The old Hotel Yellowstone in Pocatello will once again be opening its doors.
After years of sitting empty, the former hotel will now be the new home of “The Bridge” restaurant. The restaurant has been working hard to move locations and will soon be up and running, bringing life back to the historic building.
The owner, Lisa Willmore, said there’s just a few more things they’re trying to get finished before they can open.
She said the reasons for moving were because they needed space to grow. The previous location was on 1st Street. Willmore said she also wanted better visibility and more traffic for the restaurant. And she said she wanted to move somewhere where the restaurant could be more a part of Old Town. So Willmore said leasing the old hotel seemed like a great solution.
The hotel has a kitchen double the size of the restaurant’s last kitchen. The dining room holds more people and there will now be two full bars.
The dining room seating will accommodate up to 75 people. The two bars can hold a maximum of 99. So Willmore said she’s pleased with all the extra space. But she said it has been tough to get it all ready.
“It’s been a challenge,” Willmore said. “It sounded good in theory to move to a new location that’s bigger. Once you dig into it, especially an old building – it’s 100 years old – so to get it up to code, to get everything to pass all the inspections, that’s been the challenge.”
Willmore said the electrical has been redone, the plumbing has been fixed and upgraded, and a new exhaust system has been put in. The new exhaust system has been one of the biggest delays, Willmore said. But she said everything is almost ready to go for opening day and she can’t wait.
“I’m way excited,” Willmore said. “The Yellowstone hotel is a gorgeous, historic monument in Pocatello and it’s been vacant for a few years now and to watch it just always deteriorate, and it hasn’t been lit up for five years, and for us to to do it with The Bridge, it’s way exciting.”
Willmore said she has already had several calls to book reservations at the restaurant for the holiday season. She said right now, the restaurant is schedule to re-open for business Dec. 2. A grand opening event will be held Dec. 16.