Four couples team to bring a restaurant back to Junction
By ANDREW MCGINN
FYI: If you’ve been dying to ask the owners of the 30 Yard Line in Grand Junction if they’re going to host “midget wrestling” anytime soon, you’re too late.
“It’s funny. We’ve had a couple of people ask,” said Mandy Krieger, who, together with husband Andy and three other couples, recently opened their bar and restaurant in a familiar location.
For 35 or more years, the building along U.S. Highway 30 was the home of Ferg’s, whose selection of live entertainment (“half-pint brawlers” one year, a male revue the next) made it peerless in the annals of Greene County watering holes.
“We might try some live entertainment,” new owner Tony Beger explained, “but it will be different.”
Different is OK. Residents in that part of the county are just happy to have a sit-down restaurant back.
“People are so happy to have something again,” Traci Beger said.
On one recent night, three snowmobiles were parked out front, suggesting that nothing can come between people and a good burger.
The establishment’s location along Highway 30 also makes it a prime spot for out-of-towners, too.
That combination made the decision to launch a new business venture together an easy one for the four couples involved: Andy and Mandy Krieger, Tony and Traci Beger, Jeff and Regina Thorpe, and Bob and Jeni Ross.
It was during a regular Saturday morning bull session early last September at Thorpe Auto Sales next door — “It’s kind of like Floyd’s barbershop,” Tony Beger said — that Jeff Thorpe suggested they get a group together to buy the vacant Ferg’s building.
“I said, ‘I’m in,’” recalled Andy Krieger, Thorpe’s son. “By Sunday night, we had our group.”
The hardest part, actually, was thinking up a name for the new restaurant.
Initially, they thought along the lines of animal-themed names, taking their cues from the Lucky Pig in Ogden, the Whistlin’ Donkey in Woodward and the new Tin Pig in Perry.
Traci Beger, a reading teacher at Greene County Elementary, gets to take credit for the 30 Yard Line. All of them are sports nuts. (And, there’s enough of them to field their own eight-man football team.)
It’s a great name considering the restaurant is right on Highway 30. Unfortunately, the 30-yard line is of no real significance in football, leading some customers to ask, “Why not the 50 Yard Line?”
The couples worked every night and every weekend for three months remodeling the building before its opening in January.
“Straight from one job to here,” Traci Beger said.
No matter what comes next, though, it won’t be anywhere near as challenging as scraping off the building’s old popcorn ceiling.
“That,” Mandy Krieger recalled, “tested marriages and friendships.”