In a year when Missoula's restaurants have been a vanishing species, news of a brand new opening is a Big Deal.

And when a local business group makes that investment, it's a case of even more optimism for Western Montana food lovers.

This week the new Liquid Planet Grill on Brooke Street is going through a "soft opening", which showcases great eats, the latest trends in the restaurant business with fresh food, an expert chef, and yet still brings back memories of one our favorites.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo
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We were shattered

A year ago, Missoula was in shock with news that the Denny's on Brooks was closing, ending roughly three decades of "Grand Slam" goodness and memories.

The partners in the Pangea Restaurant Group pounced on the opportunity to move into the location, part of a sweeping plan to expand food offerings in Missoula that include expansions at Pangea in downtown Missoula, a New Mexican restaurant at Southgate Mall, and a new operation in the Florence Hotel Building.

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It took months of work and development

This week, all the months of planning, permits, and planning came to a successful conclusion with the opening of the new Liquid Plant Grill.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo
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Partner Scott Billadeau tells me the "bones" of the old Denny's building were good but it took extensive remodeling which has opened up the interior of the dining room, and added an entirely new kitchen and counters for Liquid's legendary pastries and beverages.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo
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Brand new, but a familiar feel

Walking inside you'll see the new, but also a familiar feel with the original Denny's. Decorations include a colorful "graffiti wall" and artwork, but you'll also recognize those original art deco lights and comfortable booths.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo
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Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo
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Billadeau says the new restaurant is about twice the size of the first Liquid Planet Grill on Arthur and will continue the "farm fresh" food approach, with an all-day breakfast.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo
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Most importantly in the growing Mid-town Missoula area, workers in surrounding offices and stores will be able to opt for both in-house meals and food for those on the go, or ordering through online services.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley Warren

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