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LDS book store will open

Central Point neighbors welcome new business

CENTRAL POINT-- A new small business is opening on the west end of Pine street, and to the relief of its neighbors it won't offer video poker or alcohol.

It will feature much different products: religious books and other items for a largely Mormon clientele.

Zions Books, which sells supplies to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plans to open today in the storefront at 237 E. Pine St.

Nearby business owners and members of the city council welcome the new business.

They previously opposed a delicatessen and video poker establishment, Ivy's Cafe, which had plans to open in the same space this past spring. Ivy's would have been a third alcohol and video poker outlet on that one block of Pine Street.

That's quite a switch, said Central Point Councilman Dave Gilmour said, from video poker and pushing alcohol and cigarettes to an organization that disapproves of all of those.

I really think it will be an addition to the downtown area, said Larry Thornton, who owns The Old Center Cafe on East Pine Street, a couple of doors west of the bookstore.

It's different and will attract different people than I would or the Pioneer or Purple Parrot, he said.

The Pioneer Club is a restaurant and bar, with video poker. The Purple Parrot serves deli food, alcohol and video poker.

The new bookstore will carry books, gift items and have a sound studio in back to record people's music on CD, said Dan Doshier, one of the store owners.

His family will run the store, which is moving from Grants Pass after five years.

Councilman Gilmour was surprised to hear about the new bookstore. He said parking is a problem in that block of Pine Street, but the bookstore didn't sound as if it would attract large crowds and traffic.

He also said he is interested to see how the bookstore would participate in the city's downtown revitalization program.

In February, the council recommended against Ivy's application for a liquor license.

That bumped the liquor license application up for review by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Ivy's likely would have qualified anyway for a liquor license, said OLCC investigator Laura Williams.

The application never went that far. Dave Thomason, owner of Ivy's and Purple Parrot, withdrew it April 21.

Thomason said he knew he could have won an OLCC appeal, but decided to drop the Ivy's plans when he found a better location.

Thomason wouldn't elaborate on the new site, except to say it's in the Rogue Valley and would be opening in a few months.

The owners of Zions Books bought out Thomason's lease, said Doshier, who will run the store with his wife and his dad, Bert Doshier.

To do religious books that close to lounges and bars and gambling places is not really our favorite place, Dan Doshier said. ``We're going to give them an alternative, to go gambling over here, or we'll give them religion two doors down.

The Doshiers own a jewelry store in Hemet, Calif., and have been wanting to move closer to Dan's dad for a long time.

The Mormon Temple being built in Central Point was the perfect reason to expand and move the family's LDS bookstore from Grants Pass to Central Point.

The Doshiers also have a jewelry store, Half Off Silver, in a kiosk at the Rogue Valley Mall.