Restaurant rumors

We noticed a bunch of rumors over the weekend about restaurants coming and going so here’s an update.

There are some we know about that aren’t on this list. We’re in touch with the appropriate officials, in some cases we’ve been talking to them for years as their plans morphed, but we’re not reporting their details until they’re ready as a professional courtesy and to ensure accuracy.

Yes, Wendy’s is looking for a second location, but there are no solid plans, per multiple sources, and no permits have been issued from the city so there is no approval for construction.

Jonna Jones, marketing director for Wentana, LLC, the Billings based Wendy’s franchise organization that operates all Wendy’s locations in the state plus some in Wyoming and North Dakota, said “We have received numerous requests over the years to build another Wendy’s in Great Falls. Currently, we are pursuing various locations for possible new restaurants throughout Montana. We will keep you posted on if and when we find the right spot for a second Wendy’s in Great Falls.”

The 10th Avenue South location is undergoing a remodel and the store will host a re-opening event when it’s complete, Jones said.

Yes, Five Guys is looking and has been for years, but there are no permits filed yet and the Montana franchise owner told The Electric last week that they’re close but not yet ready to disclose their plans.

No, Popeye’s did not buy the former Hardee’s building downtown. That building is still listed for sale and a spokesperson for Popeye’s told The Electric in January that they don’t have plans for another Great Falls location at this time. We’ve asked again, in case that has changed, but haven’t heard back yet. Several people told us they noticed activity at the building over the weekend, which the city is looking into, but at this time, no permits or safety inspection certificates have been requested or issued, according to city planning.

Business Bites: Karhu Koski Distillery coming; Popeyes is not opening downtown; Little Shell health clinic; Electric City Coffee birthday; valentines for foster kids; The Refinery opens; office space; hotel closures; Christopher & Banks, Marketplace GameStop closing

Yes, Jimmy John’s had plans to reuse the former Feedlot building at 1701 3rd St. N.W. The company filed a permit in 2020 and was approved by the city. According to the city planning department, staff is waiting for the company to pay for the permit so the project can get underway. We’ve asked the company for an update but have not heard back yet.

Business Bites: Saibeen’s and Cattlemen’s Cut relocating; Jimmy John’s opening second location

Yes, Jersey Mike’s is coming. According to the company, “We do have a Jersey Mike’s coming, however, exact place and timing is still TBD.”

No, Chick-fil-a is not opening a location here at this time. The company told The Electric this week that, “We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service. While we hope to serve the Great Falls community in the future, we do not currently have any locations to confirm.”

No, Chipotle is not opening a location here. The company told The Electric last week that, “we’re always looking for new communities to bring our real ingredients to, but at this time we don’t have a planned location in Great Falls.”

No, there’s no current plan for an Olive Garden. “As we continue to grow, our real estate teams are constantly looking for sites across the country. However, we cannot confirm any specific plans,” according to an email to The Electric from the company.

Yes, there’s a new Starbucks coming to the west side. A permit has been issued for demolition of the former Rogers Jewelers building at 1205 3rd St. N.W. and construction of a new 2,018-square-foot store.

Business Bites: New Starbucks location; Child Bridge office; Greystone Inn construction; Big Sky Cheese/Silver Falls Distillery update; Rise Athletics gets bid to world championships; Voyagers add military tickets; Foothills students place at video competition

Yes, Street Burgers is opening April 2021 in the former Noodle Express space at 2319 10th Ave. S.

Yes, Firehouse Steamers is moving. Their current location is now closed and they’ll reopen late-April at 900 9th St. S. Their new hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They’re adding bagels and specialty drinks to the menu.

Yes, Country Table is opening in the Times Square building on the corner of Central Avenue and 6th Street. Owner Tim Bass says it will open May 4 and hours will be Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. serving “true southern biscuit sandwiches and more.”