Popular Ronan bar, grill back in business
RONAN – More than three and a half years ago, a fire tore through the Pheasant Lounge and filled the building with water and heavy smoke. The business was forced to close, and the building was torn down.
Owner Lori Grenier has rebuilt her business in the same location and renamed it The Bird Bar and Grill. The business recently reopened, welcoming their first customers on Saturday, Nov. 9.
“The grand opening went very well,” Grenier said. “We had a really nice crowd. I saw a lot of people I haven’t seen since the fire.”
Back on the early morning of June 13, 2016, for a little more than three hours, firefighters from the Ronan, Polson and Charlo fire departments battled the blaze that closed what many locals consider a downtown Ronan staple.
The burned-out building was torn down back in November 2017. After much back-and-forth discussion with the insurance company concerning the cost of repairs, the rebuilding project was given the go-ahead in June 2018.
The project took more than a year and a half to complete. “It took a while with the rebuilding,” said Grenier, who has owned the business since 2002.
Grenier said the bar served as a den for many Griz fans and was home to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the valley. She said the bar wouldn’t have been rebuilt if it weren’t for the hard work from her friends and family who helped. “I had a lot of help from my kids and good friends,” she said.
With the rebuild came a few changes, like the offering of tap beers, a slightly larger bar area and a kitchen three times the size of the former one, with a bigger grill and more fryers.
“One thing that hasn’t changed about the place is the good food and the famous steak,” Grenier said.