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Montana Club may soon have have a new owner

The Montana Club Logo
Montana Club Building
Posted at 9:54 AM, Apr 20, 2024

HELENA — According to the Original Montana Club Cooperative Association, a prospective buyer has signed a contract to purchase the historic Montana Club.

Announced Friday, businessman and software entrepreneur Ajitpal Pannu has entered into a $1.3 million agreement to buy the entire Montana Club operations, the liquor license, the club-owned floors of the building, the Rathskeller, and all furniture and equipment.

“I invest in three things. I invest in agriculture because we’re farmers truly at heart, second I invest in agriculture technology companies because end of the day I have a passion for technology because it does subtle things to make our lives better. And then the third thing I really enjoy is experiences,” Pannu told MTN.

Club records and historic memorabilia will be donated to the Montana Historical Society and State Archives.

“This is a new lease on life for the Montana Club, a new era,” Club President Charles Robison said. “We are excited to work with Ajitpal to ensure a smooth transition and help him give new life to the traditions and special moments only the Montana Club provides.”

The historic operation closed its doors in March after nearly 140 years of business, but not before having one last round.

The final night at the original Montana Club

The Montana Club has been facing financial difficulty for a while.

In June 2018, the club opened to the public and was reorganized as a cooperative association. However, according to Robison, the lack of sustainability in the private club still had its effects on the business all these years later.

They filed for bankruptcy in November and are currently being sued by co-owners of the building for unpaid maintenance assessments. The co-owners of the building and other creditors have made claims for $1.3 million in the bankruptcy case.

Robinson says if the deal is approved by the bankruptcy court it would satisfy the outstanding debts.

According to Robinson, approval is expected though not guaranteed by mid-May.

Pannu says he knows it will take work, but is excited about the venture.

“We are rolling up our sleeves to bring this building back to life and restore the rich traditions,” said Pannu in a press release. “After almost 120 years, it needs a little TLC and we are excited to get started.”