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Several new restaurants slated to open in Great Falls this year

Tasty Hot Pot
Pizza Ranch Helena.png
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jan 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-22 17:15:32-04

GREAT FALLS — There’s some good news for food lovers as we look ahead to 2024.

The building that houses Joann Fabric & Crafts on 10th Avenue South in Great Falls will be trading in its plaid patterns for pepperoni pizza and its sewing supplies for skee ball. With games and food, the popular Pizza Ranch restaurant is slated to open its doors in Great Falls in the summer of 2024.

“We've been trying for a very long time to get here, and we finally made it happen,” said Pizza Ranch spokesman Tim Mazzafero last Friday during the Great Falls Development Alliance’s annual Ignite event.

Pizza Ranch features a buffet with pizza, chicken and more. Customers can also take advantage of a fun zone arcade of over 5,000 square feet. Owners plan to invest a million dollars in more than 55 arcade games. The new location will also feature party rooms.

Pizza Ranch has stores in Billings and Helena, but the Great Falls location will be the biggest.

“We'll be taking over Joann Fabrics, which is a 15,000 square foot space for us. That will be the largest for us.”

The Montana Pizza Ranch locations are part of the Wagon’s West Management Group. Pizza Ranch originated in 1981 in Hull, Iowa. It cuerrently has over 210 locations across 14 states.

Mazzaferro says the Great Falls location will includes a room that can accommodate over 100 people

At this point, Joann's plans to move into Holiday Village Mall, but there is no date yet for when that will happen.

Another pizza themed restaurant is taking over the old Boston’s Location. Old Chicago hopes to open in June.

The new owners plan an extensive remodel, including a casino attached to the restaurant, but with a separate entrance. Differences to the dining room will be significant, starting with a horse shoe style, high energy bar.

“Studies show that's a little bit more social than a straight-line bar,” said Mike Malmberg, Vice President of the Johnson Restaurant Group in charge of the Great Falls location. “We’ll have 40 beers on tap along with pizza and taproom fare.”

Malmberg says with the craft beers on tap, the restaurant will try to make sure as many of them as possible are local beers.

According to the restaurant’s website, Old Chicago has 72 locations in 23 states, including locations in Billings, Bozeman, and Missoula.

The first Chinese Hot Pot restaurant in Montana is coming to West Bank Landing, taking over the building most previously occupied by MT Pints.

“Joe and Jei Ping, who brought their popular Teppanyaki grill to Kobe's Seafood and Steak House purchased that former Montana Pints building,” said Jolene Schalper, Senior Vice President with GFDA.

The building is currently under renovation and is slated to open sometime later this winter. Customers select a broth, ingredients and dipping sauce and then cook them in the hot pot at the table. Beer and wine will also be available.

Tasty Hot Pot restaurant opens in Great Falls

Tasty Hot Pot isn’t the only new restaurant coming to the West Bank Landing - Panda Express plans to open a second Great Falls there.