Cactus Creek Steak Outfitters, which has stood empty for the past two years on its corner of King Avenue West and S. 29th Street West, was recently purchased by Discount Tire, a national tire service chain.
"They're pretty excited," said Bob Pulley, the Billings broker who handled the sale. "It's a great location."
Discount Tire will tear down the building that's on the property and construct a new store, Pulley said. Cactus Creek was a restaurant and casino; retrofitting it to accommodate a tire store would have been expensive.
This will be the first Discount Tire in Billings. The company, which has been around since 1960, expanded into Montana in 2015, opening a store in Kalispell. A store in Helena will open next month.
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A handful of businesses expressed interest in purchasing the Cactus Creek location during the two years it was for sale. One company spent nine months circling the property while it tried to find potential tenants. Another spent six months doing the same, Pulley said.
Finally, it was Discount Tire that was able to close the deal, Pulley said. The company purchased the property for just more than $2 million.
Cactus Creek closed so suddenly in January 2016 that Pulley had employees calling him to find out if the restaurant was still operating. Among the assets left behind by the closure was an all-beverage liquor and gaming license.
The license sold pretty quickly after the restaurant closed, Pulley said. He brokered a deal between Cactus Creek's owners and the owners of Daisy Dukes, a downtown bar and nightclub, which purchased the license for about $650,000.
Earlier this year, Pulley again brokered a deal for the liquor license, this time without the gaming provision. The owners of Daisy Dukes sold it to Fiesta Mexicana, which is a new Mexican restaurant opening in the old Johnny Carino's location on King Avenue West, just a few blocks from the Cactus Creek location.
Demolition of the Cactus Creek building will happen in the next few months and construction on the new Discount Tire will begin next year. The store is scheduled to open in June 2019, said spokeswoman Chelsea O'Neal.