The sale of Casa Sanchez is nearly complete and, with one document left to be signed, renovation of the iconic yellow house on South Ninth Avenue has already begun.

The new restaurant will be called the Hungry Cat and will feature a look almost entirely different from the Mexican restaurant it is replacing, said owner Hank Fargot.

Casa Sanchez was “a wonderful operation,” he said, but Fargot is looking to put his own thumbprint on the building and make it a unique space. Its kitchen will be expanded, interior walls redone and back patio cleaned up and landscaped, he said.

“I’d like people to have a great experience while they’re here and want to come back not just because the food is dynamite and service is excellent but because they feel comfortable here,” Fargot said.

Just what type of food will be served at the restaurant isn’t certain, Fargot said. It’s six months until he expects the renovations to be complete, and hasn’t had time to tackle that particular issue. But, Fargot said, the Hungry Cat’s fare will be based on his sense of taste and what he finds interesting to eat — options drawn from his travels and experiences with different kinds of cultures.

“It’s more about bringing some of that out,” Fargot said. “The problem is letting the cat out of the bag here… (I) don’t want to give anyone preconceived notions (about what type of food will be served).”

Fargot hasn’t worked in the restaurant business before. He was a software developer first, then an author and publisher, he said. New York native, Fargot moved to Bozeman about three years ago after traveling around the country. Bozeman reminded him of the rural areas of New York where he grew up, and he decided to stick around for a while, Fargot said.

Lori and Mike Keyshae, owners of Casa Sanchez, retained the rights to the Casa Sanchez business through the sale of the building. The couple plans to take the rest of the summer off and figure out what they want to do with it, Mike Keyshae said.

Jason Bacaj may be reached at or 582-2635.