Owner to close liquor store

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It's a little quieter on Walnut Street in Hayden now that the liquor store is closed.

Mount Harris Liquors owner Lorraine Johnson decided to close the business.

"It's not a bad thing at all," said Johnson, after removing a banner that welcomed hunters to the store.

The liquor store opened in 1982.

"The business has been in the family for years," Johnson said. "My dad started it."

A few years after the liquor store opened, the Johnsons open-ed Rainbow Sporting Goods in a small space next door. That business also is closed.

Johnson said there were numerous reasons why she decided to close the liquor store. Business has not been as good recently. The hunting season did not attract as many hunters as it did in past years.

A new competitor in Hayden did not help, she said.

A-1 Liquor, at 106 E. Jefferson, opened last winter and it is less than a block away from Mount Harris Liquors. Its U.S. Highway 40 frontage makes it an easy stop for anyone passing through town.

Johnson owns the building where Mount Harris Liquorsis located. There is also a residence in the back. She does not know what her plans are for the space, but should after Jan. 1.

"I've got to make some tough decisions," said Johnson, who is also a member of the Hayden Town Board.

A few doors down from Mount Harris Liquors, Afford-able Furnishings and Collectibles owner Vicki Morgan said she was surprised when she found out the liquor store was closing. But she acknowledged being a small business owner in Hayden is tough, she said.

After being closed for several months, Morgan reopened her store in July. She said she was concerned that with the liquor store closed, there would be less foot traffic at the other businesses, including hers, on Walnut Street. But Morgan is hoping her latest addition to the store will increase traffic.

She opened a small cafe inside the store called BeanWorks. She serves a variety of hot drinks including Steamboat Coffee Roasters Cowboy Blend coffee.

"I could probably do iced coffee too if someone wanted it in the winter," Morgan said.

She also carries fresh baked goods.

The cafe and shop open at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210

or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com

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