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Colfax's Jesse Horn opens new music venue

Famous Mo's, a 99-seat theater in Rocklin
By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Gold Country News Service Correspondent
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No one can feel the volume of live entertainment more than Colfax’s Jesse Horn.

The self-described blues and classic rock guy was ready for something new when it came time to retire from his management job. Horn had an idea kicking around in his head for years. His wish: a comfortable, local place to enjoy live music.

“It all started in my head with Foreigner’s lyrics, ‘couldn’t get a ticket, it was a sold-out show,’” Horn remembered. “Because I could not get a ticket to show I wanted to see and if I did it was going to cost $1,000. I want to have a venue where the public can enjoy an evening of quality music, a dinner show or a hot local act at a reasonable price.”

Horn’s concept seemed simple enough. He wanted a music entertainment venue where locals pay in advance for dinner and a show in a friendly, convenient location. The music lover who grew up in Loomis and has lived in Colfax for over three decades with his wife, Kathleen -- who runs the Seniors First lunch program in Colfax -- searched throughout South Placer County for the perfect venue that could feature the hottest local acts in jazz, blues, Americana, folk, funk, soul and bluegrass, plus be open for dinner theaters, comedy nights and any exclusive touring acts.

Longtime supporter and friend Carol Smith also believed in Horn’s vision. After years in development, Horn’s dream became a reality in March when he and Smith opened Famous Mo’s Coffeehouse and Theater on Rocklin Road in Rocklin. Named after Maurice “Mo” Otis Horn, the legendary Big Gun Quarry miner who traveled the world playing cool blues and jazz on a beat-up guitar, Famous Mo’s is a friendly spot where locals can gather to conduct business, enjoy breakfast, eat lunch or book dinner and a show.

“We proudly feature local roasting company Vaneli’s Coffee, based in Rocklin, as our exclusive brew,” said Dana Papastathis, Famous Mo’s marketing coordinator and local musician. “By day we feature all the amenities that you would find in a chain coffee shop and Internet café, including light breakfast and healthy lunchtime opt-ions, free Wi-Fi and a drive-thru window, all at a convenient location. On show nights, we will feature the hottest local acts … our theater menu features an array of small plates, appetizers and fresh, homemade soups.”

Horn and Smith created Famous Mo’s as a sophisticated, cabaret-style theater where all 99 seats in the house have a great view of the stage.