Mellow Yellow closing after 50 years in Fort Collins

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Early next year, the little lemon-colored house at 810 S. College Ave. will close its doors — simultaneously closing a 50-year-old chapter in Fort Collins’ history. 

Mellow Yellow, a historic head shop that opened in the converted College Avenue home in 1969, will officially close its flagship Fort Collins location Jan. 1, the store’s new owner Jake Myers confirmed Monday.  

“The Mellow’s 50 years old. It was the first shop of its kind,” said Myers, who has worked as Mellow Yellow’s general manager for the last five years. Myers said the store was the first head shop in the state of Colorado when previous owner Jerry Weintraub opened it.

Weintraub maintained ownership of the well-known shop and boutique since it opened before selling it to Myers two weeks ago, Myers said. 

Myers said the plan was always to shut down the Fort Collins location and move the Fort Collins inventory to Mellow Yellow’s Greeley location, which opened in the 1980s, once ownership changed hands.

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The business’ little yellow house — which was built in 1901 — needs costly repairs, and competition from similar shops along South College Avenue led to the decision to close, Myers said. 

When Weintraub opened Mellow Yellow in 1969, Fort Collins’ population hovered around 43,000 people, according to the Archive at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Now it’s closer to 165,000, and Mellow Yellow’s stretch of South College Avenue — once mostly home to stately houses — is now a bustling business artery of Fort Collins. 

And Weintraub, who owned the home at 810 S. College Ave., has recently sold it. Rent for the space would be too high to keep going in the location, Myers said. 

“There’s five (head) shops within a quarter mile,” Myers said. “And for money reasons, we just can’t afford to stay here anymore.” 

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After 50 years in business, Myers said Mellow Yellow’s Fort Collins customers are upset about the news. “People hate what’s happening to this city, you know? It used to be a lot different, but it happens. People understand.”

“A lot of our customers have been coming here 20, 30, 40 years,” Myers added. “People are more shocked that we made it this far.”

Until its Jan. 1 closure, merchandise at Mellow Yellow in Fort Collins will be 20% to 50% off. Its Greeley location will remain open and is located at 837 16th St.

“We tried,” Myers said. “That’s all I got to say.” 

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