Business Bites: New Thai food truck; The Boutique Co. for sale; apartment demolition; outfitters for sale; pop-up concert at Cassiopeia; river cleanup event; Children’s Museum still fundraising; GFPD has new vehicles

N Thai Food

There’s a new food truck in Great Falls. N Thai Food has been working with the health department and said Aug. 10 that they are now fully licensed. They’ll do their first set up at the Farmers Market on Aug. 14.

The Boutique Co.

The Boutique Co., which is currently located at 1201 10th Ave. S., is for sale.

Alexis Haffner, owner, posted that, “I’m so sorry to say we have to completely close The Boutique Co. down unless someone would like to take on this role who has a love for fashion and clothes. Some of you may not know but it has been hard having my store open due to my first business I started in 2015 Big Sky Cleaners a cleaning business. Recently it has been extremely hard to keep employees for that business and I can no longer put my full attention into both with the no employee crisis that’s happening now.”

Business bites: T’s Cocina going mobile; Linda Michaels moving; new exhibit at The History Museum; Brew Fest tickets available; city seeking vendors, contractors; Red Cross needs volunteers

Anyone interested should contact her at 406-750-1509.

She opened the retail space on 10th Avenue in April after going online only for about a year when she closed the 122 Central Ave. location.

Business Bites: Cassiopeia Books moving; Rod’s music under new ownership; Celtic Cowboy reopening; Boutique Co. closing; Nourish food truck; downtown residential; Fuddruckers open for takeout

The Boutique went online last April when the owners closed their shop at 122 Central Ave.

Lorraine Apartments

A demolition permit has been issued for the eastern portion of the  1926 Lorraine Apartment building at 104-106 2nd Ave. N.

Because the buildings are contributing properties in the Downtown Business Historic District, city staff contacted the property owners to make them aware of financial programs available to support the cost of rehabilitation versus demolition.

Business Bites: Town Pump car wash opening; Nourish opening teaching kitchen; Apothecary coming; Carlson Q moving into former Big Mouth; United Way opens new office; Family Promise open house; Rescue Mission back to school rally

The owners, the Geranios family, have indicated to city staff that they intend to restore the western building at 102 2nd Ave. N. The owners have not responded to The Electric yet about the project.

Montana River Outfitters

The Montana River Outfitters, at 923 10th Ave. N., is listed for sale at $1.1 million.

Pop-up concert at Cassiopeia Books

There will be another pop-up concert at 4 p.m. Aug. 14 at Cassiopeia Books with Norman Menzales, principal flutist at the Great Falls Symphony and the Chinook Winds, and Dr. Juhyun Lee, an adjunct instructor of collaborative piano at Colorado State University.

The performance selections are inspired by the concept of time, and include works by George Fredrich Handel, Robert Muczynski, Amanda Fox and Lowell Liebermann.

Masks will be required for the audience.

Business Bites: NWGF looking to purchase, renovate Baatz Building; Big River Ruckus in September; Allegra Printing moving; fireworks complaints at neighborhood councils; Downtown Block Party is Thursday; Snap Fitness expanding; Wellness 406 rebranding

Children’s Museum of Montana

The Children’s Museum of Montana is no longer in a buy-sell agreement with Pacific Steel for the location on 3rd Street Northwest as COVID-19 slowed their fundraising efforts.

The museum is currently located in a city-owned building with a lease through November 2023. There have been no formal discussions about renewing or extending that lease, according to City Manager Greg Doyon, who said when the lease was extended for five years in 2018 that it would be his recommendation for the city to reclaim that space it already owns for city offices.

Sherrie Neff, the museum’s director, said “we are rolling again and meeting with local business owners to join together with us to raise the necessary local funds that the large foundations are requiring in order to assist with the purchase and move. We need $1 million locally in the bank before the foundations want to supply the remaining funds.”

Ignite 2020: Boutique hotel, virtual reality arcade, axe throwing, beer, burgers and more coming to Great Falls; Children’s Museum has selected new site

She said the first phase will include buying the Pacific Steel building, assuming it’s still for sale, and renovating enough to open a portion of the new site with the current museum exhibits, then add other features that have been requested through public hearings and surveys.

Neff said that they’ve opened two new exhibits this year and are planning a third, but need a sponsor.

GFPD vehicles

The Great Falls Police Department has replaced the two oldest vehicles in its fleet and now has a new mobile incident command and mobile crime scene processing vans.

GFPD rolls out online crime mapping tool

A 2006 Chevrolet C5500 van, customized to serve as the mobile incident command replaces the small, primitive 1986 Chevrolet van. The new command vehicle can transport up to 16 personnel and has separate rooms for command/negotiations and equipment storage. It’s equipped with computer monitors that connect through the unit’s WiFi, allowing incident command staff to access timely and accurate information, according to GFPD.

A matching 2006 Chevrolet C5500 van, customized to serve as the mobile crime scene processing unit, replaces a 1988 Chevrolet box truck. The new van was specially designed and outfitted by evidence specialists and detectives from the department’s general case unit, according to GFPD, and the vehicle serves as a complete evidence processing station.

It allows investigators and evidence personnel to collect, enter and catalog evidence at the scene, thus significantly
reducing the amount of time processing at the police station, and improving overall efficiency. The new van’s custom
interior includes an evidence processing station, computers to log evidence, secure storage, and a separate room for
personnel to escape harsh weather or to use as a crime scene command post. Much of the custom construction of the
van was funded by a Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The vehicles were acquired through the federal 1033 Program, in which local law enforcement can attain equipment and vehicles no longer in use. To acquire similar fully equipped vehicles through a standard purchasing program would have cost GFPD about $750,000. Through the 1033 Program and the Justice Assistance Grant, along with donated or discounted time and equipment, GFPD only paid about  $15,000, the cost to ship the vans from Florida to Great Falls.

Bashin’ Trash river cleanup

A group of local organizations is orchestrating a river clean-up on Aug. 21 that will include reaches of the Missouri River from Helena to Great Falls and a section in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument – more than 140 river miles.

Volunteers are needed on the water and along the shore. Visit the Bashin’ Trash website to sign up to clean your favorite stretch of the river, riverfront park or trail. This is an all-ages, family-friendly event.

Organizations or individuals can volunteer as to serve as reach “captains,” adopting a section of the river, parks, or trails, and taking responsibility for cleaning that reach. Volunteers can also sign up to clean up from shore or to help with a reach that has already been adopted.

Bashin’ Trash has been a Missouri River clean-up organized in recent years by the Cascade Conservation District and is an integral part of the conservation district’s annual river campaign. This year, the event is also part of the conservation district’s year-long 75th anniversary Diamond Jubilee celebration.

Eight local groups have representatives on the clean-up event planning committee: Cascade Conservation District, Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument, Lewis and Clark Conservation District, Missouri River Flyfishers, Pat Barnes Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Sun River Watershed Group, Upper Missouri Watershed Alliance and Walleyes Unlimited.

The planning committee is also reaching out to potential event sponsors. The committee plans to have post-event celebrations at multiple locations with food and prizes. More details can be found on the website.

Bashin’ Trash will be held Aug. 21. If you or your organization would like to participate in this event, please contact, sign up online or call 406-214-2868.