Happenings around Montana

Montana has been experiencing a growth in employment and construction over the past year with an additional 900 construction jobs recorded in January and over 1,900 jobs created in the past 12 months. The industry trade reports that Montana experienced the most growth across the country except for Tennessee, which doubled the number of new construction workers. With this new growth and expansion, Montana is expanding in new restaurants are popping up in Montana too.

Jack Hanna, world renowned zookeeper and conservationist, is a native of Montana. As part of his claim to fame, he owned the trendy restaurant called Montana Jacks with his brother, which they founded in the 1990s. The restaurant and bar originally was called the Y Bar and dated back to the 1950s serving post-WWII chromium miners who worked at the Benbow mine.

The Hanna brothers were successful with the restaurant for over 20 years, but sold it in 2010 to Chris Lockhart and Gena Burghoff who had a new trending concept for the place. They had a great following even though the town was small; their menu appealed to the local customers.

In 2014, there was a large decline in businesses in town and many people moved out making Stillwater a proverbial ghost-town. Burghoff and Lockhart decided they would be more successful in a larger town, so they are selling the building to move to Red Lodge. Ox Pasture will be the name of their new establishment, and they have already purchased the building at 7 N. Broadway Ave. as they are looking for an area with a larger population to share their delicious menu under investors Alexia and David Leuschen. Montana Jack’s, in Stillwater Valley, is now up for sale, and the property is listed at $657,500 with Colbert Real Estate.

This restaurant and the surrounding property will make a spectacular location for a chef with a unique culinary talent that will impress the locals of Dean. The building is tremendous at 5,128 square-feet, and it sits on a 2.15-acre lot that is equipped with an events building and facilities for outdoor entertainment; it will make the perfect eatery and/or pub for the just the right owners. When the new owners take over, they continue fall in the heritage of the former owner Jack Hanna, which hold an attraction all of its own. Expansion in Montana and a new eating establishment in Dean is going to make 2017 a wonderful year.