HELENA — The Dam Bar has been a staple for Montanans spending their summer on Canyon Ferry. But back in August the brick-and-mortar building burnt to the ground. That is not stopping the owners from moving forward though. And proof that you can’t keep a good thing down, the Dam Bar is open in a slightly smaller form.
“I just wanted to have food available for the community and work for the staff," said Dam Bar owner Nancy Rushford. " It’s still nice enough out we can sell hamburgers and hopefully soon, beer outside.”
Nancy and crew just started the Food Truck – accurately named Dam It! - can be found in the parking lot of the former bar. It’s a bare-bones operation serving up some bar staples, but for hungry boaters on Canyon Ferry it’s enough.
“Pretty good, we had a pretty decent turnout last weekend, so hoping now that people know were out here it will pick up a little bit here,” said Rushford.
Though the menu isn’t as expanded as before, still being able to be part of the community and a source of income for their employees is enough reason to keep the window here open while the weather is warm.
“Basically keep enough business going that my staff can keep working and not have to be displaced," added Rushford. And this is a rather large community with not a lot of options for food, so that’s another concern. Keeping people fed, if there is nowhere to go out here people won’t come out and recreate, so, keep some options open.”
And as for the future, Nancy said they are looking to rebuild and if possible expand.
“Wishful thinking, we would like to go bigger because the community had already, basically outgrown this building and it was already getting so tight, especially in the kitchen to serve as many people as were out here," said Rushford. So, we would definitely, if we are able to rebuild we’ll accommodate for that. Hopefully be able to serve a lot more people in a shorter amount of time to accommodate the community better.”