When I first heard talk about renovation of the Arvon Block I didn’t even know where it was. Well, time for my education, it’s in downtown Great Falls on a street I drive every day on my way to the post office.
I began to see lots of construction trucks parked at the site and was eager to see the finished product. An anticipated opening was delayed a bit by slow delivery of supplies but that just seemed to make people more curious to see the place.
The project is two-fold with the first phase being the Celtic Cowboy Irish Pub. The pub is named after early day businessman Robert Vaughn, an Irish immigrant in Great Falls who portrayed a cowboy well.
I bet that they could have built a new “Irish pub” for much, much less than the cost of renovating this old building. Thanks to some serious history lovers, we now have a saved building with a storied past. To say the least, the end result is beautiful and even if you don’t want to quaff an ale, it’s well worth a visit for lunch or dinner. Or, just stop in and look the place over.
My first visit was for dinner. It was cold that night, bitter cold, and I thought the place would be nearly empty. Was I ever wrong! Snow, ice and sub-zero temps aren’t stopping Montanans when they want a good dining experience!
I ordered fish and chips, not my usual fare but hey, it’s an Irish pub! I was impressed. My dining companion commented on the unique serving plates (almost like planks). Yummy bread (one of my weaknesses) accompanied the dinner.
First though, let’s paint the scene – it was about -10 degrees outside, it was dark and there was a chilly breeze. We walked in the The Celtic Cowboy, were greeted right away, and then seated in the front close to a huge gas fireplace. I can still feel the warmth! Our server was very attentive, talked about their beers on tap and also produced a wine list along with the dining menu. As I began to thaw out/warm up, I checked out the decor. Very nice.
The second phase of the Arvon Block renovation is underway and it will be a boutique hotel. I’m not sure how many sleeping rooms they will have but I would guess about 20. I’m excited to see this final phase and it is estimated that they will be done mid summer.
The Celtic Cowboy Irish pub is located at 116 1st Avenue South in Great Falls and their website is TheCelticCowboy.com Check it out when you are in downtown Great Falls.