Neighborhood NewsRocky Mountain Front


New life for the Wagon Wheel in Choteau

Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill
Posted at 5:36 PM, Apr 12, 2024

CHOTEAU — For decades, the Wagon Wheel has been a staple in Choteau. Originally a schoolhouse, then opening as a dive bar in 1941, the site made a move before its ultimate closure.

Recently, it acquired new ownership - Janice and Cecil Goodman have been helping to not only restore the bar, but upgrade it.

In just a few weeks the property will re-open with a slightly new name - the Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill.

Janice Goodman, who works in historic preservation, has worked alongside Chuck Gameon of Game-On Repurposing, and manager Heidi Snyder to keep the history of the old Wagon Wheel alive within the new one.

The restaurant’s tables are made from old bowling lanes, the legs of the tables made from the wood of an old schoolhouse. Even the light fixtures were designed using old turkey feeders.

“Janice and I kind of have a shared love for history and salvage and old wood. What I feel like she is going for and what I kind of like myself is kind of that rustic look,” says Gameon.

Gameon has played an important role in designing many of the wooden finishes, including the wall cooler doors, the shelves behind the bar, and message board which will display in-house specials.

“It was way beyond what I anticipated doing when I signed up to help out,” he says.

Snyder is excited to incorporate a fresh menu which will be both seasonal and rotating. She’s hired two head chefs with 30 years of experience between them.

Heidi Snyder
Heidi Snyder

The beef used will be sourced locally from ranchers.

Invites will be sent out for nearby farms to brand their insignias into the wall near the back of the restaurant.

It’s both a love letter to the surrounding farmland and an homage to the old Wagon Wheel, which also invited ranchers to brand their logos way back in 1941.

“We’re going to invite local ranchers to bring their brand in. I already have the invitation ready that their brand will be their ticket in,” says Snyder.

Additionally, outdoor seating will be implemented featuring a grain bin bar, and several games and activities.

Heidi also has plans to incorporate entertainment: “I have quite a few things up my sleeve for surprises,” she says.

Though an opening date yet hasn’t been settled, Heidi anticipates it will be within the month.

The Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill is at 25 Second Street NW. For more information, click here to visit the website, or click here to visit the Facebook page.