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Granary reopens in Billings with old name, new ownership and new menu

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Posted at 8:32 PM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 08:54:19-04

BILLINGS - After being closed for remodeling since the start of this year, one landmark Billings restaurant is back serving customers again.

The Granary, across from Rocky Mountain College at 1500 Poly Dr., cut the ribbon for its grand opening Tuesday after a soft launch a couple of weeks ago.

It’s back to the old name for the restaurant, but with new owners and a new menu.

“We like to think of it as kind of an eclectic worldly menu, Mediterranean spirit and focus on fresh ingredients,” says general manager Mitch Fox.

Fox has worked with the new owners of the Granary, the Larson family, at another restaurant that they recently revamped—the Buffalo Block Steakhouse at the Rex.

The Granary will put more emphasis on seafood. One feature that greets customers as they enter the restaurant is a live seafood tank giving guests the opportunity to pick their own dinner.

“We are really proud of that. We have also added a raw bar at the back of the restaurant that will feature fresh oysters every day, a variety of them that are flown in fresh, and then obviously items that we will pull right out of the tank that we will steam and chill,” says Fox.

“That is one of the things I was looking for when I came to Montana. I was like, where is the seafood?” says head chef Oscar Dorantes.

The menu will also feature plenty of other options for those who aren’t fans of seafood.

It’s Dorantes's first time opening a restaurant as head chef and he’s excited about what’s ahead.

“I’m celebrating my first time opening a restaurant as a head chef. I’m celebrating the Granary still being here,” said Dorantes. “I have an amazing team. I mean everyone puts in 110 percent every day.”

The building has quite a history. At one point it was a mill for the Polytechnic Institute, which later became Rocky Mountain College.

A couple of walls were moved during the remodel to give the restaurant a more open feel, new bar tops were added, the wine room was transformed, and reclaimed wood was used to adorn the ceiling in the bar and lounge area of the restaurant.

“The design really ties in with its heritage being a mill - bringing back reclaimed wood and a lot of the steel components that are in there it really gives it that feel,” says Fox.