The Rock Pile, a Billings sports bar that closed on Christmas Eve for a complete renovation, is scheduled to reopen this summer as the 406 Kitchen and Taproom, complete with a rooftop patio.
The new bar-restaurant will serve a wide variety of bottled and tap beers and will have a “chef-inspired menu” of bar foods with a twist, according to co-owner Jake Brosovich.
What that twist will consist of remains to be seen, Brosovich said, because they want to leave those decisions to a new manager and chef. But basically, he said, they will serve “bar food good enough to be served in a sit-down atmosphere.”
He said the beer menu will include local craft brews because “we’re going to try to keep it as community-oriented as possible.”
The Rock Pile, which opened in 2002 at 1207 N. 27th St., was owned by Jake’s mother, Carol Brosovich. The 406 Kitchen and Taproom will be owned by Jake and his sister, Brittany Doucette. Brittany’s husband, real estate agent Jay Doucette, is partnering with them in the development of the new business.
There will be a smaller balcony on the second floor of the 406, Jake Brosovich said, with a much larger, 1,300-square-foot patio on the roof. That patio will be partially covered by a pergola.
The old kitchen, which sat between the bar and restaurant, will be moved to the east end of the building so the bar and eating area are both in one large room. Jake Brosovich said the new interior will have a bit of an industrial feel, and a partly rustic look.
In addition to gutting and remodeling the main building, the partners are demolishing the wing on the southeast side of the property that used to have a patio and outdoor bar. That demolition will start next week, Jay Doucette said.
Jake Brosovich’s construction company, Yellowstone Basin Construction, is the general contractor on the project. The architect is Frank Nienaber of Studio 4 Architects in Billings.
The building sits on a steep stretch of North 27th, so that even though the north side of the patio will be only 11 feet above the parking lot, the south side of the patio will be 20 to 25 feet above ground, with a big view of the city.
“The location is pretty tough to beat,” Brosovich said.
The Rock Pile went out with a bang. Last summer, a large vacant lot to the south of the Rock Pile, formerly the site of the Rimrock Inn, was fenced and used for a weekly series of bull-riding contests put on by a couple from Acton. And in August the Rock Pile was named, however improbably, the best dive bar in Montana by Yahoo Travel.
The bull riding will not be coming back, Brosovich said, and the partners are working on a master plan for redeveloping the vacant lot, which they also own. In addition to finding tenants for that space, they also have room for four or five commercial tenants on the ground floor of the 406 building.
Asked when the 406 Kitchen and Taproom will open, Brosovich laughed and said, “Brittany says July 31st, so that’s what we’re shooting for.”