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As Clayton Prosise was working as a manager at La Parilla more than a year ago, he was presented with an idea.

Since the burrito joint was moving into The Garage’s old location and sharing it with Shine Beer Sanctuary, The Garage’s future was up in the air. Unless Prosise wanted to use the brand at a new location.

“It always fascinated me, having my own place,” Prosise said, “and being able to be the filter to make sure everything is happening the way we expect it to.”

After the restaurant closed a year ago, The Garage opened at its new location in early June. Prosise and his co-owner Chuck Larson took elements from the original restaurant while creating an ambience and menu simpler than the prior one.

The Garage had been open since 2001 in its downtown location. The move, Prosise said, is an investment in Bozeman’s westward expansion as more people move near the new spot at 33 W. Haley Springs, off Huffine Lane.

“We try to hold true to The Garage standards,” said Prosise, who was also a manager at the previous location. “We didn’t want to take it so far off the mark that people are like ‘What the hell is going on here?’”

The changes, though, include a fast-casual model where people order at the front of the store and food is brought to the table. The menu is smaller because Prosise wants food to be prepared within 12 minutes. At the old Garage, the vast menu hampered cooking time, he said, especially when it was busy.

But the core remains the same.

“We have two keys here: Provide a great hospitality experience, provide a great, consistent product,” Prosise said. “I firmly believe that if we do those two things and we take care of our community, the community is going to take care of us.”

Like before, The Garage focuses on burgers and beer. Every tap except one features a beer from Montana. Soup and salads are still available and soup options are likely to expand by the fall.

The building was built recently, too, so Prosise had a hand in the design. There’s a garage door kept open when the weather allows and a cement pedestal to display motorcycles or cars. Other car parts are displayed around the building.

Prosise described the new restaurant as a variation of what already existed.

“Instead of trying to do a lot of things,” Prosise said, “let’s do a few things and do them really, really well.”

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Paul Schwedelson can be reached at or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.

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