The 13th Subway Sandwich shop in Billings is now a neighbor to the Three Sights Shooting Range at Central Avenue and Moore Lane.
Wally Yovetich, who owns three other local Subways - 875 Grand Ave., 4905 Southgate Dr., and 2624 Minnesota Ave. - just opened his fourth.
Yovetich started looking at the location five years ago. Gut instinct told him there was lots of opportunity along Central, which has Buck’s Bar on 13th and then very few restaurants until you hit the busy 24th Street West. Best of all, Moore Lane was just widened and improved, so that intersection is busier than ever, he said.
The corner was home to a County Market grocery before the parent company, Tidyman’s, closed it in 2006, along with its other Billings groceries.
Max and Jeanine Griffin, who own Action Electric, bought and developed the site. First, they started remodeling the former grocery store. IConnect moved into about one-fifth of the space and operates a high-tech communications hub.
Then the Griffins built new headquarters for Action Electric followed by a building for Three Sights, which opened in March. Then they built the three-store mini-mall where Subway is the westernmost tenant.
Commercial leasing in Billings is slow because people are still skittish about the economy, Max Griffin said. But the end to last summer’s construction gridlock is most welcome, he said.
“Moore Lane is completely different, night-and-day different,” Griffin said.
Four months ago, Kevin Perreault, an owner of the other Billings Subway restaurants, opened a 1,500-square-foot store at Grand and Rehberg Lane. He took the western half of the former Movie Gallery building and closed a nearby 200-square-foot, nontraditional Subway inside the ZipTrip convenience store.
“ZipTrip was a wonderful relationship and it worked well, but our customers demanded a larger location with seating,” he said. “We’re really, really happy with our sales.”
The location needs 15 people, or twice as many employees as the ZipTrip.
On Nov. 1, PostNet became Subway’s neighbor by moving from across the street into the east end of the building at 3031 Grand Ave.
“We almost doubled our space and we have better parking and exposure,” said owner Bill Ruff, who owns other PostNet stores in Seattle with his son, Chris Ruff.
After buying the local PostNet five years ago, Ruff weathered the economic recession, but he also realized that shipping wasn’t going to grow that much. So two years ago, he hired Ann Petersen, a graphic designer, to expand his design and printing services.
“Businesses need services quickly, business cards and brochures done right and done now. We can do that,” he said.
Scams du jour
Nita Horn, who has lived in Billings almost 50 years, remembers in the late 1970s when aluminum siding companies started calling homes to sell their siding. Before hanging up, she would reply, “We’ve got black tar-paper siding and we like it.”
Now, despite the Do Not Call crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission, scammers are calling all the time.
Last Wednesday morning, Horn picked up a call that her caller ID tagged as coming from New York. A man, speaking in what she called “foreigner shorthand English,” said he had (a) “new medical card” for her.
When she said, “This is a scam,” the caller said, “No scam. This is Washington D.C.”
Horn hung up, called back and the number was disconnected, meaning someone has hijacked that New York number.
Lyrics from country songs:
“The work we done was hard. At night we’d sleep ‘cause we was tard.”
“Just in time to be too late.”