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Gabe Duda and Vanessa Grimaldi, The War Zone Springfield
SBJ photo by McKenzie Robinson
Gabe Duda and Vanessa Grimaldi, The War Zone Springfield

Open for Business: The War Zone Springfield

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The War Zone Springfield
Indoor Nerf gun battles are underway at The War Zone Springfield LLC, a new gaming concept launched Jan. 29. The 5,600-square-foot arena is at 305 W. Walnut Lawn St., Ste. TT, in Sheid’s Plaza. First-time business owner Vanessa Grimaldi leads a staff of four at The War Zone, which provides play for ages 5 and older, she said. A Nerf gun, ammunition and safety glasses are provided for all players. Hourly open play is $13, birthday parties range $250-$600 and room rentals are $100-$500, she said. Grimaldi said startup costs were $20,000 and she signed a five-year lease for an undisclosed rate with Sandy Harrel of McLoud & Co. LLC. The War Zone marks a professional pivot for Grimaldi, who said she’s spent 20 years working in sales and marketing, including at Wyndham Vacation Ownership. A New Orleans native who moved to Springfield nine years ago, she said her 8-year-old son, Gabe, inspired her to open the gaming arena.
Hours: 1-7 p.m. Thursday, 1-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 504-250-8108

Easy Mountain Cannabis Co.
Easy Mountain Investments LLC, dba Easy Mountain Cannabis Co., became Republic’s first medical marijuana dispensary upon opening Feb. 23. Alex Paulson and Drew Beine co-own the venture at 7827 W. Farm Road 174. Paulson said H.C. Rogers Construction Group LLC was general contractor and Arkifex Studios LLC served as project architect. Startup costs exceeded seven figures, Paulson said, but he declined to disclose a specific number. The 2,500-square-foot, 11-employee shop sells marijuana-infused baked goods, drinks, honey and gummies, along with strains of cannabis flower, pre-rolled joints and vape cartridges. Paulson said Easy Mountain also offers online ordering, resources for obtaining a medical marijuana card and a pharmacist for patient consultations. The first-time business owners met at Republic Ford Lincoln, where both were employed before launching Easy Mountain, Paulson said, adding Beine is the son of the auto dealership’s owner, Bob Beine.
Hours: Noon-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Phone: 417-419-9004

Echelon Coffee
North Springfield has a new coffee shop with the March 30 debut of Echelon Coffee LLC. The 2,000-square-foot shop at 2407 N. Glenstone Ave. sits in the shadow of DoubleTree by Hilton in a newly constructed retail building developed by O’Reilly Hospitality LLC at the corner of Kearney Street and Glenstone Avenue. Echelon Coffee is the first brick-and-mortar venture for husband-and-wife owners Joe and Megan West. The couple also own No Coast Coffee, a small-batch roasting company started in 2016, Joe West said. Echelon sells No Coast for its variety of coffee beverages, such as espressos, lattes and drip coffee. Drink prices range $2.50-$6, he said. West declined to disclose startup costs or lease terms with O’Reilly Hospitality. Aside from coffee, Echelon’s menu includes breakfast burritos, bagels, baked goods, sandwiches and salads. Local businesses with products sold in the shop include Askinosie Chocolate LLC, Cake SGF, Prairie Pie LLC and Spring Branch Kombucha, he said.
Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday
Phone: 417-374-2739


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