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Main Street's quickly becoming place to be

Perhaps the hardest choice facing Brian Wray as he prepared to open his new jazz club in downtown Medford was narrowing the list of on-tap Oregon craft beers to five.

"Basically, I wanted to hit the whole range with limited handles," said Wray, who has opened Roxy on Main with Kelli Powers. "It took a lot of tasting, visiting brewers and working with our distributors."

Roxy on Main is one of four businesses now or soon to open in the Main Street Market next to Bear Creek. Andrea Benner runs Mint Consignment Boutique, Johanna Fowler operates Pearl & Penna Bridal Boutique and later this month Phat Kat Tattoo owner Jeff Rahenkamp will unveil Pub Ink, a theme bar.

Roxy on Main draws its name from the former Roxy Theater that operated in the building for more than two decades from the 1920s until closing in 1947. It is presently the only establishment of its kind between Ashland and Grants Pass, Wray said.

After the demise of neighboring Shenanigan's Irish Pub, Wray's desire is for a "calmer, quieter" downtown venue attracting a broad range of ages — open to minors until 8 p.m. and 21-plus until closing.

Wray, a manager at Al's Cycle and Hobby Shop for more than 13 years, ultimately settled on Widmer Bros.' Summer Citrus Blonde from Portland, Walkabout Worker's Pale Ale from Central Point, Caldera Brewing Co.'s Indian Pale Ale from Ashland, 10 Barrel Brewing Co.'s Brown Ale from Bend and Seven Brides Brewing Co.'s Becky's Black Cat Porter from Silverton.

"Seven Brides porter is my favorite, and the others are a broad range from real light to a real dark porter," Wray said.

The staff includes Christian Warren, who lines up musicians and bands, Heather Allison and chef Chris Smallwood.

Mint Consignment Boutique targets a resale market featuring classic and contemporary fashion lines — such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Tadashi Shoji — as well as styling advice.

Pearl & Penna provides custom bridal fashions that would otherwise mean a trip to Portland or the Bay Area, said Fowler, who meets customers by appointment.

"The gowns are not made until you order and not off the rack," Fowler said.

In an era when most wedding ware is made in China, she said, four of the five designers she sells make their gowns in the United States.

The new tenants have filled Main Street Market's more than 10,000 square feet of retail and office space to capacity, said Phyllis Nelson who, along with Alice McGee, owns the building.

"I think downtown is becoming more attractive," Nelson said. "This is the entryway to downtown from east Medford. It's very visible and has great front windows. We've had one vacancy off and on for sometime, but we're enthused about having wonderful people and businesses here."

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.

Chris Smallwood, head chef, Corey Insogna, and owners Brian Wray and Kelli Powers prepare for the opening of Roxy on Main Thursday. The new jazz club will be open for business on Friday. - Jamie Lusch