Conflux Brewpub gearing up to break ground on downtown project

The owners of the Conflux Brewpub plan to break ground on their new establishment within the next few weeks, adding another project to Missoula’s evolving downtown district.

Meghan Casqueira and partner Hugh Yates have already completed the environmental cleanup of an old garage located on the vacant lot at 202 E. Main St. They’ve also submitted final plans for permitting.

“As soon as we get the demolition permits, we’re ready,” Casqueira said Tuesday. “We’re looking to open this February. We should be breaking ground as soon as the demo is complete.”

Located adjacent to Union Hall, the project brings another attraction to the downtown district with the addition of a craft beer venue and restaurant offering home-sourced American-style meals.

Casqueira will keep the food “as fresh and local” as possible.

“It’ll be classic American-style food, with attention to detail,” she said. “We’ve been in touch with farmers and ranchers in the area. We’ll spend the summer going to them to see what their process is, to make sure it’s what’s in line with what we believe in.”

Conflux will join a growing list of enhancements coming to the downtown district east of Higgins Avenue, most of them undergoing construction this summer.

Construction of a new Marriott hotel and student housing project are both underway, each with ground floor dining and retail.

Other projects have been rumored for the adjacent corner on Front Street while the Radio Central Building, located at 127 E. Front Street, is currently on the market for $2.2 million.

“I love to see this growth downtown,” said Casqueira. “Nothing spoke to us like this lot. There’s such a unique ambiance to downtown Missoula. We just knew when we went to that lot it was where we were meant to be.”

As for the architecture, Casqueira said the couple wanted it to blend in. The two-story brick and steel facility will also offer outdoor dining.

“We wanted to build something that looks like it might have been there for a long time,” she said. “Inside, we’re going for an industrial-modern farmhouse.