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Ice House Café gets new owners

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

The Ice House Cafe in downtown Evergreen has been sold and will be renamed the Muddy Buck.

While it’s an unusual name, new owners Diane and Alan Florschuetz think it has a “mountain-y” feel. “Muddy” comes from a word for really dark coffee, and “Buck” comes from the wildlife that Diane is enamored with.

“I researched and researched,” Diane said, “and Muddy Buck just seemed to fit.”

The couple are hoping to keep the warm feel of the coffee shop, restaurant and music venue on the first floor of the Evergreen Hotel. They hope to add more wildlife artwork, in keeping with the mountain theme.

They take over ownership Nov. 1 from Charles and Cindy Shirley, who have operated the Ice House since 2008. Diane and Alan and their three daughters have lived in Evergreen since 2008.

The café is the perfect business for the couple, they say.

“I personally always wanted to own a café,” Diane said. “I love to bake and cook and feed people.”

Diane plans to add more pastries, pies and goodies to the menu, which already includes breakfast and lunch fare.

Alan loves music, and the Ice House is known for its open-mic nights on Thursday and bands performing on Fridays. They hope to expand Thursday’s open-mic night to bring in more performers from Denver and down from the mountains. Fridays will turn into acoustic performances.

They will expand the café’s online presence, using Facebook and Twitter to inform people about upcoming events, and they want to expand the sale of the fresh-roasted coffee beans to the Internet.

“I’ve heard people say they buy it for Christmas presents,” Diane said, “so why not make it available on the Internet?”

A bittersweet sale

For his part, Charles Shirley is sad to be saying goodbye to all of the friends he’s met along the way at the Ice House. However, he says he won’t miss the long work hours.

Charles says he will still be around the café for the next few weeks to train the new owners.

Charles opened the café in March 2008, taking over ownership of what had been the Evergreen Coffee Shop. He said it was a difficult time to open a business, but over time things have picked up.

Charles first put the Ice House up for sale in 2009 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but he didn’t pursue the sale too aggressively. He says there’s been a lot of interest in the shop over the last few years, and he came close to selling it in August 2010.

Charles plans to stick around Evergreen and hopes he will have more time to be involved with community events now that he’s not working.

“I will miss the contact with the people at the shop,” Charles said. “My customers have changed to friends over the years. We’ve made so many close friends.”

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.