Cleanup efforts continued Tuesday at the Metra Subway restaurant along Main Street with a Caterpillar excavator pulling down the cement blocks along the east wall.

Building owner Wayne Ask estimates a Huntley teen whose car jumped the curb at high speed Jan. 28 and smashed into the building caused about $100,000 in damage.

The impact pushed back the glass front of the north side of the building about three-quarters of an inch and ruined the east wall.

"Like 'The Karate Kid' movie, when they hit a block, the one underneath it crumbles," Ask says.

The mini mall's foundation and roof are sound and braced.

Reconstruction should take from three to five weeks.

South Side Subway

Speaking of Subway sandwiches, Wally Yovetich says he is pleasantly surprised at the pace of business at Billings' latest franchise, at 2624 Minnesota Ave.

The Subway opened without fanfare last Wednesday.

Restoration efforts at the former Arcade Bar at Minnesota and South 27th Street were supposed to be completed last June, he says, but like with most older buildings, executing the High Plains Architects' restoration took longer than expected.

The construction work is mostly completed now, and three of the five retail spaces at The L & L Building are leased.

Yovetich owns two other Subways, at 875 Grand Ave. and at 4905 Southgate Drive.

"We don't have a lot of stores, but the ones we have are very successful," he says.

The original wood floors at L & L had to go in order to install radiant heating. They were replaced with stamped, colored concrete with a wood look.

Subway usually wants dropped ceilings, but Yovetich says he preserved 15-foot ceilings with drop-down lighting and ceiling fans.

Some original plaster walls survived in the historical building. Yovetich says he'd like to have art clubs paint murals on the exterior east side like those he saw in Germany, where he served four years with the Air Force.

"In a lot of the old downtown areas, they would actually put murals, very exotic murals, on the sides of buildings," he says.

After 21 years duty in the Air Force, Yovetich is retiring.

Meanwhile, CPA Ed Thurner moved into the front of the second floor in December.

To get there, hang a left at the top of the exterior steps before you walk into the Subway space.

And Big Brothers and Big Sisters moved into the basement space two weeks ago.

Executive Director Becky Webber says that three years ago the program lost its funding and went into survival mode. Now the program offering disadvantaged kids help from a role model is growing again.

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"We made first community match Monday night of a Big Brother from the community with a little kid," she says.

The L & L space is painted bright, kid-friendly colors. Fridays are the busiest days, when about 40 high schoolers tromp in for training to become better mentors.

"We're probably in the 50 to 60 mentor range, and we've got a waiting list," Webber says.

Subdivision and services

To elaborate on Sunday's story about the Montana Sapphire subdivision at the corner of King Avenue West and Shiloh Road: City of Billings water and sewer lines do serve the area, as reported.

However, the sewer system is what could be called a temporary one put in to serve growth until permanent lines are run.

"It is true that there is a lift station there that is intended to serve some of the earlier needs of the subdivision, and at some point gravity service will be extended further out coming in from the east," said Deputy Public Works Director Al Towlerton.

He confirmed that Shiloh pavement won't need to be torn up to install permanent sewer lines because the pipes have already been laid under the road.

Laugh lines

"An onion can make people cry, but there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh." — Will Rogers

Contact Jan Falstad at jfalstad@billingsgazette.com or at (406) 657-1306

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