The venerable Forks Cafe at the corner of Hwy. 287 and the Red Feather Lakes Road is slated to open February 1, according to an email announcement by Wayne and Phyllis Schrader, owners of Schrader Oil Company and operators of the Country Store chain of gas and convenience stores.

Phyllis Schrader explained that the site has been sold to Fort Collins restaurateur Scott Jennings. Jennings founded the Cheba Hut chain of food outlets. He currently operates two restaurants in Fort Collins and one in Greeley.

Plans include gas sales, a convenience store and, later, a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch on the main floor. Currently there are no plans for the second floor.

The Schraders purchased the cafe at auction for $160,000 in 2010, but have not had plans to operate a Country Store there. They have refurbished and upgraded the building, including moving the interior staircase to create more options for layout of both the main and upper floors.

At the time he purchased the site, Wayne was quoted as saying “I’m interested in preserving historic points of interest,” he said. “I’ve always thought The Forks could be a viable place if you could get it going right.”

Originally constructed in 1875 by pioneer Robert Roberts, the cafe has had a checkered history in recent years. The structure burned in 1985 and was reopened in 1990 after reconstruction by Derek Roberts, the great-grandson of Robert and current operator of the famed Roberts Ranch.

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