Montana Avenue

Recent Posts

Big retail, residential project planned for Montana Avenue


A Billings couple has plans to turn a large warehouse on the east side of Montana Avenue into a country mercantile, antique mall and breakfast-and-lunch cafe, with five loft apartments on the second floor. And because the warehouse, at 2019 Montana Ave., includes a big vacant lot to the west, the Liberty and Vine Country Store, as it will be called, will have its own 32-space parking lot, a rarity on Montana Avenue. (more…) Continue Reading →

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For Goodridge kids, Magic City Blues is a family affair


The Goodridge kids have grown up with the blues. The Magic City Blues, to be precise. Their parents, Tim and Pam Goodridge, have been putting on the annual music festival in downtown Billings since 2002. One way or another, their three children—Henry, 21, Will, 18, and Jane, 16—have part of the festival for most of their lives. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill opens to public next week


With just a few details left to attend to, the Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill is almost ready to open on Montana Avenue, in what must be one of the more spectacular indoor spaces in Billings. The new business, which is leasing the old United Glass building at 2203 Montana Ave., is being developed by Sam Hoffmann, owner of Red Lodge Ales. It will be serving a variety of hard ciders made on the premises, as well as some guest ciders, wine on tap and all the beers made at the Red Lodge brewery. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Family’s roots go deep in 81-year-old Rainbow Bar


Like most long-established taverns in Billings, the Rainbow Bar has always had a fair number of regulars. It’s doubtful any of them are quite as regular as Linda Jacobson. Besides having run the Rainbow for just over 30 years, she lived in rooms behind the bar as a kid and has spent virtually all of her life in and around the Montana Avenue tavern. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Montana Ave., from blight to beauty in 25 years


True story: In the early 1980s, when I was living in Butte, I was in Billings one weekend to play hockey. I was driving down Montana Avenue with a couple of other players, at a time when the avenue had probably never looked worse. The Rex restaurant was there, as it is now, and there were a handful of other businesses, mostly secondhand stores, but not much else. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Panhandlers share one thought with passersby


I suppose I should explain why I decided to take photographs of panhandlers. But first let me explain what the collection of photos is not. It is not, for starters, an attempt to weigh in on the whole question of whether you should give money to panhandlers. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Let’s not give up on downtown Billings


You want to talk about problems with transients on Montana Avenue? Talk to Mike Schaer. When he moved his computer business to the avenue 33 years ago, there were vacant buildings all along Montana, and “the transients were really all over the place.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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