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By Micah Drew
Pathfinder 

Clearwater Junction Under New Ownership: Cow to Stay

 

Micah Drew, Pathfinder

New owners Scott McIntyre and his associates are making changes at Clearwater Junction after their recent purchase of the convenience store, gas station and bar. However they have no plans to remove the cow.

GREENOUGH - Stoney, the iconic cow that guards the intersection of Highway 200 and Highway 83, answers to a new owner.

Last month Scott McIntyre and his associates bought Clearwater Junction-the convenience store, gas station, bar and yes, the cow.

"I've been going up there since I was a kid and we just thought we'd make an offer," said McIntyre.

McIntyre is best known for owning the Badlander Complex, a series of bars in downtown Missoula that includes the Badlander, Golden Rose and the newly opened Locals Only.

While the experience running convenience stores might be lacking, the thriving bar scene shows that McIntyre and Company know how to draw a crowd.

"They're expecting to double the amount of people we see which would be crazy," said Hannah Zuber, the bar manager.

"Location here is a freaking gold mine. Every day on a given day we probably see about 2000 people," she estimated.

Zuber has worked at the Junction off and on for five years and is excited about the coming changes.

The first focus is on the convenience store. There will be new employees, more hours and new fuel pumps.

The biggest change is a wave of construction that will remodel the bathrooms and move them inside. Construction started almost immediately after McIntyre closed the sale.

The convenience store is also getting a facelift and the entrance will be moved to the west side of the building.

Landscaping is planned around the cow to give him something better looking to stand on than an old dilapidated trailer. Fixing his bullet holes is also in the works.

"So many people take selfies with it," said McIntyre. "We want it to be inviting. That's good for the place."

There is also planned landscaping behind the bar and the potential to add a deck and outdoor seating. There is also a "Bark Park" in the works. Zuber pointed out that the bar is canine friendly.

McIntyre estimates that by the end of July all the improvements planned for the year will be done. Other changes in the works will have to wait-they take time, and there is still a plethora of popular bars in Missoula.

The store hopes to be serving ice cream by mid-July, and there is potential to have a farmer's market and food trucks in the future-Lindey's Prime Steak House already brings their sandwich wagon down once a week. The Junction already hosts a free cookout at least once a month-the next on is July 4. They will continue the annual pig roast and tailgating when Griz games start up.

"The change is really cool," said Zuber. "Sometimes things need to happen."

 

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