Reconstructing downtown Bozeman: “Building destroyed by explosion 12 years ago reopens | City

Twelve years after a gas line exploded that ravaged part of downtown Bozeman, the last damaged building reopened on Monday.

The building, which once housed the Rocky Mountain Toy Company and the Starky Deli, remained standing for a short time after the explosion, said Ellie Staley, chief executive of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership, but was ultimately demolished.

The land had remained vacant until Casey Durham, along with the Okay Cool group, bought it a few years ago. The Okay Cool Group owns El Camino, Copper, and other bars and restaurants in the area.

“Being born and raised in Bozeman… it’s exciting to replenish downtown Bozeman,” said Durham.

The first floor of the building is the Main Street Market, which includes a cafe and small shops. A restaurant is expected to open soon on an upper floor, and the basement should accommodate two karaoke rooms and an Asian street food restaurant.

The building also includes office space.

On Monday, a handful of customers sat drinking coffee and working at the table, as traders put the finishing touches on their stores.

For vendors, the market is an opportunity to get downtown space without having to rent a full-size space. Kelley Krekelberg, who owns Catch Boutique in West Bozeman, opens a clothing store called Bonnie and Clyde in the market.

“It’s such a rare find here at Bozeman,” Krekelberg said.

There are a handful of vendors in the space, including a second location for the Paper and Grace gift shop.

Other vendors include clothing stores and an ice cream shop.

Ashley Gjermo, managing director of Main Street Market, said she wants to open a gathering place that was also a one-stop-shop.

“Bozeman has a lot of character and I think it’s something we wanted to keep, but bringing that urban feel and opening it up to anyone who wants it or needs it,” said Gjermo.

The space also includes a convenience store-style product offering, and the back of the cafe will be open for liquor sales, said Charlotte Durham, market developer.

The aim was for the building to offer something for everyone.

“I wanted this to be a space where kids and people of all ages can have something here,” said Durham. “We wanted to make sure that there was a landing point for the city center.”

Staley said the market was an exciting concept.

“It offers so many amenities and services under one roof,” Staley said. “Everything from day to day needs or satisfaction needs, but also to have access to ice cream, to new wave retail… it’s just a wonderfully diverse group.”

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