The renovations took longer than expected, but the Harper and Madison bistro reopened Tuesday in Billings with a sleeker look, a new menu and the same welcoming atmosphere.

“It’s a much more efficient space,” owner Joanie Swords said Wednesday in front a bustling lunch crowd.

The neighborhood eatery at 3115 10th Ave. N. closed last Christmas Eve so Swords could begin the renovation, focused mostly on the kitchen.

She has also launched a partnership with sister restaurant Lilac on Montana Avenue in downtown Billings. Lilac owner Jeremy Engebretson has helped with the menu, bringing more fresh ingredients to each item, Swords said.

Harper and Madison has a new exterior look and a new logo, and the inside is arranged with more room for customers. Swords also bought a new stove for the kitchen.

The remodel was valued at $75,000, according to city building permits. The building was assessed at $174,120 for this year, according to county property records.

The restaurant has 10 employees, most of whom worked there before it shut down, Swords said.

Swords bought the building in 2011 and opened the restaurant in a former neighborhood grocery store. Harper and Madison serves breakfast and lunch, soups and sandwiches, and desserts. Swords also operates a catering business inside.

The restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and all menu items are available all day.

Swords said she heard from many customers who were anticipating the reopening.

“We had a line outside before we opened, which was so flattering and lovely,” she said.


Business reporter for The Billings Gazette.