Nine businesses bringing up to 100 jobs to Downtown Missoula

MISSOULA - New businesses set to open their doors in the Mercantile include a cycling studio, tequila bar and steakhouse restaurant.

"I think we're going to see a new kind of district, similar to the Hip Strip, be created. I would like to call it 'SoBro,'" property manager Jed Dennison said.

"SoBro," or South of Broadway, is what Dennison is calling the blocks where the new Mercantile below the Residence Inn by Marriott. Below the Mercantile hotel is also where nine businesses will open their doors. Dennison says it will bring up to 100 jobs downtown.

"The majority of the businesses  are Missoula-, if not Montana-based," Dennison said. "The only non-Montana is Zoo Thai, but we consider them a neighbor since they're from Wyoming."

Four restaurants are planned for the 20,000-square-foot space. Basil will sell breakfast, to-go meals, smoothies, among other items. Zoo Thai, from the owners of Wyoming's Teton Thai, will make street food-inspired cuisine. Camino will sell Mexican food paired with a tequila bar.

The 1889 "modern" steakhouse and seafood will include a bar. 

There will be two merchandise stores. Clothing boutique Olive and Iron is moving from their Spruce Street space. Montana Scene will sell Treasure State-branded clothes and gifts. 

Create Art Bar will be a place where people can make art and drink cocktails.

Sobba Cycle, an indoor cycling gym originally based in Whitefish, will also open along Front Street. Cosmetics boutique and medical spa Skin Chic, which has a location in the Southgate mall, is setting up shop, too. 

Dennison says the small businesses will make Missoula even better. 

"You have all these great restaurants that are starting to open up, proximity to the University," Dennison said. "I think we're gonna see a lot of vibrancy and I think it's great for Missoula."

Some familiar faces are in the mix, as the owners of The Keep restaurant in the South Hills are opening 1889. 

"We've owned The Keep for 13 years now. We've just created such a cool space up there. We have a lot of regular customers that call it a second home, and we want to recreate that downtown," The Keep and 1889 owner Melissa Mooney said. 

Eight of the stores, including 1889, will open this summer.

Dennison says Camino is aiming for a fall opening. 

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