Category Archives: around town


At long last — a crack in the armor of the tyranny of 10th Avenue South! A new Starbucks has opened on the northwest side of Great Falls!

OK, it’s not a free-standing Starbucks — but it’s a legit SBX that can serve up my precious 10-shot iced espresso!

It opened yesterday inside the Albertsons on 3rd Street NW.

New SBX location inside Albertsons on 3rd Street NW!

New SBX location inside Albertsons on 3rd Street NW!

Now if I (or you) want to get a SBX beverage and you live or work or just happen to be on the NW side of town — no more driving across town — woohoo!

This brings to SIX the number of SBX locations in town:

Two free-standing stores — the first one at 10th Avenue South and 9th Street (opened in August 2005), the second opened last year at 10th Avenue South and 32nd Street.

One in the Barnes & Noble shop in the Great Falls Marketplace.

One in the Albertsons at 10th Avenue South and 23rd Street.

The new one inside the NW Alberstons.

And although I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard that there is one inside Target.

Yes, I do indeed love my SBX — and the awesome crew members that even surprise me during the holidays :-)

Category: around town | Tags: ,

Farewell, Moonshine Grill

Sad news — Shoot The Moon closed a few days ago. It was one of my regular “go to” restaurants in Great Falls.

It opened in early 2013, in the spot that used to be Macaroni Grill.

It was originally called the Moonshine Grill, but they changed the name to Shoot The Moon to avoid confusion with a Moonshine Grill in Texas.


The food was pretty good, the service was fine, the atmosphere was generally nice, and it was very clean.

My wife and I usually ate there once or twice a month, usually on Saturday afternoons, because it was never very busy — although in hindsight, I suppose that was not a very good sign.

The theme was pretty cool — Prohibition-era pictures and theme. And it was unusually clean and spacious. We almost always had great service; I saw lots of complaints about service on the KRTV Facebook page when the news broke, but we usually had very nice, polite, attentive service. The kitchen was a bit slow at times — even when there weren’t many other customers — but the food was above-average in most cases.

My biggest complaint actually had nothing to do with quality or service — it was the music. The music was almost always “modern” country or pop — how the heck does that reflect “moonshine” or Prohibition-era stuff? They should have been playing Tin Pan Alley music!

I also really enjoyed being able to draw on the butcher-block paper that covered the tables with crayons – fun!


And (sorry for the poor photo quality) I really loved this bison perched above the fireplace:


Our last visit — in mid-September — featured a large group of the Red Hat Society. We noticed some of them using the crayons to write or draw something. They were having a wonderful time, and on their way out, a couple of the ladies smiled at us and we exchanged pleasantries.

Once they were gone, I took a look at some of their handiwork:



In related news: the On The Border restaurant — same owner as Shoot The Moon, located in what used to be Tony Roma’s — also closed last week. We ate there once; it was meh, nothing special.


Just discovered a few days ago that my (awesome) Droid Turbo can create animated GIFs — here’s one featuring a few photos from things I’ve seen on the job in the last couple of weeks.


I also learned that my Turbo also has some fun video-editing tools — one of which I applied to this brief clip from a recent trip to the dog park:

Cookies Are Coming!

I had to make a quick run out to Malmstrom today, and on the way back into town stopped at the mall, where I met Joe, the former owner of the Cookie Jar — a place from the mid-80s that some of you likely remember.

The Cookie Jar

He’s a super guy, and he explained that his daughter is re-opening the Cookie Jar in the exact same spot it once occupied! It’s upstairs right next to the GNC store — used to be Coffee Etc and Amy’s Morning Perk.

He said that at one point, there were at least three Cookie Jar locations in Great Falls (Times Square, mall, and on 38th Street), and one in Billings.

His grand-daughter (who owns Eye Candy downtown) was also there, and she happened to have one of the original Cookie Jar t-shirts from the 80s with the raccoon mascot. I suggested they should consider having a contest to name the raccoon, and bless her heart, she quickly replied, “His name is Bandit!” BUT OF COURSE! All raccoons are named Bandit! I didn’t realize that there were other people who knew that :-)

Cookie Jar t-shirt

Anyway — back to the cookies — Joe said that they plan to open sometime within the next two weeks. They had planned to open this weekend, but there’s still some equipment work being done.

Also on tap at the Cookie Jar: frozen yogurt — which according to a lot of comments I’ve seen on the KRTV Facebook page was out-of-this-world — and cinnamon rolls and other goodies.

Can’t wait to sample some of the cookies!

Cookie Jar

Coming Soon: Roadhouse Diner

OMGOMGOMG — a new burger joint is coming to Great Falls — the Roadhouse Diner!

Roadhouse Diner in Great Falls

Looks like they plan to open on June 1st in the “log-cabin” building on 15th Street North, which used to be Goode’s (Pam’s Friendly Diner, etc).

They’ve got a website and a Facebook page, and promise some treats for folks who register via email:

“Join today and you’ll receive exclusive offers, a birthday freebie as well as a rewards card that gets you a free burger after 10 visits. Decent! And just for signing up, we’ll email you a coupon offer to boot.”


Also in the works: “Coming soon for cheese fries aficionados – an exclusive club that gathers once a month to try out new cheese fry recipes. Join the Roadie Rewards program for information!”

Looks like their motto/slogan is “Respect The Beef” — I can dig it.

Can’t wait to try it out!

WTF Sonic?

Had a craving for a double-bacon breakfast burrito or two, so I headed to Sonic on 10th Avenue South. Unfortunately, I opted to park in a stall instead of using the drive-thru — a mistake that I don’t normally make.

I placed my order at 12:14 pm and settled in to wait for a few minutes, comforted by my Sirius XM.

When the clock hit 12:30, I started to get a bit worried. At 12:40, my worry began turning to frustration. I hit the “order”button” again, to no avail.

At 12:45, I Googled up the phone number for Sonic and tried calling — it just rang and rang and rang.

At about 12:52, I got out of my car and walked up to the door that says EMPLOYEES ONLY, and dared to walk in. The folks behind the counter looked up in surprise, and I told them that I had been waiting for more than 40 minutes. One of them kind of shrugged and said in a semi-apologetic tone that they were very, very busy, and were trying hard to get everyone’s order filled.

I returned to my car and took my frustration to Facebook — posted at 1 p.m., and some kind friends and acquaintances kept me company in the comments.


About one minute after I posted on Facebook, an employee came out to my car and apologized (sincerely, it seemed), and re-took my order. At 1:06 pm, he delivered my food to me, and again apologized.

Total time from order to delivery: 52 minutes. WTF, Sonic?

And is it kind of weird that everything finally happened literally a minute after I posted on Facebook?

To be honest, I likely would have bailed on the order and kissed my $15 good-bye if it hadn’t been for my beloved Sirius XM, and checking in on the KRTV Facebook page and comments during the agonizing wait.





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