Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods moving to Early

STEVE NASH steve.nash@brownwoodbulletin.com
David Furry (left), owner of Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods, and Gerry Laing, manager of the sports goods store, stand behind a sign proclaiming that the store's new home will be in the 500 block of Early Boulevard in Early.

EARLY — A business bearing the storied Weakley-Watson name will soon find a new home in Early.

David Furry, who purchased the Weakley-Watson Sporting Goods business from Weakley-Watson Inc. in April 2013, announced Thursday the store will relocate to the 500 block of Early Boulevard, on a tract of property now occupied by Darlene's Cutting Edge Barber Shop and the now-closed China King Restaurant.

The barber shop will also have a new home, and an indoor pistol range will also open on the property. Furry said he hopes the new store will be open by Aug. 1.

Furry explained the plans:

• Construction of a 10,000-square-foot building that will house the sporting goods store.

• Demolition of the Darlene's Cutting Edge building, which Furry owns. The space will be used for parking.

• Relocation of the Cutting Edge business to a section of the building that will house the sporting goods store.

Furry said there will be a ground-breaking sometime within the next few weeks. 

Weakley-Watson Inc. still owns the building in Brownwood where the sporting goods store is currently housed, at 102 Fisk in downtown Brownwood.

Furry said he wants to move the sporting goods store to the "high-traffic" location on U.S. Highway 377 (Early Boulevard) and hopes to attract out-of-town visitors including hunters from the Dallas area.

He said Brownwood Economic Development Corp. worked with him to try to find a Brownwood location, but he found "cheaper land" in Early and "I wanted to be on this highway."

Gerry Laing, manager of the sporting goods store — which has continued to operate under the Weakley-Watson name — said there will be "a lot of memories" associated with the downtown Brownwood building.

But Laing said he's excited about the move.

"Oh, I think it's great," Laing said. "It's a great location. I guess you could say I'm sentimental about leaving, but I'm glad we are."

In the Cutting Edge, owner Tina Henry — who bought the business 13 months ago from David and Darlene Gray — said she and her employees are excited about the new home for her business.

"It's time for a change," Henry said, adding that it will be a sentimental change. "This has been my home for 12 years," Henry said. "It holds a very special place in my heart."

Weakley-Watson True Value Hardware continues to operate as usual under the Blagg family.