Have you heard: Texas-based burger chain hits Billings

2012-07-22T00:05:00Z 2012-07-23T17:38:04Z Have you heard: Texas-based burger chain hits BillingsBy JAN FALSTAD jfalstad@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Mooyah Restaurant, a Dallas-based burger chain, is coming to Billings.

Roger Daniel and his co-owner, Andrew Hayashida, are opening a Mooyah Restaurant on July 30 in the former Paciugo Gelato location in front of Lowe’s.

They are spending $350,000 remodeling the 1,800-square-foot space at 2695 King Ave. W. and have hired 35 employees to serve fresh burgers, fries and shakes made to order.

“Mooyah is just full of fun. It’s like the best burger experience you’ll ever have,” Daniel said.

Mooyah is just a fun name, he said, and doesn’t mean anything. This is the first time the insurance agency owner has run a restaurant.

“The fast-casual movement is the fastest growing segment in the restaurant industry and hamburgers are the fastest-growing portion of that growth and we don’t have one in Billings,” he said.

Casino betting on ponies

The Won 800 Casino & Sports Pub has moved from its longtime home at Rimrock Mall to 603 24th St. W., next to One Source Lighting.

The owners, Jill Lindell and her husband, Scott Lindell, said the new location is larger and met all their needs.

“It’s got parking, access and it’s right in the middle of town,” said Jill Lindell, who has been involved with racehorses her whole life.

Horse racing was canceled this year at Yellowstone Downs at MetraPark due to lack of money.

Won 800 is the only site in 300 miles that offers simulcasting of horse races from around the country, she said.

“We needed to get some income coming in, so we can go back into live racing” next year, Lindell said.

Free dinner and a pitch

Laverne McComas received a postcard for her mother-in-law — who is in a memory loss wing at a local facility — that invited her and her husband to a free dinner at the Montana Rib & Chop House on the Billings West End.

“Stop overpaying for the utility companies. If you are frustrated with the high costs of heating and cooling and believe it will only get worse …” the postcard pitch said.

McComas’ postcard mentioned no corporate name or product for sale. It turns out the company is Utility Improvements of Rockwell, N.C. These dinner seminars beginning July 23 sell barriers to cut radiant heat from the sun and save on heating and cooling bills.

NorthWestern Energy spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch said their engineers have researched this product and wouldn’t recommend it for our northern latitude.

“Radiant barriers may help in a hot, southern climate for cooling, but it doesn’t have any real effect for heating,” she said.

Mark Bickish of Livingston, who is putting on the seminars in Billings, disagreed.

“Any of the research they have done has been biased because they are selling energy,” he said.

Out and about

In September, Theresa Sherbo is moving her accounting business into the last spot for lease in Roger Daniel’s building at 2047 Broadwater Ave.

Every Needful Thing, which tried to serve family needs including bulk food preserved through freeze-dried technology, is closing as soon as the inventory is sold. Owner Andrea Ayers bought The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Words of Wisdom bookstore at 3990 Ave. D. in October 2009 and transformed it into a store that sells food, some clothing, home furnishings and movies.

About 30 people showed up at the Billings Depot on Thursday for Google’s seminar showing business owners and managers how to set up websites for online sales, according to public relations spokesman Carl Kochman.

Scams du jour

Hotel guests staying in Billings or Red Lodge need to watch out for a new scam.

A month ago, this scam hit the Best Western Clocktower Inn in downtown Billings and then a handful of other motels and hotels.

A caller asks to be transferred to a specific room number. When a guest is reached, the caller claims to be working at the front desk and blames a computer outage for erasing key information on the guest’s bill. The caller asks for the guest’s address, car information and credit card data.

“If someone calls your room and identifies themselves as a hotel employee and asks for personal information of any kind, especially credit card information, it is scam,” said Boothill Inn & Suites general manager Shelli Mann. “Hang up immediately and let us know. This is happening across the nation.”

To fight this fraud, Boothill posted a warning notice at the desk and is having employees try to verify with the caller which guest they are trying to reach, which riles some callers, Mann said.

By the numbers

$11,000: The highest bid per acre for a 10-year lease on a U.S. Forest Service parcel in Billings County, N.D., which stretches north and south of Medora. Serka Services LLC of Vienna, Va., submitted a bid totaling $880,000 for 80 acres at the July 17 oil-and-gas sale held at U.S. Bureau of Land Management offices in Billings. The sale also showed the creep of the Bakken development into western South Dakota. Of 112 parcels leased for $3.4 million, 93 were in South Dakota and 19 in North Dakota.

The highest price ever bid for BLM land in this area was $16,500 per acre for a 32-acre parcel in Mountrail County, N.D., in 2007.

Scams du jour

A Billings woman received two calls this week promising her $8.5 million and a car through Publisher’s Clearinghouse, which she doesn’t deal with, if she would buy and send a $300 prepaid card. She hung up, but she also warned that another relative in his 90s almost lost $5,000 to the grandson scam.

After being told his grandson was in trouble and needed money quick, he got $5,000 and was going to drop off the money. But he called his daughter, because his eyes are too bad to drive, and she stopped him from getting ripped off.

Laugh lines

A newspaper editor sends a photographer to the airport where a pilot and plane is waiting so the photog can shoot photos of a fast-growing wildfire. She jumps in the plane and yells at the pilot, “Let’s go.”

The pilot taxis into the wind and takes off.

When the photog tells him to fly over the fires, the pilot said, “Why?”

“I’m the photographer sent here to shoot pictures of the flames,” she said.

With a shocked expression, the pilot stares at her and says, “You mean you’re not the instructor?”

Source: A Prairie Home Companion’s “Pretty Good Joke Book.”

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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