In another few weeks, City Brew will move a block up North 27th Street to its new home, currently under construction, and begin the next phase of its life.
It's a big move for the homegrown Billings coffee company. The new building will be a full-service coffee shop with plenty of space to sit and meet. The building's drive-through has been designed to better accommodate and move the flow of traffic that comes off N. 27th Street, something that occasionally created issues at the old location.
Most importantly, the move will allow City Brew's corporate offices to expand. Currently, the offices take up the second floor of the old City Brew building at 1131 N. 27th St. Once the coffee shop's move up the street is complete, the corporate offices will expand to the bottom floor of the old building and it will become City Brew's new corporate headquarters.
"It's exciting," said Becky Reno, City Brew's founder and CEO. "We've grown so much."
City Vineyards, a wine shop, grew out of City Brew and was sold off by Reno to her daughter and son-in-law, who now run the company. City Vineyard recently opened an expansive new store on Grand Avenue near Zimmerman Trail.
The wine store's move left a vacancy at City Brew's coffee shop at 17th Street West and Grand Avenue, where it was first housed. The space has been up for lease all year and Reno said the company finally has a tenant ready to move in.
She described the business as a national company with which City Brew signed a nondisclosure agreement until the lease contract is finalized. Once everything is completed, she'll announce who the new tenant is.
City Brew currently employs more than 400 people and began serious expansion several years ago, when American Investment Co., a family-owned investment group, bought into the company. The partnership infused City Brew with cash and allowed it to expand across the region, with locations ranging from western Montana to North Dakota to Wyoming.
Reno wants to see it continue.
"We have great opportunity (for growth)," she said. "We're going to be very strategic. We want to grow at a pace that makes sense."
With the expansion of the corporate offices, Reno will begin searching for new senior leadership for City Brew operations, leaving her to focus on her efforts on leading the company at the board level.
"I am most looking forward to being able to think about the big-picture involved in this company, for our employees and for our community," she said. "Being able to focus full-time on strategy and direction ... is an exciting change for me."