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MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub to Replace Polaris Max & Erma’s

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub to Replace Polaris Max & Erma’s
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The Polaris Max & Erma’s is in the midst of a Western conversion.

Montanta-based Glacier Restaurant Group, the company that bought out Max & Erma’s earlier this year, will replace the 1515 Polaris Parkway restaurant with a MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub.

The MacKenzie River concept first opened in Boseman, Montana in 1993 as a pizza joint. It’s since grown to 24 restaurants spread through seven states.

The restaurant is family-focused, with a “casual northwest Montana atmosphere,” according to VP James Blystone. The 7,200-square-foot interior will feature refurbished wine barrel seats. The interior seats 180, with an additional 60 seats on the patio. The bar will boast a cooling rail to keep brews cold.

“The restaurant is a representation of how we live and breathe a Montana lifestyle — comfortable, authentic, and fresh,” said Blystone.

The menu focuses on serving high-quality fresh ingredients, sourcing locally when possible. Gourmet pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and salads are on the menu, alongside appetizers like goat cheese queso and Kentucky bourbon bites. An average meal will run patrons $10 – $15.

The Glacier group intends to desaturate Columbus’s Max & Erma’s presence, interspersing locations with their other brands. “From a real estate standpoint, it just made sense,” said Blystone.

It’s still to-be-determined if additional Columbus MacKenzie River franchises will be opened, but the brand plans to expand rapidly throughout the remainder of this year and early 2017.

MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub is slated to open in early September.

For more information, visit www.mackenzieriverpizza.com.

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