Mo Henry’s settles into new location in Fraser
September 1, 2008
The regular ring of the cash register can be heard as fishing enthusiasts cast about Mo Henry’s Trout Shop in Fraser.
It’s a Friday afternoon and business as usual as co-owner “Hank” (Henry) Kirwan shares the latest on fishing conditions and the best locale-efficient equipment for the day. No one would guess that the business closed on a Thursday and opened the next morning, Aug. 1, in an entirely new location.
The new space, right next to Rocky Mountain Moonshine in south Fraser, is the third location for the business since it opened in 2004. The shop originally opened next to the Fraser Post Office and Kirwan said “it was a pretty good thing.” But he and his brother, co-owner Mitch “Mo,” were “convinced the grass was greener” at their next location, conveniently across from the Visitor’s Center in the old Elk Creek Mercantile building in Fraser.
But “apparently it wasn’t,” he said. Just six months into an informal three-year lease on its second building, and with about $35,000 in renovations and angler-themed upgrades “based on a dream,” the building owners put up a For Sale sign and Mo Henry’s went to “Plan B.”
Brothers Kirwan gutted the place and about a dozen friends volunteered to help set up the new full-service fly and fishing shop facility. Since then, the old building has been demolished and the only evidence that Mo Henry’s was ever there is the business’ sign, which is set for relocation at the new space.
Hank admits the store has “been hoppin’ around a little more than we liked,” but still maintains a great sense of humor about the whole thing.
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“Due to increasing gas prices we had to move closer to the liquor store,” he jokes, but when it comes to professional angler services and equipment, there’s nothing more serious.
“My favorite office is on the river somewhere,” he said.
Their situation is temporary, with most everything on display in a modest trailer as Kirwan waits patiently, and optimistically, for news on big plans for the Rocky Mountain Moonshine property. Owner Scott Emery, who’s owned the parcel for about 10 years, has been dreaming of expansion since he opened the liquor store nine years ago.
Last Wednesday, Emery approached the Fraser Town Planning Commission with building plans to enlarge his 2,000-square-foot store into about 5,000 square feet. His building permit was approved and he plans to break ground soon on the $1-million project, with a water and sewer tie-in to the town already in the works. Details regarding entryways are set for discussion with the Colorado Department of Transportation.
At least two other units are scheduled as well, one which would reel in a more permanent spot for Mo Henry’s and its customers.
“I’m excited for those guys,” Emery said of his new neighbors. He’s hoping the new place he envisions, with a mountain-country style and pillars similar to Highland Lumber in Tabernash, will become “a real convenient spot.”
“It’s going to be the next great American one-stop shop,” Kirwan said. “I’ve been through the wringer but I’m good now.”
For now, the more than a dozen professional guides at Mo Henry’s are happy to guide clients to all the hot spots for “a little sanity on the water” from the temporary space. The shop is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays at 76837 U.S. Highway 40. Call Mo or Hank at (970) 726-9754 or visit http://www.mohenrys.com.