Business Beat: Dick's Hickory Dock to be back on clock in 2010

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

If David Mot has his way, Dick’s Hickory Dock in Kittredge will reopen in late spring.

Mot, who purchased the property at an auction in mid-December, is excited about the prospect of opening the restaurant, which had been a Kittredge landmark for years.

He has lots of ideas about what to do with the place, and he’s looking for someone to help him make his vision a reality. However, if he doesn’t find someone to manage the restaurant, he vows he’ll do it himself.

“Frankly, I’d love to fix it up myself and run it myself,” Mot said. “But I have so many things going that I’m worried I won’t be able to do a good enough job managing the day-to-day things.”

The restaurant will keep the Dick’s Hickory Dock moniker.

“My preference — whoever comes in here — is to keep it some sort of barbecue place. That’s what I’m going to push for, regardless of whether I operate it or someone else does.”

He is also considering patterning it after a Silverthorne restaurant called The Mint, where patrons cook their own steak, seafood or chicken over large grills.

“We don’t have anything in the Denver area like that,” Mot said. “It would be a draw from the surrounding area. That’s a possibility that I would consider looking in to.”

He wants Dick’s Hickory Dock to serve traditional American food, with dinner entrees averaging $12 to $13.

The building, nestled between Highway 74 and Bear Creek, has been closed for nearly two years. It was originally named Dick’s Hickory Dock, and then new owners renamed it the Flaming River Grill.

“It intrigued me to have a place that was so well-known all of a sudden disappear,” said Mot, who has a home on Upper Bear Creek. “It was amazing. When a Realtor was showing me the place, people would walk up and want to know if it would open again. The neighbors are real supportive of (the restaurant reopening).”

Mot, who has been the creative force behind three successful restaurant/bar ventures in Denver, said little can be done to the exterior of the building because it sits in a floodplain. However, he has ideas about remodeling the interior that includes opening up the upstairs area into a bar and seating area. He hopes to bring in live music. He also would like to enclose the patio area so it would be usable year-round.

He hopes he can find someone with experience running restaurants who will share his vision.

“If I can find somebody who would go the same path I’m going, fine,” he said. “If not, I’ll do it.”

NAPA Auto Parts to move

NAPA Auto Parts is driving around the corner Jan. 20 and parking itself in part of the former Carpet Exchange building on Meadow Drive.

The store, which has been on Main Street in Evergreen since 1963, is doubling its space to about 7,000 square feet and adding more items to benefit Evergreen residents, said owner Rob Walker.

The store will add a retail area carrying floor mats, seat covers and specialty tools. Plus, there will be more room for inventory, most of which is delivered to area auto-repair shops.

“It’s so crammed in here, it’s ridiculous,” Walker said of the current location. Walker has owned the business for three years. He grew up in Conifer and now lives in Morrison.

Walker said that just as exciting as having more new space is the store will have a bona fide parking lot for customers and NAPA delivery vehicles. He said he is constantly worried that someone will get hit by oncoming traffic because the current building is so close to Main Street.

He hopes the transition will be smooth, and he doesn’t plan to close during the move.

“Typically, it will be one of those deals where we move the computers and phones one night,” Walker said. “Then we’ll move the inventory.” If a part is still at the old location, a driver will be sent to pick it up for the customer.

“(The repair shops) still have cars to work on,” he said. “We don’t want to put them in a bad spot” because they can’t get parts.

The store opened as a Car Quest in 1963 and became NAPA Auto Parts in 1967. “It was the right building in 1967,” Walker said, “but we’ve definitely outgrown it.”

Walker said NAPA will continue to be part of the community, and with additional space and a parking area, he hopes to add to the store’s involvement. He’s envisioning car shows and sidewalk sales.

“It’s taken a lot of moving parts (to make this move a reality),” Walker said. “I’m excited to see what we can do. I can imagine how nice it’s going to be once we get settled in.”

Have tips about businesses in Evergreen? Contact Evergreen resident Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com.