all!
Thriller Plays Second Weekend in Saguache
If you’re in the mood to get distracted from what already scares you, then be sure to check out the latest thriller, “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” carrying over for a second weekend at Cozy Castle Cinema in downtown Saguache
Angelina Jolie returns to the big screen as Hannah, a smoke jumper still reeling from the loss of three lives she failed to save from a fire when she comes across a traumatized 12-year-old boy with nowhere else to turn. “Those Who Wish Me Dead” is billed as a 2021 American neo-Western action thriller film directed by Taylor Sheridan with a screenplay by Michael Koryta, Charles Leavitt, and Sheridan, based on Koryta’s novel of the same name. This movie is rated R for strong violence, and language throughout.
Cozy Castle Cinema is an independently owned and operated small-town movie theater with a BIG screen and an even bigger heart. Please support this small business located in downtown Saguache Today! Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. & 7 p.m.; and Sunday at 4 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 with children 3 and under free. The Cozy Castle Cinema is located at 403 4th St, in downtown Saguache. 719-221-4159.