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The Buck stops, Montana begins — Rachel brings her ginger beer to E Olive Way

Will the saddle stay? (Image: YourCapitolHill)

The Buck is a goner on E Olive Way but some of the bar’s western theme and all of its dive-y goodness and then some will be carried over to a new venture set to take over the space and add a bottle or two of ginger beer to the offerings.

CHS has learned that Rachel Marshall, the entrepreneur behind Capitol Hill-based Rachel’s Ginger Beer, and her partners are purchasing The Buck and are set to re-open the bar as a no-frills dive. Welcome to Montana.

Marshall tells CHS that Montana will be “very divey and comfortable” and a “come as you are” kind of place. There will be no “precious cocktails” but plenty of beers and bourbon like the “small town bars all over Montana.” And, in the back, Marshall’s growing ginger beer operation will make its permanent home after growing up in borrowed space in the kitchen of 12th Ave’s Lark.

Marshall is teaming with Kate Opatz and Adam Peters on the new business. Expect to hear more from the Montana crew as the paperwork gets finalized.

No specifics yet from Ross McCartney on why he decided to sell another of his Hill entities. McCartney, who last opened the new Bleu Bistro’s Grotto on E Olive Way, debuted The Buck back in 2008. In April 2010, McCartney closed down Chez Gaudy to make way for La Bete.

According to neighborhood tipster CK, The Buck has had a sign up since at least Sunday announcing the closure.

(Image: Rachel’s Ginger Beer on Facebook)

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30 thoughts on “The Buck stops, Montana begins — Rachel brings her ginger beer to E Olive Way” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. As a homo who fled the land of hicks in Montaaaaaaaaana, I’m not sure if I should be happy for someplace fun and trendy or if I should be horrified that it might have popped up here on Cap Hill.

  2. Don’t worry, there is zero chance this place will bear even the slightest resemblance to the real bars in Montana. Homos like you and long-hairs like me will be safe from rednecery, and the closest thing to hillbilly we will see will be the faux lumberjack shirts and ironic mustaches of the Capitol Hill Hipster.

  3. Whyyyy did the buck have to be sold/bought out, damnit! This was my escape! The “precious cocktails” were amazing, the 1.50 oly deals were amazing, the pizza was awesome too! I loved the atmosphere! All to bring in a more ‘divey’ place? The hill is cluttered with enough divey places damnittttttt. RIP BUCK :(

  4. I miss The Buck’s staff more than anything else, they were so wonderful (and presumably are still despite no longer bartending). This replacement sounds intriguing, though – maybe I won’t have to give up that space after all.

  5. I know it’s tempting to rebel against all things Montana, but have you ever been there? Tom, I see you came from there, and I respect your feelings towards it, but is every single person there a crazy conservative? No. I lived in Missoula for three years and while it’s obviously the most liberal bit of Montana (little hippie college town), I’ve met folks from all over Big Sky Country and it’s like any other place- you get the good and the bad. The first drag show I ever went to was in Missoula!

    Besides, it’s the people who frequent this new bar who will set the tone, not some manufactured expectation on the part of the new owner. It’s right across from my regular, Clever Dunne’s, so I will most definitely be checking it out.

    And Rachel’s ginger beer is delish, my boyrfriend is from Ireland and he says it’s just like back home!

  6. I’m gonna miss the buck! I loved their drinks, and they had the friendliest staff on the hill. And I never got to try the mac-and-cheese they so feverishly pushed on me :(

  7. Heartily recommend it!

    The ginger beer is great and the seasonal blueberry ginger beer is a total treat.

    So glad they nabbed a home and that it’s on Capitol Hill.

  8. Hey Rachel.. if you read this, please put in some lines for draft beer. As much as I loved the Buck and the staff and snacks, the one main reason I didn’t come back as often was because it was all bottled beer.

  9. As a former Buck employee, I’ll miss the unique brand of Bleu quirkiness that space represented. However I’m quite excited that Montana will be–I’m assuming, with fingers crossed–serving a proper Dark & Stormy. We never had ginger beer or Gosling’s or Kraken on hand. Meyer’s and ginger ale didn’t really cut it. ;)

    Confidential to Rachel of Ginger Beer: if you need two kickass bartenders, the two that were working at the Buck when it abruptly closed are great guys. I can hook you up! Thanks!


  10. I made a bunch of great friends going to the Buck for the last come years. I hope that Montana can keep some of the old favorites (1.50 Oly please) and bring some welcomed new additions. Thank you to all the staff, new and old, that made the Buck feel like home. – Ryan (Oly+lime)

  11. …and considering that the grapevine says these guys weren’t told the buck was closing (and they were losing their jobs) until the day the locks were changed this might be a nice gesture…

  12. Thanks for your patronage Ryan and Tournant (I think I know who you are–whiskey ginger?). I also made so many true friends and great acquaintances while working there. And I loved watching regulars become friends with each other. It had a real family vibe.


  13. Goodbye Bathroom Mannequin…What shall become of her? She’s was sitting out front staring off into the distance when I walked by today. Shall I send you the pic, J?

  14. Great news. I meet Rachel last year and learned of her Ginger Beer venture just recently. On a recent visit to Seattle, I became a fan of Rachel’s great ginger beer and consumed as much as physically possible (with Wood ford Bourbon, of course). Great news about the bar and of course you have Analog Coffee, just down the street on Summit.

  15. Good luck on your new venture. We will be sure to come by soon. You can take Kate out of Montana but you can’t take the Montana out of Kate!

    Karl & Kristy