Feast: A New Stylish Bistro in Montana
Photos by Audrey Hall
If the idea of a Montana bar conjures images of longneck beers and sticky floors, then maybe it’s time to refresh your thinking with a visit to Feast, a new raw bar and bistro with a vibrant, adventurous menu—and playful décor to match.
Bozeman is worldly and sophisticated, but in a friendly, small-town way. So it was fitting that chefs Steve Kuntz and Caroline Doern turned to local interior designer Abby Hetherington for help when they and a team of owners launched Feast. “Steve was my neighbor for 10 years, and we would often see each other walking our dogs,” Hetherington says.
Although this was the designer’s first restaurant project, Hetherington’s approach was characteristically fearless. “If I’m involved it has to be fun or I’m not going to do the project,” she says.
The design crew devised striking interiors that complement the bright, fresh flavors of the menu, adding carefully calibrated splashes of color and surprises of quirky charm.
“Usually oyster bars are kind of traditional,” Hetherington says, “so I wanted to funk it up a little. I always have to add a little glam.”
Electric-blue barstools with oversized gold orb feet pop against a bright green backbar that has become the talk of the town. To create it, the design team searched local hardware stores for molding in a variety of profiles, cut it into hundreds of puzzle pieces, then put it all together to create the deeply wavy, glossy masterpiece.
Inspired by Montana’s long winters, Hetherington wondered: “How fun would it be to make the dining room feel like a greenhouse? Something fresh and fun when it’s gloomy and cold outside.” To create the effect, she collaborated with local company Clean Slate Group to fabricate a wall completely covered in vegetation, translated through custom-designed wallpaper in muted sepia tones complete with moody shadows.
This playful fusion of cuisine and creativity transports Feast’s patrons into a fascinating new place they don’t want to leave. “In commercial spaces you can really go for it because people aren’t living there,” Hetherington says. And in this case, the designer admits, the result is “pretty magical.”
The entry space sets the undersea tone with a sinuous table (used as the host stand) by Tink Studios of Livingston, Montana. Its two walnut slabs open like an oyster shell. The jellyfish wall scroll is by Design Legacy. The restaurant’s interiors are designed to be colorful and eclectic, in keeping with the fresh and vibrant flavors of the food.
The waiting area offers seating courtesy of two 10-foot-long antique benches Hetherington found in an Elks bar in Butte, which are freshly upholstered with a Kelly Wearstler fabric; staghorn ferns playfully mimic traditional animal mounts.
Feast’s fare is as artful as its décor.
Stylish signage, wrought in metal.
IF YOU GO:
Feast Raw Bar & Bistro
270 West Kagy, Suite C
Bozeman, MT 59715