The Kettlehouse is expanding to meet demands in several states for its craft beer and is reconfiguring its operations in two locations in Missoula.
Monday evening the Missoula City Council approved a conditional-use beer and wine permit for its original location just south of the Higgins Avenue bridge. However, the permit limits serving hours to end at 10 p.m. This and other restrictions come after some objections about noise and the appearance of the business from a nearby resident.
At the city council meeting, Missoula resident Justin Anthony stepped forward to say, "I don't know that it will mitigate some of the issues about noise and the general drinking population that comes with any kind of establishments such as this."
The founder and current general manager of the Kettlehouse, Tim O'Leary, told NBC Montana, "We need to have livable, walkable communities. I firmly believe that places that you can walk to and bike to to eat, have a beer, ice cream, pizza, are real treasures to this town."
O'Leary explains that the Kettlehouse always planned to operate on a limited basis, in line with a traditional taproom. However, O'Leary pointed out to the city council how the 10 p.m. serving cut-off diminishes the future value of the permit for new buyers and limits the ability of the business to operate on a fair basis with other similar taverns and bars.
Some city council members defended the restrictions by saying the Kettlehouse's Myrtle Street location near the Higgins bridge is closer to a residential neighborhood than other taverns.
O'Leary adds that the new configuration should bring five to six new jobs to Missoula.