Cafe opens on Main Street, provides dining experience to accommodate young families

By: 
AUSTIN LOTT
Star Staff Writer

The trio of buildings at 605, 607 and 609 Main St. now includes a cafe that aims to serve young families and people doing business on Main Street in Miles City.

Since purchasing the  buildings in Jan. of 2016, which includes the Trails Inn Tap Haus and Mama Stella’s Pizza, Ilyana Rice, and her husband Dan, have been thinking about the space at 605 Main St., which used to be the Range Riders Bar and Restaurant. 

The previous restaurant was open from 1934 to the early 2000’s, but was boarded up and has sat vacant for more than 10 years. 

“It was in pretty rough shape,” Ilyana said. 

She explained that they have been working on the space for the past 18 months. She has always had a clear vision for what she wanted the space to be. She has named it the Range Riders Cafe, to pay homage to its history, while changing it to let people know there’s something new going on. 

“Dan and I met in South Korea,” she explained. “The restaurants there often had a television, or toys, for children.” 

When she and Dan moved back to Miles City they realized there was an opportunity to provide an experience like that, giving young families a place to go and eat where kids don’t have to sit still at the table while the adults and older siblings get along with conversation. 

With that end in mind Ilyana, who has two boys and a girl, decided to do something different and designed a space in the cafe with open windows, no door, and lots of things for kids to do besides sit and be bored next to their parents. They have a TV on the wall, but they also have books, toys and a city-streets floor rug. The room is geared towards younger children aged two through six.

Correspondingly, the menu has a number of items Ilyana hopes kids will enjoy. Pizza is what Mama Stella’s is known for, but Ilyana hopes that a favorite from Dan’s childhood is as much of a hit with Miles City kids as it was for him: grilled peanut butter and jelly. 

Step inside, and the Range Riders Cafe has a very open and airy feel, with a clean modern style that is accented by historic touches. The two window seats feature portions of the original carved bar top from the Range Riders Bar, and the wall running down the West side of the cafe is an original brick wall from 1887 when the building was built.

The cafe serves food from Mama Stella’s kitchen, drink from Trails Inn, and something new to Miles City: wine on tap. They currently have four wines, three from the Pacific Coast and one from Germany. Dan explained the process, noting that they use nitrogen gas to push the wine from their five gallon kegs. That’s key, he explained, since opening a traditional bottle of wine introduces oxygen, which immediately begins oxidizing the wine, causing it to go bad within a few days if not sold. 

The 44 taps, including the 40 beer and cider taps in the Trails Inn, distinguish the establishment as having the most taps this side of Bozeman. 

However, young families aren’t the only ones the cafe has been built to accommodate.

“We’re working on a lot of quick meals to serve the business people who want to have lunch on Main Street,” Ilyana explained. She said she also wanted a space that would welcome anyone who wouldn’t feel comfortable heading into the Trails Inn. To that end, they have installed 110-volt outlets and USB charging outlets at almost every seat in the cafe and provide public Wi-Fi. 

In the back of the cafe is a pass through area that allows people to go around to the Trails Inn side, as well as the casino, which has several pool tables.

“If a mom wants to take her older kids over to play pool while dad stays in the cafe with the younger kids, you can do that,” she said.

Ilyana said the staff has been instructed to keep the more boisterous clients of Trails Inn on the bar side, maintaining the family-friendly feel of the Range Riders Cafe.

The cafe opens at 10 a.m. every day, and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Ilyana and Dan’s daughter, who is 5, loves the play room. 

 

Older Children

Denis Leidholt’s brewery, the Tilt Wurks at 420 Pacific Ave. in Miles City, is another place that has a few things to help keep the active children at your table distracted. 

A section at one end of the main room, which held the beer-bottle Christmas tree over the holidays, has a giant Jenga set, a corn hole bean-bag game, and darts. There are also two functional pinball machines. Suggested age range is five and up. 

“Whenever the Jenga blocks fall, the whole room notices,” Leidholt said.

Leidholt, who started off working on pinball machines after graduation from Miles Community College, themed the whole brewery after pinball. Numerous back glass pieces are displayed throughout. One of the functional machines is a 1993 Twilight Zone game, which was ranked the number one pinball machine of all time by the Internet Pinball Database.

The Airport Inn, 153 MT-59, is another Miles City staple for people with children who are in the eight and up range. From the fun decor, with planes of all varieties hung on the ceiling, to the arcade game machines, the restaurant is especially good for kids that aren’t too small. They are known for their pizza and finger steaks.

Yellowstone Tavern, 3008 Valley Drive East in Miles City, is also known to be a good place to take your family if you want a drink and want to let your kids run around. They have pool tables and an arcade room with a number of games for kids. The Tavern, like Airport Inn, is probably best for older children in the eight-plus range.

(Contact Austin Lott at mcstarreporter@gmail.com or 406-234-0450.)

 

 

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