MISSOULA — Missoula has no shortage of bars and breweries, music and dance, but these facets of nightlife cater to an older crowd.
Now thanks to a new business opening on the Hip Strip, a younger audience will finally find their groove.
“I think it's time for the music industry to be able to move throughout Missoula again,” said part-owner of Legacy Lounge Caleb Huberg.
The newest addition to the Hip Strip — Legacy Lounge — will move into the space previously known as Iza Asian Restaurant.
The venue will have live music, DJs, and dancing, but one component of nightlife won’t be included -- alcohol.
“It's not necessary to have a good time,” said part-owner Scotty Graham. “It's very doable sober, and I hope that we can help to encourage that.”
Graham recalls growing up in Missoula where he says it wasn’t always easy to express himself or let loose considering music and dance outlets are almost always accompanied by alcohol.
He doesn’t believe that has to be the norm, which led him and his fellow owners to open an upbeat dance venue focused on expression rather than alcohol.
“It's really important for me that people get to be able to feel that, and especially at that age, having that release and having a space for you to have that release is really important,” said Graham.
Legacy Lounge plans to be fully up and running by Nov. 19. Periodically, the genre of music, the DJs, and even the artwork will change as the owners hope to showcase artists of all backgrounds.
During events, people under the age of 21 will have an opportunity to dance and enjoy music without intermingling with adults. Eventually, the lounge will close, clean up, and reopen after midnight for people 21 and over.
“It'll be a good space for people who have been out drinking to come in and just kind of relax and let themselves decompress before they try to drive home, and hopefully it'll make the roads a little safer that way,” Graham told MTN News.
The owners are promising security, alcohol checks at the door, and zero alcohol sales. As a part owner and a parent, Caleb Huberg says safety will be critical to their success.
“I have a 15 year-old-son. I know that having this spot will open it up so they have a place to safely come and not get in trouble, not have their parents worrying about where they are 24/7, and just making it so they can feel comfortable and safe.” - Legacy Lounge part-owner Caleb Huberg