by Annie Pentilla
The Montana Standard
Originally published in The Montana Standard April 23, 2017
Just hours before the doors opened for the first time at the Rib & Chop House in Butte, its kitchen was abuzz with activity as staff flipped burgers, lined up fresh, flown-in lobster and chopped herbs in preparation for the day’s customers.
The restaurant opened Monday inside the Clarion Inn Copper King Hotel & Convention Center on Harrison Ave. and is one among several locations owned by the Livingston-based company Finally Restaurant Group.
The company got its start when Burke and Melissa Moran, a couple from Louisiana, opened the very first Rib & Chop House in Livingston in 2001. Since then, the restaurant chain has become known for its steaks and seafood.
General Manager Nicole Jensen gave The Montana Standard a tour of the 250-person-capacity restaurant Monday.
“We have fresh seafood flown in twice a week (and) certified Angus-beef steaks,” she said, adding the restaurant currently employs 85 and counting.
In addition to seafood and steaks, the Rib & Chop House menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, desserts, a kids’ menu and “world famous margaritas,” among other items, Jensen said. She added that a majority of the food is made in house from original recipes and is never frozen.
“We cater to everyone,” she said, describing the restaurant’s vibe. “You can come in fancy if you like or you can come in in sweatpants and a T-shirt. We don’t have a dress code. We just want everyone to come in an enjoy a great meal at a decent price.”
The restaurant also has a 40-person bar that features 20 bottled beers, ten 70-inch TVs and 30 beers on tap, in addition to a selection of wine and spirits.
A native of Washington, Jensen has been with Rib & Chop House for several years, having managed locations in Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
Jensen said working in the restaurant industry is fun, but she wouldn’t call it a cakewalk.
“No day is ever the same,” said Jensen. “We’re always busy. We’re constantly moving. If we’re not cooking, we’re cleaning. We’ve got managers at the front door, managers on expo kind of holding down the place, holding down the fort. We’re going, going and going until we close, so we never stop moving. “
Melissa Moran was also present for the opening day.
She and her husband Burke moved from Louisiana to Montana more than 15 years ago when Burke decided he wanted to expand his horizons beyond the family business — which incidentally was a successful line of restaurants.
“We vowed to never get into the (restaurant) business again when we realized how hard it was,” she said.
But once in Montana, the couple couldn’t find a career path that suited them, so they decided to be their own boss by opening a restaurant in Livingston, proving that old habits die hard.
“The first restaurant had 17 tables and sat 90 people. I think we had 16 employees,” said Moran.
Since then, the Rib & Chop house has expanded to nine locations in Montana, Wyoming and Utah. The couple also owns three other restaurant concepts, bringing their total number of restaurants up to 12.
Moran said she’s not all that surprised by the success of Rib & Chop House and attributes the restaurant’s staying power to its employees.
“I think we have good people that work for us, so we’re very fortunate in that area,” said Moran.
“We have honest, hardworking people,” she said, adding, “we’re very happy and fortunate to be in Butte, so we’re ready to get rocking and rolling.”
Wyoming’s Rib & Chop House goes with new Gillette, Wyoming location Originally published in the January 2017 Wyoming Business Report. By Jeff Truchot GILLETTE – It’s midafternoon on the day before New Year’s Eve and Preston Chaisson has a full plate in front of him. Figuratively, that is. Instead of getting ready to dig into… Continue Reading
We are excited to open our new Gillette location in mid November and we look forward to being a part of the Gillette community! Here’s a recent press release about the Gillette restaurant: Gillette, Wyoming – October 3, 2016 – After 15 years in the Wyoming market, Wyoming’s Rib & Chop House—well known for their… Continue Reading
Are you ready for a shot at winning it all? Let the Madness begin. With rivers thawing and temperatures rising, spring is announcing its arrival across the region and this means one thing at the Rib & Chop House: MARCH FOODNESS is back! After last year’s successful debut, our EAT FREE FOR A MONTH challenge… Continue Reading
FOOTBALL SEASON HAS RETURNED! Be sure to visit the Rib & Chop House for the game you want to watch. Enjoy complete NFL coverage* every Sunday, Monday and Thursday along with full college football action* on Saturdays. Follow your favorite team, get the latest scores and stats, hang out with your Fantasy friends, and don’t forget: Get… Continue Reading
Helping Support Strong Communities Exceptional small towns have a few things in common: strong families, good work, and people who recognize the value of each other. The Chop House family not only strives to make the best food and provide great service, but we take pride in supporting other folks in our communities who… Continue Reading
We know…it’s too early! Summer’s just really getting going, and, what? It’s already time to think about school?!? Well, just one part: The Best in Class Teacher Award With the amazing popularity of this campaign last year, the Chop House has decided to do it again! In the 2015-16 school year, the Chop House family… Continue Reading
Summertime in Montana and Wyoming means music and celebrating. Be sure to check out these July and August festivities near our restaurants: Billings Last Best Country Fest Friday, July 10 – Saturday, July 11 Kick back with friends and family for a rollicking summer weekend of country music – modern, traditional, and alternative. Last Best… Continue Reading
He’s the King of the Hill, the Leader of the Pack, the Big Kahuna. Dad fixes the thing that’s broken, plays catch, and, yes, would like to be treated to a steak this Father’s Day. But have you considered what the steak he’ll order says about him? This Father’s Day, the Chop House is offering… Continue Reading
You have your favorites…and we love that you come to us when you’re hungry for steaks and ribs. But summer’s just about here and as the weather warms up, why not try some of the salads that are featured on our menu? The Chop Salad Can a salad be zesty, savory AND hearty? Yes, when… Continue Reading