Tasting room, liquor store with light menu

By Bay Stephens
EBS Staff Writer

BIG SKY – The Rocks Tasting Room and Liquor Store is moving into the space previously occupied by the Cave Spirits and Gifts, and will be serving Montana-made beer and spirits, as well as a light food menu. Owners and 20-year Big Sky locals Ben and Kara Blodgett hope to be open by late August from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Geared toward a lunch crowd, the menu will feature GMO-free and sustainable products, including flatbreads, charcuterie boards, hummus platters, Vietnamese pho and various salad options. Ben will run the small kitchen, having 20 years of kitchen experience at establishments such as Rainbow Ranch Lodge and Scissorbills Saloon, while Kara—also equipped with extensive bartending and serving experience—will manage front-of-house operations. The team has already hired two employees and intend to keep the business operation small and flexible to match the ebbs and flows of a seasonal mountain town.

The Rocks will have a liquor store on the north end and a tasting room and restaurant to the south facing the street. A roll up garage door, matching neighboring Antlers Clothing Company, will open up onto a patio for tasting room guests. The whiskey bar-inspired décor will showcase Montana distilleries while walls made of old whiskey barrels already lend a rustic elegance to the space.

“We’re just going to try to bring a high level of quality to everything, our service and our food, [and] try to set ourselves apart in this town,” Ben said. The couple said they’ve had overwhelming support from the Big Sky community, including mentorship from other restaurant owners.

“We’ve been a part of the community for 20 years, but this is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to do our own thing,” Kara said. “We’re looking forward to it. It’ll be fun.”

Until their garage door officially opens for business, Ben said he will be polishing up his recipes for Big Sky’s first taste.