Tuesday, October 31, 2000
Routt County Gary Gebaner, who is a rancher in the Akron area, wants give more people a reason to come to one of Routt County's littlest towns, but the locals don't know if that's what they want.
One year ago, Gebaner bought the old grocery store in Phippsburg, built by Sam Iacovetto in the late '30s, in hopes of turning it into a steak house and microbrewery. The centerpiece of the old building, which is the oldest commercial property in the little town of about 125 people, is a 1899 back bar made of solid oak. The pictures of the inside of the building that he showed to the Routt County Commissioners Tuesday in an informal informational meeting showed the back bar, an open upstairs area and all hardwood floors all of which are in shabby condition but still hold the character of another time and culture of south Routt County.
And that's what Gebaner has in mind. Using antiques from his family's 1863 homestead near Akron, Gebaner wants to set the building in the 1890s style.
"I want people to be able to take a step back in time," he said.
Gebaner, who talks through a twisted and gray handlebar mustache, held a town meeting last month to tell the community about his proposal.
Pam Huston and her husband, Jack, who own adjoining property to the old grocery store, don't want Gebaner to go through with his plans.
They are afraid the rancher will close down the restaurant at night and open up a dance hall, which isn't what Phippsburg needs, Pam Huston said.
Gebaner doesn't believe he'll be building a bar. He wants to provide south Routt with an inexpensive place to have a steak, a beer and maybe a good cup of coffee.
To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org