Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In Hailey, business activity brings optimism

New restaurants, store open on Main Street

Express Staff Writer

    Two new restaurants and one home-furnishing business are opening in Hailey this month. Hailey Community Development Director Micah Austin said six other businesses have called since Jan. 1 to explore the possibility of setting up shop in Hailey.
    The Town Pump restaurant opened earlier this month at 122 S. Main St. Owners Mike Keefe, Matt Keefe and Krista Gehrke are offering “fresh-Mex” food with beer and wine in a location that previously housed Fresshies restaurant. The restaurant is serving the original Viva Taqueria menu offered at another Hailey location prior to its closure.
    Seasons Steakhouse, owned by Mark Avery and Freda Wilson, is expected to open at 103 S. Main St. later this month. Avery has lived in the valley since 1986 and started out at Mama Inez restaurant in Ketchum. Seasons Steakhouse will open in a building owned by actress Demi Moore that once housed a drug store.
     “I’m excited about opening,” Avery said. “Hailey needs to get its downtown core a little more foody.”
    My House Furnishings, owned by Sarah and Luke Mullendore and headquartered in Ketchum, plans to open a Hailey location at 313 N. Main St. on May 31, selling new, custom and consignment furniture.    
    “We live in Hailey and we have so much inventory that we need more space. We’re trying to fill another niche down there,” Sarah Mullendore said.
    Austin said he is “excited” by the flurry of activity. He said building permits and planning applications are up from the same period last year.  He has been contacted by six businesses interested in exploring Hailey’s downtown as a location.
    “Some are local and some are national chains,” he said. “They call to learn about our design-review practices and zoning regulations.”
    Austin said the Valley Co-op, with a location in Gooding, was looking at Hailey to locate a store, but decided not to proceed.
    “They decided the land prices were still too expensive for the company to commit here,” he said.
Tony Evans:

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