Inside, they’ve got antique-style chandeliers and mirrors along with a bar that looks like it belongs in a speakeasy or a train car. They found special marble, which Burda said they found out “wasn’t easy to get.”
“The backbone influence will be a throwback to where the mill boss would want to visit on a date night in the ’20s when this place was active and hoppin’ like it used to be,” he said. “We want to give it that ‘Roaring ’20s’ vibe. We’ll have a strong French wine program and a French beer program and then from there branch down to more relevant to now, so not stodgy French.”
Leslie Wetherbee said the interior’s inspiration comes from dining cars on older trains.
Executive chef Jess Wrightson’s grandmother was a chef at the famous Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City.
“We’d stay with her over the summers and she’d teach us to cook,” he said. “We had a very spoiled childhood. I was very lucky to have a lot of amazing teachers.”
He and his staff will prepare dishes like salmon en papillote (parchment paper) and sardine rillettes.
“Very simple and sexy is what we’re going for here,” he said. “It will change with the season. We want to do farm-to-table and as fresh and local as we possibly can.”
Leslie Wetherbee said they’ve been doing some taste-testing and her review so far is that the food will be “amazing.”
The beer and wine license will allow Dog & Bicycle to serve alcohol for lunch, she noted.
Ed Wetherbee of OSD Development said the site’s history is important.
“Everything we do out here has got some connection to industrial, to history,” he said. “Our slogan is ‘new neighborhood, historic heart,’ so we’re trying to play off everything around us and one of the key aspects to this whole area is the railroad. So when we got to thinking about how to be unique, it was to play off that and it’s consistent with everything else we do. I’ll call it approachable high-end and neighborhood-like.”
Dog & Bicycle and Boxcar will complement each other so people can have a place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he said. The capacity for the restaurant will be about 45 people, but they’ve completely remodeled the kitchen to serve both Dog & Bicycle and Boxcar.
“Everything’s brand-new,” Burda said. “It’s double in size with the renovation. Everything has gone bigger in scale to accommodate now both operations. It’s a small space but it’s a big kitchen for us.”
A new building to house fast-growing tech company Cognizant ATG is underway across the street, and Wetherbee said the restaurant will hopefully be a community gathering spot.
“A lot of things are very complementary,” he said. “You’ve probably noticed we do everything in relatively small numbers, just because we like it intimate. It fits the neighborhood. We’ve got an awesome team here, and none of this happens without Jess and Ben to pull it together to make it happen.”
An opening date of May 4 has been scheduled, but things could change.
-David Erickson (The Missoulian)