Business Bites: New insurance office; KellerGeist expansion; distillery planning to open spring 2021 downtown; Baskin Robbins closing; Last Straw Bistro closing


HUB International

HUB International, an insurance company, is building a new office building at 400 Park Drive S.

The city issued a building permit for the project on Oct. 7.

The new one-story, 10,000-square-foot office building was designed by Nelson Architects and the contractor is Sletten Construction. The new location will include 47 parking spaces.

The company is currently located at 100 Park Drive S.

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KellerGeist Pub Theater

The German bar at 111 Central Ave. is expanding.

Jolene Schalper, one of the owners of KellerGeist, said during an Oct. 13 Great Falls Development Authority call, that they’re working with the city through the permitting process and plan to start construction on the back area in November to create an entertainment space that will seat about 80.

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The front bar area will remain the same for now, she said.

Schalper said they’re hoping to open the expanded space by next summer.

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Mountain Wave Distillery

Mountain Wave Distillery is going into 313 Central Ave. and owner/distiller Jeff Miser is hoping to open in the spring.

The Electric reported the distillery in September and Miser offered more details during an Oct. 13 call with the Great Falls Development Authority.

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The recently retired helicopter pilot from Malmstrom Air Force Base said he wants to be a part of the downtown community and will produce batch craft spirits.

He’ll be the head distiller initially and hopes to employ 8-15 people. He’s talking to local producers to get locally sourced ingredients.

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Mountain Wave will have a tasting room and a counter that will serve craft cocktails, Miser said.

The space is currently being renovated and Miser said his still equipment is arriving in mid-January. The space will include a mezzanine in the back that will overlook the production floor and will be available for meeting and private parties.

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The Refinery

The city has issued a permit for 16 5th Street S. where a vacant 950-square-foot space is being renovated for a salon/massage business, according to the city planning office.

According to owner, Veronica Van Voast, “The Refinery will offer holistic self care goods and services. You will also be able to hire a graphic designer, buy a beautiful piece of jewelry or art, or just come in for a signature cup of tea. We will be launching a website and our social media pages soon.”

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Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins posted Oct. 13 that they are closing their 10th Avenue South location and their last day is Oct. 18.

“Baskin Robbins has been at this location for 20+ years so it is with a heavy heart that we must inform the Great Falls community and surrounding area that we will be closing our doors. This was not an easy decision, but given the conditions we are currently in we can no longer keep the store open. We sincerely appreciate the community for letting us serve you the best ice cream around! Our last day open will be the 18th of October. Come see us and get your final scoops of Baskin Robbins ice cream! (or buy some to stick in your freezer),” according to the shop’s post.

Baskin Robbins is open Tuesday and Wednesday 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Last Straw Bistro

“With a heavy heart I am sad to announce that The Last Straw Bistro will be closing its doors at the end of next week. We tried to hang on but we are just one of many small businesses that couldn’t survive the pandemic. We will be celebrating our store by selling all of our delicious menu items for 10 percent off for the remainder of our days.”