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The owners of a new American grill off Huffine Lane say they hope the restaurant will cater to the growth of Bozeman’s west side.

Sidewinders, an 8,000-square-foot Americana-style eatery, is set to open June 1 in the Ferguson Farm development east of Cottonwood Road. Developed by a family-owned restaurant group out of Jackson, Wyoming, the space will include rooftop seating, a large bar and an arcade.

“We really researched the market and saw a need for something like this on the west side,” said Joe Rice, owner of Blue Collar Restaurant Group. “That’s where all the growth in this community is happening, to the west.”

With the help of his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Rice has developed six restaurants — from a Mexican grill to a noodle kitchen — in the Jackson area, including the original Sidewinders, which opened in 1997. Friends had always wanted the family to expand their concepts outside of Wyoming, Rice said, but it wasn’t until meeting Michael Delaney, the developer behind Ferguson Farm, that the timing felt right.

“We had no designs to be downtown; we are right where we want to be,” Rice said.

Using an already well-established idea (Rice said he plans to bring up chefs and managers from the Jackson location) will help smooth the typically bumpy opening months, he added. All told, the establishment will employ about 75 people.

Sidewinders’ popular fare includes chicken pot pie, French onion soup and a stuffed pretzel featured on the the show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The menu lists an array of burgers, steaks and, at the Bozeman location, more than 70 draft beers.

“It’s not a special occasion place. It’s something for everyone,” Rice said. “We get everybody from Joe the plumber to Harrison Ford. It’s a very popular concept.”

Rice also purchased the lot across the street from Sidewinders where he hopes to eventually build another restaurant.

Located south of the Valley West subdivision, the 19-acre Ferguson Farm development is set to include a 22,000-square-foot multi-use space that will host a collection of eight or nine artisan businesses from a brewpub to a coffee shop, according to Delaney. Construction will begin this summer.

“There’s no place to congregate on the west side of town. Downtown is a place. We want to create a west end place,” Delaney said, noting that the development will eventually include a lodge and grocery. “It’ll be a really fun environment to be in 12 months a year.”

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Kendall can be reached at Kendall is on Twitter at @lewdak


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