The Living Room to become Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill

Interior of the Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill in Milton Keynes.

Interior of the Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill in Milton Keynes.

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Business editor

THE new owners of a popular York bar are transforming it in to an American-style bar and grill with a £240,000 investment set to create 30 new jobs.

The Stonegate Pub Company, which bought the Living Room chain in August last year, is turning York’s Living Room in Bridge Street into a Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill.

The move will see the Living Room brand leave York after almost ten years in the city.

Following the takeover of the Living Room chain, the Stonegate Pub Company now owns and operates eight licensed premises in York, employing more than 244 people in the city through its portfolio of bars and restaurants which include Slug and Lettuce, Yates, Varsity, Classic Inns, Local Pubs, Great Traditional Pubs, Scream, Bars & Venues, Missoula, Living Room, and Smith & Jones.

Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill is a new venture for the company, with York’s bar only the second to be opened by Stonegate following the brand’s launch in Milton Keynes before Christmas.

The decor, and food and drink offering are inspired by the American state of Montana, with ‘Bison Burgers’ and waffles featuring on the menu, while the bar boasts seven ‘world beers’ as well as 14 classic cocktails and 11 signature cocktails.

The investment, which follows £570,000 already invested in the city through the Stonegate’s ongoing refurbishment programme, will create 30 new jobs under the operation of new manager Chris Smith.

All Living Room staff had previously been transferred to Stonegate when they bought the chain last year.

Vince Williams from the Stonegate Pub Company said: “We are delighted to be bringing Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill to York.

“Through years of operating successful businesses within the city, we know that there is a real demand from the residents and visitors of York for a quality drinking and dining experience that offers exceptional customer service and fantastic food.

“This is why we believe Missoula - Montana Bar & Grill will become a firm favourite amongst of the citizens of York.”

A customer training service programme, led by Montana born and bred Molly Smith, is already underway ahead of the new bar’s opening on February 14.

The Living Room opened in York in May 2004, as a 150-cover restaurant and a 250-capacity bar, in Bridge Street, following a £950,000 investment from the chain’s previous owners Living Ventures.

The company transformed the ground floor of the Merchant Exchange on the River Ouse to create its tenth Living Room bar in the country.

Comments (15)

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8:16pm Wed 22 Jan 14

sheps lad says...

Have a nice day Y'all!!
Have a nice day Y'all!! sheps lad
  • Score: 8

9:45pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

Wonder if Norm, Cliff and Frazier will be sat at the bar?
Wonder if Norm, Cliff and Frazier will be sat at the bar? Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: -2

10:30pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Woody G Mellor says...

Looks cheap and tacky compared to the old Living Room. After ten happy years escaping the Micklegate runners I'll have to take my custom elsewhere. Crap. Very disappointed.
Looks cheap and tacky compared to the old Living Room. After ten happy years escaping the Micklegate runners I'll have to take my custom elsewhere. Crap. Very disappointed. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 19

10:41pm Wed 22 Jan 14

oi oi savaloy says...

didn't we have this kind of garbage 150 yards away and it shut down due to lack of interest 6 years ago?
http://www.yorkpress
.co.uk/news/3745246.
Old_Orleans_diner_cl
oses/
didn't we have this kind of garbage 150 yards away and it shut down due to lack of interest 6 years ago? http://www.yorkpress .co.uk/news/3745246. Old_Orleans_diner_cl oses/ oi oi savaloy
  • Score: 25

10:03am Thu 23 Jan 14

SimonHall says...

Do York Press only report on stories about companies that advertise with them? 2 days ago, the YO1 festival announced it was having one of the biggest names in hip-hop performing live, yet I've not seen a thing in the Press. Surely this is the sort of thing the local paper should be reporting on, not the re-decoration of a bar?
Do York Press only report on stories about companies that advertise with them? 2 days ago, the YO1 festival announced it was having one of the biggest names in hip-hop performing live, yet I've not seen a thing in the Press. Surely this is the sort of thing the local paper should be reporting on, not the re-decoration of a bar? SimonHall
  • Score: 21

10:21am Thu 23 Jan 14

maybejustmaybe says...

Nice Ad.
Nice Ad. maybejustmaybe
  • Score: 8

11:05am Thu 23 Jan 14

marvell says...

Given that the only growth area in the licenced trade is traditional bars and real / craft ale - will be really interesting to see if Stonegate have judged the market right in York. Theme bars are so passé these days let alone the gauche American "experience".

York retail history is full of businesses that go bust due to lack of research into their potential market - just look at the latest in Goodramgate - Bacchus Wine Shop. Wrong location, wrong demographic, wrong price point.

Will be interesting, given their existing presence in the city, to see if Stonegate have judged this right and end up being a restaurant that happens to serve drinks rather than a Bar & Grill with a 50/50 split...
Given that the only growth area in the licenced trade is traditional bars and real / craft ale - will be really interesting to see if Stonegate have judged the market right in York. Theme bars are so passé these days let alone the gauche American "experience". York retail history is full of businesses that go bust due to lack of research into their potential market - just look at the latest in Goodramgate - Bacchus Wine Shop. Wrong location, wrong demographic, wrong price point. Will be interesting, given their existing presence in the city, to see if Stonegate have judged this right and end up being a restaurant that happens to serve drinks rather than a Bar & Grill with a 50/50 split... marvell
  • Score: 7

12:08pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Anna Mossity says...

SimonHall wrote:
Do York Press only report on stories about companies that advertise with them? 2 days ago, the YO1 festival announced it was having one of the biggest names in hip-hop performing live, yet I've not seen a thing in the Press. Surely this is the sort of thing the local paper should be reporting on, not the re-decoration of a bar?
I was thinking along the same lines. With the North Yorkshire hip hop scene ready to take the word by storm with the likes of The Fresh Prince of Bell Farm, MC Hammerton and The Wu Tang Hall clan, you'd think the YO1 festival would be high on the populations' agenda.

East-side.
[quote][p][bold]SimonHall[/bold] wrote: Do York Press only report on stories about companies that advertise with them? 2 days ago, the YO1 festival announced it was having one of the biggest names in hip-hop performing live, yet I've not seen a thing in the Press. Surely this is the sort of thing the local paper should be reporting on, not the re-decoration of a bar?[/p][/quote]I was thinking along the same lines. With the North Yorkshire hip hop scene ready to take the word by storm with the likes of The Fresh Prince of Bell Farm, MC Hammerton and The Wu Tang Hall clan, you'd think the YO1 festival would be high on the populations' agenda. East-side. Anna Mossity
  • Score: 15

1:32pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Poosticks says...

Good, bye bye to the place where the pretentious posers gather.
Good, bye bye to the place where the pretentious posers gather. Poosticks
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Thu 23 Jan 14

BKKYorkshireboy says...

Sad times and I am very disappointed to hear this news. I liked the Living Room, good selction of lagers and well trained, friendly and knowledgable bar staff and also the 241 cocktail deals with SLY card. This new American themed bar sounds very studenty and not the sort of place I would go for a drink. I hope it bombs and the Living Room is reinstated when Living Ventures buys the lease back at half the price in a few years time! The Biltmore will be very pleased about this news and I would think that Banyan will do well as a result also..
Sad times and I am very disappointed to hear this news. I liked the Living Room, good selction of lagers and well trained, friendly and knowledgable bar staff and also the 241 cocktail deals with SLY card. This new American themed bar sounds very studenty and not the sort of place I would go for a drink. I hope it bombs and the Living Room is reinstated when Living Ventures buys the lease back at half the price in a few years time! The Biltmore will be very pleased about this news and I would think that Banyan will do well as a result also.. BKKYorkshireboy
  • Score: 7

2:23pm Thu 23 Jan 14

BKKYorkshireboy says...

Also, my favourite post-York Races bar and I will miss the live music from the piano. The more I think about it the more I am genuinely distressed about this!!
Also, my favourite post-York Races bar and I will miss the live music from the piano. The more I think about it the more I am genuinely distressed about this!! BKKYorkshireboy
  • Score: 8

4:05pm Thu 23 Jan 14

spiritofyork says...

the geordies will love this. which is what is important in yorks nightime economy.
the geordies will love this. which is what is important in yorks nightime economy. spiritofyork
  • Score: 3

2:26am Fri 24 Jan 14

amykathleen2005 says...

That looks nothing like an American bar. And also Montana is one of the most boring states.
That looks nothing like an American bar. And also Montana is one of the most boring states. amykathleen2005
  • Score: 2

8:50am Fri 24 Jan 14

Ousetunes says...

As a regular visitor to York, The Living Room was often my first port of call. A very decent bar where one felt inclined to stop for another.

York does not need theme bars unless of course it wishes to cater for yet more drunken hen parties and stag dos. This will be, in my opinion, a great loss to the city.

I'll head straight for Banyan and The Biltmore although, great as these two places are, neither is blessed with such a wonderful view as The Living Room.

Backward step if you ask me; should have simply converted it into a Burger King....
As a regular visitor to York, The Living Room was often my first port of call. A very decent bar where one felt inclined to stop for another. York does not need theme bars unless of course it wishes to cater for yet more drunken hen parties and stag dos. This will be, in my opinion, a great loss to the city. I'll head straight for Banyan and The Biltmore although, great as these two places are, neither is blessed with such a wonderful view as The Living Room. Backward step if you ask me; should have simply converted it into a Burger King.... Ousetunes
  • Score: 6

3:14pm Fri 24 Jan 14

meme says...

I understand this is a new venture for this company and looking at their literature its really another Living Room themed in a different way and aimed at the more mature customer, not students.
I agree losing the Living Room is a shame as it was good but I suspect they are aiming at exactly the same market.
what's more pathetic are puerile comments like ''Good, bye bye to the place where the pretentious posers gather.'' what is wrong with some people? live and let live, not denigrate peoples free choice to go where they want!
I understand this is a new venture for this company and looking at their literature its really another Living Room themed in a different way and aimed at the more mature customer, not students. I agree losing the Living Room is a shame as it was good but I suspect they are aiming at exactly the same market. what's more pathetic are puerile comments like ''Good, bye bye to the place where the pretentious posers gather.'' what is wrong with some people? live and let live, not denigrate peoples free choice to go where they want! meme
  • Score: 4

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