GREAT FALLS — In 2018, Downtown Great Falls introduced an idea called the "pedlet." They enable businesses to maintain control of the sidewalk area and gives pedestrians the ability to walk in a safe space.
It started with the Mighty Mo Brew Pub as a test and the response was positive. In 2023, Downtown Great Falls is welcoming seven pedlets to the area surrounding Central Avenue.
“You can be at one of our downtown establishments and enjoy the weather outside and listen to the birds and traffic, I guess. But you know, that's an urban setting and there's a charm in that as well,” said Peter Jennings, owner/manager of the Celtic Cowboy.
This is to get Montanans outside, a place they love dearly, but also to build a buzz around the downtown area collaboratively.
“It's easier for us all to work cooperatively than competitively to create that nightlife, to create that energy in downtown. I think you're seeing a lot of that with a lot of what's going on,” explained Mike Hallahan, managing partner for Enbar and The Block.
The pedlet has offered an opportunity for The Wild Hare to boost its weekend brunch operation.
“We don’t have everything solidified yet, but we want to start doing Saturday mornings. We have Joe Ryan that plays brunch for us. We want to bring him outside some days, extend our brunch to outdoors, and then some new menu items we’ll also be starting to serve in the Tequila Lounge,” said Amber Windy from The Wild Hare.
The pedlets might be a small addition to Downtown Great Falls, but it is a big step in booming local business on the strip.
“Having the outdoor dining option brings more people downtown. It gives them a sense of security. It also expands the footprint for the businesses so that they can do more business,” explained Kellie Pierce, director of the Business Improvement District for Downtown Great Falls Association.
Many of the businesses that have pedlets in the downtown area won’t open immediately, The Wild Hare for example is opening its outdoor seating area, on Cinco De Mayo weekend.
Pedlets can be set up starting May 1st and will come down October 31st.
To find out more about adding a pedlet to your business, call the Downtown Great Falls Association at 406-453-6151.
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