The owners of the Montana Club restaurants have plans to turn the old Perkins restaurant location into a new taphouse, restaurant and sports bar.

Bob Powell and Nick Alonzo purchased the property on North Reserve Street this week and plan to remodel the building into the new Tap Club, with an opening date slated for six to nine months from now.

“We’re pretty excited about that project,” Powell said. “We love the location. It’s a taproom concept with a beer and wine license. We’ll do a real nice job with the beers, with 36 on tap.

"We’ll focus on Montana microbreweries, but we might expand to East Coast beers to give people different variation. Beer is a fast-growing category. People enjoy beer, and that Mullan Road corridor is growing like crazy, and we’re hoping to satisfy some thirsts out there.”

They’ll also serve what Powell calls “upscale pub fare.”

“We’ll have a gourmet hamburger and appetizers and a lot of scratch-made stuff, which is our tradition in the Montana Club world. We put a lot of energy into food. We’ll have TVs and maybe games like shuffleboard or pinball — we’re not 100% sure in that regard. But we’ll have good sound, good audio/visuals. It’ll be a good neighborhood place. That seems to be really popular.”

Taprooms are showing a lot of growth in the Northwest, Powell explained. Missoula already has a lot of breweries and restaurants that sell beer, but Missoula is growing, and there’s also a lot of other businesses like banks, casinos and fast-food joints here.

“This location came up and it was too hard to pass up,” he said. “We try to stay up on trends in the restaurant business and be aware of what’s going on. The taproom concept with a nice food program is getting increasingly popular. We’ll be a little bit smaller. We can seat about 100 people in there, but we’ll have a nice bar. We felt like that was the right size and location to give Missoula this concept.”

They’ll be open for lunch and dinner, and Powell said they plan to hire 30 to 40 people.

Perkins closed earlier this summer after 22 years in business.

“The building is in great shape,” he said. “Permitting is a little bit of a challenge, but the architects have given us the first rough drawings. It’ll be completely different looking than it does now. We’ll brighten it up. The time permitting takes is a sign Missoula’s economy is strong, so we’ll be patient through that process.”

Local real estate broker Jesse Eagen represented both the buyer and the seller on the $2.25 million deal.

“I’m sad to see Perkins go, but this will be great for that neighborhood,” he said. “This was an off-market deal, which tells you how hot the commercial market is. It’s pretty exciting.”

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