ARCHIVED  January 1, 1997

Cable’s End expands into Fort Morgan

FORT MORGAN — Few restaurateurs bent on expanding their businesses are looking eastward, but not so with Keith Johnson.

The long-time owner of Cable’s End in Greeley, Johnson early this month opened Fort Morgan’s first full-fledged Italian restaurant.

It’s part of an expansion plan that Johnson expects will take him into the realm of franchising.

Located at 431 Main St. across from the Fort Morgan library, Cable’s Italian Grill occupies 4,000 square feet of a 7,500-square-foot building that Johnson and two new partners purchased. He’s working with Mark “Gus” Gustasfon and Michael “Mick” Peters.

Johnson expects to continue forming partnerships with others as he expands to new markets.

The rear portion of the new restaurant includes plans for a sports bar complete with pool tables.

Cable’s, entering its 25th year in Greeley, had a location in Fort Collins for 11 years. Johnson closed the Fort Collins restaurant in 1995.

“I saw the onslaught of the national chains,” he said, “and I wasn’t ready to get into a fight.”

He said Fort Morgan officials were pleasant to work with and supportive of his move. Fort Morgan now has approximately 11,000 residents. Nearby Brush has about 4,500. Morgan County has 35,000 citizens.

Johnson said he expects to draw business from throughout the county.

If the push eastward is successful, Johnson expects to look next at Sterling.

“I would hope to have a location and possibly a restaurant within 12 months,” he said. “I’m looking for towns where we can fill a niche.”

Opening sites like this typically costs from $400,000 to $500,000, Johnson said, including building costs.

The menu in Fort Morgan is not as varied yet as Cable’s End in Greeley, but Johnson expects it to grow.

And Johnson now feels he’s set up well enough to franchise.

“If someone were interested, we could do it,” he said. “I’m open to franchising in the future.”

FORT MORGAN — Few restaurateurs bent on expanding their businesses are looking eastward, but not so with Keith Johnson.

The long-time owner of Cable’s End in Greeley, Johnson early this month opened Fort Morgan’s first full-fledged Italian restaurant.

It’s part of an expansion plan that Johnson expects will take him into the realm of franchising.

Located at 431 Main St. across from the Fort Morgan library, Cable’s Italian Grill occupies 4,000 square feet of a 7,500-square-foot building that Johnson and two new partners purchased. He’s working with Mark “Gus” Gustasfon and Michael “Mick” Peters.

Johnson expects to continue forming partnerships with others as he…

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