Not long after the new downtown Pita Pit location opened for the first time Wednesday, Cory Reed got up from his desk at the Anvil Corp., and walked the few steps down Second Avenue to buy a wrap.
“I’ve been eyeballing this place for the last month,” Reed said. “I’m very excited to have a Pita Pit close by my work.”
Until Wednesday, he had to drive to 2228 Grand Ave. to get his favorite Greek-inspired fare.
The new Pita Pit is located at 2813 Second Ave. N., and is the franchise’s eighth location in Montana.
“We’re so excited to be downtown,” said Kristi Grob, who owns the franchise with her husband, Mike. “We’ve had people all day come by and see what we’re all about.”
By 11:30 a.m. the line began to snake toward the door and the employees, some borrowed from the Grand Avenue store, were prepared to handle the rush.
A typical Pita Pit store takes in about $2,000 daily, Grob said.
The Grobs opened their first store in 2006 after touring in a mobile home for several years to support Mike’s career as a pro golfer, she said. “I jumped in head first, and there was no turning back.”
The business aims to cater to the afternoon and late-night crowd by opening before the lunch rush and keeping the doors open until an hour after the bars close.
The business is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to midnight and until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is open 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday.
A late-night option is just what Downtown Billings needs, said Lisa Harmon, executive director of the Downtown Billings Association, which shares a wall with the restaurant.
“Downtown’s really becoming a 24/7 downtown,” Harmon said. “They’re fitting in just perfectly with the evolution that’s going on.”
People getting off work or leaving the bar sometimes could use a snack, she said, and now they have something in the downtown core that will be open late into the night. “It’s a nice, healthy option for people who work downtown or live downtown.”
After spending the morning smelling what was going on next door, she would likely be headed there for lunch often, Harmon said. “We’re going to be supporting them pretty well.”