Summit County businesses move locations, change ownerships

House of Signs, The Lost Cajun, Podium Sports and Murphy’s Tavern switch things up

The Lost Cajun originally opened in 2009. Since then it has expanded to nine restaurants in four states.
Kailyn Lamb/Summit Daily News archives

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that Kim Reil expected to take a year to improve Murphy’s Tavern. There was no intention of selling it within a year.

Change is in the air, and it’s not just the leaves changing color and the temperatures getting cooler. Some local businesses are going through adjustments in advance of the holiday season.

The Lost Cajun

While The Lost Cajun is staying put, it recently changed hands. Raymond Griffin, the founder and previous owner of the restaurant in Frisco, sold the business to his granddaughter, Dakota Griffin, and her boyfriend, Zachary Beeler.

The business was started about 12 years ago when Raymond Griffin moved to Summit County from New Orleans, Louisiana.

Today, Raymond Griffin lives in North Carolina. He used to rely on local management to keep the restaurant operating but, long term, he wanted the business to go to someone who was just as passionate about the eatery as he was. That’s when he reached out to Dakota Griffin, who was living in Basalt and working as a pharmaceutical buyer. With previous experience working in restaurants, including The Lost Cajun, she decided to jump at the chance to buy the business.

“He decided to hand it off to someone else who would be also willing and as passionate,” Dakota Griffin said. “Since I have so many connections and memories here, I assume that’s why (he sold it to me). I have such a love for this place.”

The deal was made official just over a week ago, and now Dakota Griffin and Beeler are focused on staffing up and getting more involved in the community. Dakota Griffin said when her grandfather first opened the restaurant, he’d walk Main Street handing out samples and flyers to get customers in the door, and she hopes to do similar outreach in the future.

The restaurant will be closed on Monday, Nov. 1, and Tuesday, Nov. 2, because the business is short staffed, but going forward, it’ll just be closed on Mondays. Its hours are currently 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. In the future, Dakota Griffin said she’d like to open the business up seven days a week.

Dakota Griffin and Beeler own just the Frisco location that is one of many in the multistate franchise.

House of Signs

House of Signs recently moved into a new home.

The company, formerly located at 211 Main St. in Frisco, now resides at 285 Warren Ave. in Silverthorne.

According to a news release, the company is moving into a larger space to accommodate its growth. The business, formerly called SignTech, was bought three years ago by Paul and Julie Clukies. Since their ownership, they’ve rebranded the company and combined its dimensional, carved sign division with its vinyl print shop.

The shop will still be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Podium Sports

Podium Sports will soon be experiencing a shakeup too. The store is currently located at 711 Granite St. in Frisco but, as of the second week of December, it’ll be housed in a larger space at 700 Main Street.

General Manager Paul Trinh said that this new 3,100-square-foot space will allow the business to condense all of its operations under one roof. Currently, the business’ tune shop and retail store are split in two different locations across the street from each other. Once the company moves into its new home, these services will combine into a one-stop shop for customers.

Trinh said this move is a long time coming. The store originally opened in 2009 and Trinh has been looking to move the business into a new space since he became its general manager.

“I’ve been trying to move (our) locations since I took over as (general manager) about four years ago,” Trinh said. “Other leases have come and gone, or the location wasn’t quite right. Now that we don’t have to move very far and it’s right across the parking lot, we’ll still be in the same vicinity, which is great for all the older customers and even potential new ones.”

Right now the store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays. Once it’s settled into its new location, and if he can hire more staff members, Trinh said he’d like the business to be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Murphy’s Tavern

Those passing through or living in Silverthorne might’ve noticed the closed doors of Murphy’s Tavern. It’s official: The business is permanently closed and new owners are taking over the space to launch a new restaurant.

Kim Reil, the previous co-owner of Murphy’s, said she bought the restaurant in 2019 with the intention of turning it around and getting it in a good place, which she expected to take a year, however the pandemic threw a wrench in her plans.

She also co-owns Blue Moon Bakery in Silverthorne, and Reil said operating an early-morning bakery and late-night bar was too much, so she decided to close the business. However, she still co-owns the building.

Reil declined to name the new couple that plans to open a restaurant in the space, as well as the name of the restaurant, but she did say they are longtime locals that have experience in the restaurant industry.

Those who miss Murphy’s can get excited, as Reil said the owners of the new restaurant are planning to still cater to Murphy’s loyal local clientele. She said the restaurant will likely open by Dec. 1, and it’ll feature some similar menu items like fish and chips, burgers and wings.

Murphy's Irish Pub in Silverthorne recently closed for good. The space will soon house a new restaurant concept that is projected to open by Dec. 1.
Hugh Carey/Summit Daily News

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