Business Bites: 313 Central renovations; Beer and Brats on the Bay; Firehouse Steamers opening; virtual Home and Garden Show; Great Falls Trolley tours postponed; local artist collaborate for Benefis design

313 Central

The Metropolitan Building at 313 Central is getting a refresh and new tenants.

Keith and Christina Cron purchased the building, which houses Brush Crazy, this spring.

Keith owns Hygienix and is moving his office to the second floor, which is currently being used as apartments. He’s been working out of his home for the last two years.

Brush Crazy will remain at 315 Central and a new, yet to be announced tenant, will go into 313 Central. That space is currently being renovated for the new tenant.

The Crons grew up in Montana and both graduated from C.M. Russell High School.

The Crons created Metropolitan LLC to purchase and finance the purchase of the building and will be using Opportunity Zone financing, as are the developers of the apartments over Mighty Mo Brewing Company and the Milwaukee Station project.

Keith said the building was originally a jewelry store on one side and a print shop where Charlie Russell brought his art but that building burnt down in 1915. It was rebuilt in 1939 as a Metropolitan department store, a Canadian chain, he said.

old metro building photo

The original building at 313-315 Central. Photo courtesy Keith Cron.

They went bankrupt and the building was turned into a theater, then the Pin Cushion, then Sign Pro.

The facade is getting a facelift and both tenant spaces are getting remodeled.

“Downtown has been coming back, it’s been really exciting,” Keith said, and they wanted to be part of the downtown community.

Beer and Brats on the Bay

KellerGeist Pub is launching Beer and Brats on the Bay for every Saturday in July from 11 a.m. to sunset in Broadwater Bay.

Jolene Schalper of KellerGeist said they’ll have their brats and a beer garden. They’re inviting other local food trucks to participate and are working with the city to pinpoint the location in the park to set up.

More details to come, Schalper said.

Firehouse Steamers

Firehouse Steamers is opening for lunch only starting June 8.

Their hours will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The counter service hot dog and desert restaurant is at 1201 10th Ave. S., #102A, across from the mall.

Diesels Counter Punch MMA

Diesels Counter Punch MMA opened June 1 downstairs at the Heisey Center at 313 7th St. N.

The gym offers training for MMA, boxing and bareknuckle boxing.

Home and Garden Show

The 2020 Home and Garden Show was canceled this year but is going virtual.

Katie Hanning, director of the Home Builders Association of Great Falls, said they’re sad the show isn’t happening, but their phone app is live and has all the vendor information and their contact information so people can still see their deals and items that would have been at the show.

Hanning encourages the public to support the vendors that way, “because they did suffer.”

They’ll be doing live videos during the planned show dates, June 12-14, of the specials that would have been offered at the show, Hanning said.

Local artists

Dani Grebe, an architect at LPW and the project architect for the Benefis Women’s and Children’s Center, and Rachel Manning, interior designer, had a vision for the pediatric exam rooms that the rooms would have one accent wall to feature a soothing and entertaining design for youth patients, according to Benefis.

Grebe and Manning have backgrounds in art, but Grebe saw an opportunity to feature other artistic community members.

She reached out to Sarah Justice at the Paris Gibson Square Art Museum where she learned of a program that helps artists age 15-18 develop their creative voice and channel their energies into a healthy outlet, according to Benefis.


Photo courtesy of LPW Architecture

Justice brought on two high school artists that produced these drawings and brought their hand drawings into her design programs and was able to format them into a wall paper application for use in the pediatric exam rooms.

Read more here.

Benefis updates visitation

As of June 1, Benefis Health System has updated their visitation rules.

We are now allowing one visitor or care partner at a time per patient. Visitors must wear a mask at all times. Those visiting inpatient units are encouraged to eat in the patient’s room. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is allowing two parents at a time.

Senior Services continues to have no visitors allowed.

COVID-19-positive patients cannot have visitors.

Great Falls Trolley

Great Falls Trolley announced over the weekend that “after considerable thought, we have decided to postpone our Historic Trolley Tours until July. We will post our July schedule in a few weeks.Thank you to all of our supporters during this pandemic. We hope everyone will continue to be safe and healthy, and we look forward to getting back on the road in a few weeks.”