After years of rumors, the way is finally open for the acclaimed steak restaurant Texas Roadhouse in Western Montana.

But you'll have to wait to tuck some steak or ribs. Probably until next year.

The idea of luring Texas Roadhouse to set up shop in Missoula has been circulating for some time, with a lot of speculation on a possible location. Those ideas began to become reality in the last half of 2022, as a Southgate Mall spot appeared to be the home for the popular eatery.

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In December, the City of Missoula issued a building permit for "Texas Roadhouse Landlord Work", which confirmed the actual location at the mall. When Red Robin closed operations in the fall, many reports indicated Texas Roadhouse would take that spot. But the permit confirms the restaurant will in fact take the former location of Herberger's, which is on the opposite side of the main Southgate entrance from Red Robin. The value of the project on the permit is $1.5 million.

Renovation work at the site is now underway

But don't plan your evening out yet. Mall management tells me there's no "definitive or planned date yet", but they don't expect an opening anytime before early 2024. That means Billings will remain as the only Montana location for Texas Roadhouse, at least for now.

Texas Roadhouse isn't the only new tenant coming

The city also issued a permit for the same kind of "landlord work" for the much-anticipated Hobby Lobby store, which is slated to go into the former Lucky's Market location on the east side of Southgate Mall. That's a $1.7 million investment. That's a new store that's been anticipated ever since shortly after Lucky's closed.

But as with Texas Roadhouse, there's no planned date for Hobby Lobby to open, and it's "not expected" until early '24.

10 Best Steakhouses in Montana

If you live in Montana, you have to love a good steak dinner now and then. Luckily, here in Montana, we have steakhouses that spread far and wide throughout the state. If you are traveling through Montana or vacationing around the state, give one of these places a try.

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