The Old Bridge Pub and Sub in Bigfork is under new ownership.
Emily and Louie Bertino recently purchased the business from Tracy and Don Darue. The couples knew each other from the time Tracy, an instructor, taught Louie at the Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College.
The Bertinos had been saving money and waiting for the right moment to enter the restaurant industry. When Tracy contacted them, it seemed like a great opportunity, according to a press release announcing the sale. The Darues said family issues led them to decide to sell the business earlier than they had originally planned.
“We’re just thrilled that Louie and Emily are able to buy the business from us,” said Tracy. “Don and I couldn’t imagine it going to two better folks.”
The new owners plan to keep much of the menu intact, but will institute some key changes such as expanding operating hours each day and opening more days of the week. They will also add a roof deck.
The Bertinos got help with the purchase from MoFi, a nonprofit organization formerly known as the Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation, that assists in financing borrowers who are unable to get traditional loans for projects that have a positive impact on the local economy.
“Louie and Emily are the kind of borrowers we love to help,” said MoFi President Dave Glaser. “To help a talented, driven local couple achieve their vision, while ensuring a popular business keeps its doors open? It’s the perfect combination.”
The Old Bridge Pub and Sub opened in Bigfork in 2016. More information can be found on the establishment’s Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/oldbridgebigfork.
Reporter Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or firstname.lastname@example.org.