Rex Hotel

No longer a hotel, The Rex Restaurant Bar & Grill still illuminates the night with its neon sign, highlighting its rich history as a hotel, Buffalo Bill Cody's meeting place and a survivor of the prohibition era.

BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff

The Rex Hotel was constructed in 1910, built by Alfred Heimer, who cooked for Buffalo Bill Cody at his Wild West Show.

Initially, Heimer’s dining room fare offered “cold beer and good German lunches.”

The Rex became a meeting place for colorful Western characters, including Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane and Will James. A third floor was added in 1917.

During Prohibition days, the bar didn’t disappear, it just moved from room to room.

The Rex’s prosperity declined with the loss of passenger rail service. By 1975, the hotel and restaurant at 2401 Montana Ave., was one day away from getting a date with the wrecking ball when local businesswoman Senia Hart bought and saved the historic building.

A&E Architects restored The Rex, winning an award for historic renovation. In 1983, the Rex Hotel Partnership bought the hotel and remodeled the restaurant.

In 1998, The Rex added another bar, a patio and more a casual restaurant decorated with hand-painted replicas of pictographs from the Yellowstone Valley.

Source: The Rex

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Business editor for the Billings Gazette.