As summer gets closer, more restaurants in Haines start to open their doors. But one of the town’s popular summer eateries – Mosey’s Cantina — will not reopen this season. Owner Martha Stewart says efforts to sell the restaurant haven’t worked out.
When Martha and her husband Thad decided to open a restaurant in Haines in 2006, people were not encouraging.
“You know everybody told us you’re crazy to open a restaurant,” Stewart said. “[They said] ‘You’ll never make it, it’s too a small a town, there’s not enough business.'”
Stewart says she thought if you could serve good food at an affordable price then you would have business. And she says her theory was right – Mosey’s was profitable every summer. They employed up to ten people and served a menu of New Mexican food.
“Fish tacos, red chili, enchiladas, green burritos,” Stewart lists.
The Stewarts didn’t want to live in Haines during the winter, so they would shut down every year around September. Now they’re ready to move on to other things and spend their time at a house they own in Utah. They’ve tried to sell Mosey’s for over a year, with an asking price of $325,000. She says a couple people have expressed interest but nothing has gone through.
Haines Borough Tourism Director Leslie Ross says although Mosey’s closing is a loss, it will move more business to other restaurants.
“It’s not going to detour people from coming here,” Ross said. “I think there [are] enough restaurants open during the summertime.”
The same summer that Mosey’s is closing, a hotel, The Aspen, is set to open. Haines will have a higher capacity to house visitors, but a more limited capacity to feed them. That could put more pressure on local eateries during large events that bring in hundreds of visitors.
“The fewer places that are open the harder it is to feed those people,” said Mary Jean Sebens, who owns Mountain Market natural foods store and café.
She says Mosey’s closing probably does mean more business for Mountain Market and other eateries. But it also means there could be an even more overwhelming swarm of hungry visitors during big summer events.
“It takes a lot of manpower for us, during the bike race or the beer festival, we’re just making so much food it makes your eyes cross,” Sebens said. “We tell the girls, ‘hey could you make 450 breakfast wraps between today and tomorrow?'”
Ross says Mosey’s closing creates an opportunity for someone else to open another restaurant in town.
Stewart says it’s still their hope that someone will call them out of the blue with an offer to take over and reopen Mosey’s. She says she’d love to see the restaurant carry on.