Herb and Murl’s to close after 69 years at the Mower County Free Fair

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(ABC 6 News) – For 69 years, Herb and Murl’s has been serving people at the Mower County Free Fair. Now, it’s time for a new chapter.

It all started with a popcorn stand on the fairgrounds in 1954. Then, bought by Barb Granholm’s dad, Herb. Yes, that Herb.

“He bought into this stand and ran this. In 1960, they tore the old building down. My dad and my uncle’s built this building here,” explained Co-Owner Barb Granholm.

Much hasn’t changed since then. Except the prices, and the people working the stand.

“It’s David [my husband], and I and all of my kids, friends, and it’s the relatives too.”

For David and Barb’s granddaughter Josie, the closing is bittersweet.

“My grandparents are ready,” said Josie Decoux who also serves at Herb and Murl’s.

“But I don’t think I’m quite ready. Just cause I haven’t seen my niece continue or my little cousins. They’re just starting.”

The customers aren’t ready either.

John Heine, a long-time customer says the stand is “just kind of a staple of the fairgrounds.”

Surprisingly, it was his son Tyler’s first visit.

“I’m glad I finally made a stop and got to try their breakfast sandwich. I’ll be back to get a Wonder Bar.”

The “famous” Wonder Bar – chocolate-dipped ice cream with nuts.

Josie said she even took her senior photos with one. As for taking over her grandparent’s business, she said financially it’s not in the cards.

Granholm says it’s up to the fair for what they do with the building. She’s heard there are a few people interested.

“I just want to thank people for the years,” added Granholm.

“It’s been good and we appreciate every one of ya for coming to the fair and the barrel show.”

If you can’t make it out to the fair, which ends Sunday, Herb and Murl’s will have one last go-around at the National Barrow Show the weekend of September 12.