MISSOULA – The Missoula City council unanimously approved a conditional tavern use request from the owner of the Hoagieville on Higgins.
Chris Goble can now move forward with transforming the iconic old drive-in into a new family-friendly tavern with beer, food, outdoor patio and rooftop seating.
There’s still time to grab those cheese fries, but the Missoula City Council has given Goble permission to tear down the Missoula landmark and build a new restaurant and tap room.
Although all present city council members voted in favor of the motion, there was an amendment made to change the closing time for the restaurant.
A conditional tavern use request has a closing time of 2 a.m. – but most city council members – including Goble – decided this is too late considering the surrounding residential area.
The new restaurant must close at 11 p.m. The City council put the restriction in place to protect the residents in the area if there were to ever be a new owner of the land.
Goble — along with several residents who spoke at Monday night’s meeting believe — the new restaurant will bring life back to the neighborhood, although some say did say they’ll miss the food.
“I’m a guy that [doesn’t] like to see change in my neighborhood and I think most of you already know that. But I ‘m all for what Chris is doing. I know he’s an honest young man. I know his family’s honest,” Jon Wilkins said. ” I know anything that comes up, he’ll definitely bend over backwards trying to fix it for you.”
“I will approve this and he also promised to bring my double bacon cheeseburgers to the restaurant so I can order them and that made me rather happy, too!” he added.
“We have a really lovely neighborhood. We know each other. Everybody is pretty friendly. I really see what Chris is proposing being something that draws our neighborhood together.,” another resident told the Missoula City Council.
There was some opposition in the public comment with some residents expressing concern about traffic in the area and how the height of the new restaurant would obstruct their view of the mountains.
Of course, some also said they would miss the iconic location and those cheese fries!
The new restaurant will have 69 interior seats. a 20 seat first-floor patio and a 36-seat second-floor patio. There’s no word yet on when demolition will begin.