BIGFORK — Christopher Languein and his business partner Francois Zanni are the new owners and operators of the Bigfork Inn.
Both have extensive backgrounds in the food industry and were looking for a reason to move to the Flathead Valley. Languein says that Zanni told him about an opportunity to work in Bigfork Montana, and he couldn't pass it up.
"Then we came to the Bigfork Inn. Couldn't ask for a cooler building in the world. This place is neat," said Languein.
While some changes are happening, Languein says structurally everything will remain the same.
"You know, we didn't want to go too crazy with any of the structural stuff obviously because it's so, it's an iconic building so, that part we wanted to keep in truest form as possible," explained Languein.
So, they're focusing on sprucing up the menu, in the Bigfork Inn's new restaurant called Traditions. Something Francois Zanni has years of experience doing.
Zanni grew up in the French Alps and his parents had both his parents owned restaurants in Southern California in the 1950's.
"I'm a fourth generation culinary trained French chef, and owned my own restaurant now for almost over 30 years," explained Zanni.
He told MTN News that he's bringing some of his favorite dishes to the menu.
"So, you'll see some of our old culinary items that we used to use, way back when. So, we're bringing back that old-style French cuisine that you don't see anymore. Like beef Bourgogne, classic French onion soup, duck with orange sauce, and a nice rack of lamb," said Zanni.
The new restaurant isn't the only new menu this pair is cooking up. Zanni and Languein transformed the old 406 Bar and Grille on 1st Avenue Kalispell into a brand new tap room with over 40 drinks on tap from around the Northwest.
Both Zanni and Languein want the First Avenue Taphouse to be a fun hangout spot for everyone. Zanni told MTN News he had to put his own spin on the food at First Ave Tap House, bringing gourmet burgers to Kalispell.
"Gourmet burgers, especially burgers made with game meat. So, we're looking at possibly doing elk, and antelope and bison," explained Zanni.
The Bigfork Inn is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and open again for a specialty Sunday brunch.