Meet Zach and Sarah, proprietors of The Dram Shop at 229 East Front Street. They decided to start the business after Zach had worked at Big Sky Brewery for 11 years and wanted to start something that was an extension of the brewing industry, FUN, and a new adventure for a beer lover. Located in the old Mercantile Warehouse building since 2015, they wanted to start a tap room in a high traffic area that fit the brand of their business.
They live in the Rattlesnake, known for its good elementary school, and access to recreation. Located a short distance from the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness, an endless amount of activities can be enjoyed. They run, hike and mountain bike straight out of the front door, not to mention cross country ski during the winter months. It is also close enough to downtown that they can walk to work with the dog if desired.
The Blackfoot IPA is the most popular item they serve on tap, actually IPAs in general are well received; though they also serve Sours, Ciders, Kombucha, Shrubs, Soda and Wine on tap. Did someone say Wine?
The Dram hosts a series of different events: from takeovers which feature a specific brewer, to tastings and pairings that feature a certain style from various producers and local restaurants. This offers an educational opportunity, kind of like Beer School, but without grades. I give it an A+. Also on display is photography in a gallery style atmosphere. Pete Ferranti Landscapes will be hanging out on the walls from First Friday in February. There is no bar style happy hour, but they do run specials on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
Meet Missoula – by Mike Gillette
The story begins with a mother and father driving home with their new pound puppy, they wanted to hurry up and name it before arriving back to their four little boys, who would then not be able to name it Spike, or Spot or Bill, anything but Sue.
Colin was the youngest of the boys, now all grown up and the taproom manager at Great Burn Brewing, he was looking for an option to fill a void with their customer base. To find a fresh made craft food he could serve from a mobile vehicle which paired well with the craft beers. Not a full dinner, but something between a snack and a meal. He bought a used hot dog cart and modified it like BA Baracus to the standards necessary to operate and off he went serving Korean Pork and Tanga Chicken Tacos. The cilantro lime and chipotle cream sauces are quite the topping on these delish dishes. I paired them with the Go Wild (Fest) Pale Ale 6% ABV 35 IBU, which is a collaboration with the wilderness association. God, I love Missoula.
Colin lives on the southwest side and finds it very convenient to live close to work, but bought the place before his gig at GB due to the affordability for a first time home buyer in an up and coming neighborhood. He also enjoys the access he has to the Blue Mountain Disc Golf Course and Fort Missoula’s expanding trail system. The dining and entertainment options between the South Side Crossing and the Southgate Mall renovation seems to be a part of the neighborhood’s revitalization and a hole is about to be punched through the railroad tracks straight to JC Penny’s. Bonus.
So when Colin, the youngest of the boys, was brainstorming for a name for his food cart without coming up with some sort of fusion contusion, he decided to name it after his old dog, Suppertime. That is what his parents had decided on the drive home. And now, there is finally a reason for it. Suppertime is open at quittin’ time every Tu We Th and located at the Great Burn Brewery. Highly recommended.
Seek him on Facebook @Suppertimemissoula
Living in the hub of five valleys can be a little bit claustrophobic at times, even for an islander; like being trapped under ice. So it is great to have the suburbs to retreat to for a little bit of culture and rejuvenation.
While high couture big city folk might find Nirvana in a getaway to a spa with a hot spring, it can be just as enjoyable for us Zoolanders to get out of the friendly confines and catch a show within a days drive. The Doctor had ordered me to get Led out, so, together with D.G., we joined Wolfie on a road trip for his 30th Metallica show, in Seattle; the last one in the country on this tour, their first emerald city concert in 17 years, and my first since seeing them in Copenhagen 1992.
The big smoke was almost as bad as Western Montana and the skyscrapers of downtown were barely visible. We knocked back a few Pyramid beers and a pizza with some local friends, R2-2E, TC-3, and a fellow named Sweaters before being run through a maze of uninformed security to find ourselves on the floor of The Clink.
If you were looking to find a couple of Montana boys at a concert, try the mosh pit…or the bar. A few opening $8 Red Hooks during the first numbers until For Whom The Bell Tolls starts. I discuss with D.G. the reasons for taking my father’s advice (1 out of 2 times in my life) and not joining the military. D.G. joined the Marines against his family’s wishes (during peace though) and when S-11 happened, he knew he was off to war. We discussed philosophy relating to the hypocrisy of soldiers playing Metallica in combat while those very songs are actually anti-war anthems. He rebutted and explained to me simply that the irony was not lost on them, but it didn’t matter because there was something about it; the rhythm, the words. On that note we downed our beers in one and marched from the back to the front.
My favorite part was when they played Wherever I May Roam, for some reason it spoke to me the most. My other favorite moment was rucking over the pit and delivering some forearm shivers during Seek and Destroy. Jiminy Christmas. Although, my very favorite part with a cherry on top was being there with friends whom I admire and do not see enough. Though we didn’t see Wolfie for the whole duration of the concert, we sure as hell got our fair share of him on the trip.
There is quite a bustling social scene downtown near the stadiums, where I was served the strongest Margarita I have ever tasted in a communist state and a pizza. 2E and I then left the others in the hands of Captain America and headed back home for another pizza and a bottle of water.
Mike 3 – Pizzas 0.
Bonus: writing off the trip in our taxes (but that is a whole other story).
Moral of the inside story: the Kiwi will always mess it up if Ninja Jesus doesn’t kill him first.
“It is not about the destination, but the long, weary trip home.” -The Neighbor.
I am currently waiting for the results of my blood test to see if the Led is out, but the Doctor has ordered me to go see Slayer at the K-Amp…just to make sure.
Edited by – Hillary Logan
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
The Buttercup Market and Cafe located at 1221 Helen Avenue is a magical gathering spot in the heart of the University District. Named after Buttercup Jacob, Molly’s grandmother and the matriarch of a Helena dairy farm, her spirit is instilled into what the market and cafe actually is. Buttercup was a Locavore before it was cool. She had the responsibility of feeding all of the hired hands and making everything from cheese to yogurt from scratch, using the best ingredients to get the best results. A recipe for quality.
What makes strong communities like Missoula are the areas we hold in common; are able to gather and communicate with each other in person during a time when people are isolated. The market has a commitment to zero waste and conscious choice policies. This means sourcing food from across Montana, leaving the smallest possible carbon footprint & getting to work with two legs and your heartbeat.
The building which houses the current businesses was built in 1914 as a market when this area was intended to be a commercial district. Since then there have been zoning wars whose dust have recently settled enabling Buttercup to thrive as a made to order food service joint. The place has a nostalgic vibe that harks back to Freddy’s Feed and Read, a co-op market and bookstore that was here from 1973 to 1998. The best chefs in town all had come through the doors. Many others had since tried their hand running a business at the address, and it was not until 2010 that the current ownership spent a full year renovating the building to its updated condition and had the zoning changed in 2013.
To be well liked and loved within your neighborhood seems to be a common element that threads it way through this town like the rivers. The Buttercup has other functions than just serving coffee and tea or a fancy brunch on a man bun; it serves the current needs of the regular customers who frequent and depend on the place. There is an area upstairs in the original apartment which can be rented by the hour, or day as an office or meeting room that has served the purpose of university classroom and political campaign headquarters. An aged Wurlitzer piano sits in an adjoining room for anyone who feels the need to hammer away at the keys. The piano shares a room with a book binder who also shares with groups who meet to knit or discuss hot topics around the campfire.
Learn more about their menu and events at: http://www.thebuttercupmarket.com/
This business is currently FOR SALE and offers the best of the past and is set it up to succeed in the future. Contact me for more information about this Windermere RE listing
Edited by – Hillary Logan
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
Small world story, true one too. The Doctor and his wife are having a beer at a microbrewery which sits farthest west in Denmark. Located on an island named Fanø it is advertised as the last brewery until England, which lies to the other side of the North Sea. Next to them sits a couple of young kids enjoying the sun and some foamy suds. He is wearing a green Montana Roots t-shirt and she is speaking American.
“Where did you get that shirt?” The Doctor asks.
“Missoula, Montana,” the dude answers, in English with a Danish accent.
“We live in Missoula,” the doctor’s wife answers.
And so ensues a conversation to find out the young Dane was an exchange student who lived with this dapper dame in Polson, where he attended high school for a year. Short story long, she was now visiting him and enjoying the 18 year drinking age. Get to the back of the line.
‘Wear Your Roots’ started out as an idea for a sticker that lead Aaron and Brandon to strike out on their own selling t-shirts and what not out the back of a pick-up truck in parking lots. They are now living the life, just celebrating their one year anniversary in a downtown brick and mortar as a full on retail store at 225 North Higgins Avenue. They have been at it since 2011, knocking out merchandise in an old barn, originally located at the old mill where South Gate Mall now sits. This puts them miles ahead of their vision for where they would be now, which is where they live, and what they are all about. Today.
Now, they are building, tagging, and embroidering their own product, sold in-house and online. Besides t-shirts, hats and stickers, they sell everything from bamboo sunglasses to air hammocks, and other gen-x paraphernalia you would expect from the bmx skateboard generation. They are ready to take their show on the road with a 40 foot remodeled classic glamper.
-Edited by Hillary Logan
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
This isn’t just your grandma’s ordinary tea bar, it’s grandpas too. Heather and Jake made sure that the concept of their tea bar was not gender specific. In 2012, they tested out their idea as a closet shop in the upstairs of the Mason building on 136 E Broadway and were soon able to expand to the current downstairs location. With a custom made bar, they hope to attract all types of customers in to try the tea experience and bring a globally recognized beverage to the community. Every visit to the bar is an educational experience.
Jake and Heather moved out of the shadows of Grant Creek and into the sunshine of Orchard Homes a few years ago. They enjoy the benefit of “country living” with access to Reserve Street and all of its amenities. Five minutes in the other direction past a few horse properties one finds himself at the confluence of our rivers. There you are. The thing they enjoy most about Mizoola is the mountains; however, Jake pipes up and says it is a mixture of the people and the place & how that affects everyone.
Their business has allowed them to travel to several continents in the pursuit of tea education and relationships. They have made visits to plantations in Indonesia, Taiwan, China, London and Kenya. They are the sole distributors of a hand rolled purple Kenyan that is the bomb and an Assam from Northern India.
The positive recognition they receive from the locals is proof that the idea is viable. In a town that is very aware of sustainable living and environmental concerns, people can take solace in the fact that they can be supporting such efforts as elephant habitat conservation; a connection they made with a wildlife biologist at the University and supported through the sale of the Bodo Black.
Stop by for a hot one on a cold day or a chilled one on a hot day and hear about their tea safaris and herbal adventures. Find out more at http://lakemissoulateacompany.com
-Edited by Hillary Logan
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
I needed some shade, it was the hottest day of the year and the heat was radiating from the road. This is Railroad Street, the closest you get to quaint, cozy cobblestone streets in Montana. Soon to be known as Distillery Row, a red brick road about as smooth as a do-it-yourself tile job. Hard to say a 5 block by 5 block downtown has a seedy side, but the atmosphere has changed for the better since just a few years ago.
I needed a drink. Something that didn’t make my breath stink of microbrew when I came home to the sheriff and her three little deputies. I ducked into a gin joint, the Montana Distillery, where Woody dead ends at the yard.
A cucumber vodka with a splash of soda and a drop of lime in a tall glass of ice is just what the doctor ordered. The doctor is my alter ego, who sits there listening to the story of Montana’s oldest distillery. Originally the Flathead Distillery, located in Eureka, and one of only 50 in America. Once they heard it was for sale, the current owners took to the Yaak in a 1984 Winnebago known as the brown turd and did a Max Cady until it was theirs. Mark started home brewing beer while working as a HazMat air compliance officer at a refinery, realizing that the process is the same. Now they can make a product and get positive feedback, despite having to prove themselves everyday and having to fix the still at 2 o’clock in the morning.
You might be sitting next to who knows who, as you judge the panhandler who has been dodging bulls all day; pawning his hard earned coin collection for a Moscow Mule. Little do you know he could be a Grammy Award winning country artist. Then you realize that your differences are positive, and that as much as you impact someone’s life, they in turn impact yours.
The owners take great pride in working this trade for the love of it, and for being a living part of the downtown heritage. If you would like to learn more about their eau de vie, take your south end and head north on Sunday for a Bloody Mary/ Caesar bar. Or, hang out with Mark and Sharie on a Wednesday for Ladies Night (fellas), they would love to tell you the tale of how it all started and the challenges they face now; from bottle caps to serving caps. Check out their website http://www.themtdistillery.com to see more about drink specials, events, and lineup of award winning spirits.
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
Alex and Christine are owners of Taste Buds Kitchen in Missoula. They are a mom and pop shop located at 131 East Main Street since 2015 with a business demographic as varied as their menus. Offering everything from Thai to Steak House items and desserts, they bring the kitchen learning experience to everyone from children to adults alike. Have your own cooking competition judged by Alex or Christine themselves at a birthday party, a family cooking class or join them twice a week for an adults only BYOB bake off. Private classes can be booked, school and group classes are also offered, but to the displeasure of teachers, alcohol is not allowed for these events.
Christine and Alex live with their four year old daughter in the South Hills because of the view, the community is cool, schools are awesome and has a great trail system with easy access to Fort Missoula Park. Not to mention four golf courses at the foot of the hills.
Catering to the professional level, they offer seasonal company parties, team building classes, and client relations evenings. Imagine for a moment, instead of taking your clients out to dinner, you can have them make their own meal. Then be judged and have to eat it! Alex says that the children’s entries usually end up tasting as they should according to the recipe, but that every once in a while the adults turn in a shocker. Too much salt bæ, not enough pepper. No loser is ever chosen, and no one is ever voted out, but there is a winner every time.
Taste Buds is currently registering their Summer Camps for kids, with a new theme every week.
When asked what advice he would give to anyone starting their own business: do their research and look for something that is missing from the market. Perhaps a new franchise trending nationally with a long term business plan. Taste Buds is the only franchise this far west and located in a non metro area.
The thing Alex, a native of Kalispell, likes most about Missoula is, “The people and the river through town. Mostly just the weird people”. If you are looking to move to Missoula Alex recommends checking out the Kim Williams Trail and Downtown. Co-worker Julia throws in her two cents and mentions to get a bike.
Call Taste Buds Kitchen at 406 616 2837 or check out http://tastebudskitchen.com/missoula/ for more information