-Mari Hall reporting for the Missoula Current
MISSOULA – Bridge Pizza is open for business and booming in its new restaurant in Midtown Missoula, following a year and a half of construction and planning.
Katie Foster, manager of Missoula’s second Bridge Pizza, said the building at 3000 Brooks Street has a larger dining area and kitchen than it did during its former life as Tower Pizza.
“Our idea was for more of an event-like space for birthday parties and just being able to serve more customers,” Foster said. “The other thing we wanted to do was to be able to deliver a little bit farther, so now we deliver to Lolo, and our other location (on the Higgins Street Hip Strip) can deliver to Bonner.”
The menus are the same at both locations, but each restaurant offers different pizza slice varieties every day. The menu also includes soups, specials, eight rotating local beers on tap and a wine list.
“When we heard this building was for sale, it just seemed like it made a whole lot of sense as far as distance from the other building and keeping a pizza place a pizza place,” she said.
The Midtown pizzeria sits across from the new entrance to Southgate Mall, which is undergoing its own $75 million renovation. Owner Erin McEwan said the mall’s renovation and the city’s plans to redevelop the Brooks Street corridor prompted her to expand the business.
“What’s happening at the mall is definitely a reason to feel more comfortable moving onto Brooks Street,” she told the Missoula Current in an earlier interview.
And that’s not McEwan’s only new business venture.
At 515 S. Higgins, the new Gild Brewing opened last year, and features its own manufactured beer, a wine list, and a restaurant focusing on Mexican street food. It even sports a basement arcade.
The building was the former home to the Crystal Theater and Silk Road restaurant. Bridge Pizza’s beginnings as Bridge Bistro was also located in the Gild Brewing building in the 1970s, offering a finer dining experience.
“We talked about it forever and all mentioned that building,” McEwan said. “When it became available, we decided to go for it.”
Reporter Mari Hall can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.