Construction, restaurant roundup
We get a lot of the same questions on repeat and see a lot of the same rumors and misinformation floating around social media, we decided to do a quick roundup of the latest top hits.
The Electric hears rumors all the time and are constantly checking on them, but does not report information without confirmation through government paperwork, property transactions or from businesses themselves. We also regularly refute rumors that we have confirmed to be untrue.
If you have a business bite, or question, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with business bite in the subject line.
Former Cartwheel site
Yes, the former Cartwheel building was demolished and a new building is being constructed for Chipotle, according to paperwork submitted to the city.
A company spokesperson told The Electric Feb. 9 that they’re on track to open here this year, but don’t have more details at the moment.
No, there is no Chik-fil-A under construction currently.
That’s according to city permits and Chik-fil-A itself.
The Electric checked again in late January, and the company said there has been no change since we checked last in September.
Business Bites: Emerald City Casino demolition; West Bank Landing permits submitted; no, there’s not a Chik-fil-A under construction; Baatz project progressing; Zadick wrestling club; Wellness406 open; Family Affair reopens; local chef on Food Network; Rise Athletics teams place nationally
“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,” according to a Chik-fil-A response to The Electric.
West Bank Landing
Yes, there’s a second Panda Express location being constructed in West Bank Landing.
A permit was submitted in January for construction of a 109-room Townplace Suites hotel in West Bank.
New hotel, restaurant planned for West Bank
Dirt is moving on another parcel in West Bank, near the Five On Black and Jersey Mike’s building. The city approved an erosion control permit for that site so the developer can remove top soil and prep the site while the city is reviewing the permit application for a mixed use building planned for that site. The tenants for that building have not yet been confirmed, though the plans indicate one space will be for a not-yet named restaurant.
We’ve heard the rumors and regularly check on this project. At this point, there is no confirmation from the company and no permits have been filed.
A spokeswoman for the company told The Electric on Feb. 7, that there are “no specific plans at this time, but we are interested in the area.”
We’ve heard these rumors too and regularly check on this one. No permits have been issued for the restaurant yet and the company has not responded to multiple emails.
We’ve been hearing this rumor for years.
At this time, there are no permits and the city planning office has not been contacted regarding a Winco as of Jan. 30.
A company that franchises Slim Chickens and Taco Johns, Preferred Restaurant Group, owns the property at the corner of 10th Avenue South and 7th Street and was approved for demolition in December 2021.
Business Bites: OP closed; Paniolo Cafe open; Life in Bloom opening; Mike’s Movies closing; Act Normal Theater performing in March
There have been no updates on the project since then.
Emerald City Casino
Demolition has begun on the former Emerald City Casino at the corner of 10th Avenue South and 17th Street.
The owners acquired the neighboring former Carriage Trade Dry Cleaner building and that building is also being demolished.
City staff received and approved demolition permits for both buildings.
The owners are planning to build a new casino building on the site, according to plans submitted to the city.
Here’s our story from June 2022 with more background: Business Bites: Cartwheel demolition planned for Chipotle; Fiesta En Jalisco managers leaving; Emerald City Casino demolition planned; The Electric’s 5th Anniversary party; Downtown Night Market; new Panda Express location planned
The city received a building permit application for a Highway 55 Burgers and Fries location on a vacant parcel behind Kobe in West Bank One.
A Les Schwab Tire Center is being constructed on the former Golden Corral site in Marketplace. It’s a second location to the one being constructed on 10th Avenue South at the former Prime Cut site.
Business Bites: Magpie opens; Game Night Lounge closing; Crumbl planned; 5th and Wine adding patio; Ortho Rehab opening; Alluvion breaks ground; GFPS music award; community cleanup; Russell Museum has consignment for auction; WakeFest; reading at Cassiopeia
Discount Tire Company is planning a location at the former Loading Zone/Playground/Buffalo Saloon location.
City to consider alley vacation for proposed tire shop at former Loading Zone property
Rib and Chop House
Rib and Chop House, of Finally Restaurant Group, signed a lease to open a restaurant in Great Falls.
As of Feb. 7, the construction permit has been submitted to the city and is under review.
The company is planning a restaurant at 21 3rd St. N with more than 5,000-sqaure-feet, 225 seats, including a 1,200-square-foot patio with seating for 40.
The company will remodel the ground floor of the Wells Fargo building.
Rib and Chop House will open this year, according to the company.
Development Rumors: What’s real, what’s not 
“We’re thrilled to bring our style of sizzling comfort food to downtown Great Falls, and are excited about this location specifically, as we feel it’s ideally situated for inviting customers in to experience our signature offerings,” Yaron Goldman, Rib and Chop House CEO said in a release.
Rib and Chop House was founded in 2001 and is owned and operated by Finally Restaurant Group in Bozeman, which also owns the Accomplice Beverage Company.
The restaurant has locations in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.