Coming Soon: Eden Market

The Eden Market south of Great Falls is opening…soon. They had originally planned to open this month, but apparently there is a problem regarding zoning.

I stopped by a few days ago, and remodeling is well underway:

Eden Market on Lower River Road

Eden Market on Lower River Road

The Eden Market is what used to be known as the Outback Market; it’s about 4 miles south of Overlook (Flag Hill) Drive on Lower River Road.

Formerly the Outback Country Store

Formerly the Outback Country Store

They’ve got big plans for the store: “Eden Market is your locally owned and operated neighborhood convenience store. We’re your one-stop shop for fresh groceries, sundries, and more.”

They posted on their Facebook page a few days ago: “We have some discouraging news folks. The Eden Market opening has been delayed due to a county mobile home zoning issue. The grandfathered exception has expired.”

I’m not sure what the zoning problem is, but they plan to bring the issue up at two Cascade County Commission meetings over the next few weeks.

edensign

Whatever the problem is, I hope it gets resolved – and soon. It looks like a really cool small business that would be very much appreciated by folks who live in the area.

Cookie Jar farewell

Sad news — The Cookie Jar in Holiday Village Mall announced that it is closing.

They posted this on Facebook on Saturday:

cookiejarclose

It opened in May 2015 (details).

“The Cookie Jar at its peak in the 80s boasted several locations in Great Falls and Billings. The location — on the upper level of the mall next to the GNC store — was most recently occupied by Amy’s Morning Perk.”

I suspect the problem wasn’t the quality or selection of the cookies, nor the staff — it was the location.

Fingers crossed they will re-open somewhere else in Great Falls.

Cookie Jar t-shirt from the 80s.

Cookie Jar t-shirt from the 80s.

Prime Location

Heck of a location!

Heck of a location!

What should be built on the space currently occupied by this decrepit building? Wait, don’t tell me: a mattress store! Or a bank! Or a casino!

Kidding.

Actually, “what should be built there?” is not the right question.

The question is actually: Will the City of Great Falls force the owner to do something about it?

City officials will discuss this week a resolution which states that “…if the owner fails to abate said nuisance as ordered and within the time allowed, the City Staff is directed to take any and all steps necessary to abate the nuisance with all expenses to attach as a lien against the property.”

I agree that the building is pretty much an eyesore – and it has also sparked the imagination of many, many people over the years.

The location – right along the west bank of the Missouri River by the Central Avenue bridge – seems ideal for many ventures — a riverside restaurant, for instance, or perhaps an events center.

And when this news article was posted on KRTV, people weighed in with their answers to the first (but incorrect) question.

Among the suggestions:

Holly Gordon: Turn it into something so that the high schoolers and young adults have some else to do in this town.

Mamie Ann Webster Carter: This would make a beautiful restuarant, overlooking the river, patio for outside dining. Great Falls needs good restaurants with good service.

Desiree Boothe: I would love love love to see it be turned into a reception hall for weddings! I think it could be turned into a beautiful place! Especially since Great Falls has NOTHING like that in town.

Nikki Pearson: I wish there was a way to save this building.. It would make a great spaghetti factory! It’s a neat looking place but needs something done with it.

Zaeda Denae June: My mom always wanted to do kayak and bike rentals, a small arcade, smoothie/coffee bar and like an info center & little family fun area there. A little of everything for everyone.

Corey Hughes: I wish we had a comedy club here, its a nice spot though kinda limited parking if you planned something there. Curious what of will become.

Patty Kelly Morris: I thought maybe an ice/skating rink or a very nice steak house or sushi place

So there’s a sampling of what people think.

As for me: well, sure, it would be cool to have that spot used for something…cool.

But unless someone is willing to give me several million dollars to turn it into the coolest Starbucks / skating rink / art gallery /events center, the decision is up to Ken Holman, the owner of the property.

Crimestoppers (August 2016)

Tyler Valley nancy

Great Falls/Cascade County Crimestoppers has released the August 2016 “Most Wanted” list.

If you have information about the location of any of the people on the list, you’re asked to call the 24-hour Crimestoppers Hotline at 727-TIPS (8477).

If you believe that any of the information contained on the list is inaccurate, call the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office at 406-454-6820 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Anyone who uses information contained in the list to commit a criminal act against someone else is subject to criminal prosecution.

Click here for the Crimestoppers page on Facebook.

(PS – you can meet Tipper, the adorable Crimestoppers mascot, on August 9th at Lions Park!)

TIpper the Crimestoppers mascot!

TIpper the Crimestoppers mascot!

Bison Day!

I got to feed bison!!!

I got to feed bison!!!

I recently had one of the most wonderful experiences of my life – I got to visit some bison!

Roy and Shellie have a small bison ranch near Great Falls, and they were kind enough to let us visit a few weeks ago.

The young bison are out front; they are about a year old. They absolutely *love* eating loaves of bread (from JJs bakery!). The smallest one is named Goliath, and he was a little bit shy.

Then we hopped into Roy and Shellie’s SUV and got to drive to the “back yard” where the adult bison live – and WOW.

The big fella is named Squirrel, and he is as majestic as you can imagine. There were a few calves, too – and no, we did not attempt to put one in the back of the SUV.

There was also one pregnant bison who kept her distance – she was due to have her baby any day.

HUGE THANK YOU to Roy and Shellie (and Kim and Andrea!) for letting us visit these beautiful bison!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t forget – these are BISON, not BUFFALO. There is a difference.

Fire Evacs

Smoke from the fire, as seen from 2nd Street NE and 36th Avenue.

Smoke from the fire, as seen from 2nd Street NE and 36th Avenue.

Tuesday’s fire hit close to home – literally. For the first time that I can remember, there were some evacuations ordered in Great Falls.

People living on the extreme north side of Skyline neighborhood – along with residents of Countryside Village just a little to the east – were ordered to evacuate at about 6 p.m. last night, as the fire and smoke from a field fire got closer.

The fire, believed to have been sparked by farm equipment, started before noon several miles north of there, along Vinyard Road.

My house is only about six blocks away from the evacuated area, and while I was at work, my wife was watching scores of people driving past our house TOWARD the fire, despite warnings from GFPD, GFFR, and others to *not* go near the area.

The evacuation order was called off a few hours later, and thankfully the fire did not actually reach any of the houses.

And you know those “Safety Check-In” things that Facebook (and Google) sometimes activate after natural disasters or terrorist attacks? Apparently, Facebook automatically created one for “The Wildfire in Great Falls, Montana,” based (as far as I can tell) on the surge of people in the area using trigger words such as “fire” and “evacution.”

safetycheck

Here’s the article with more details + video of the fire.

Photos of the fire from KRTV friends:

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