It was a “coming home party,” of sorts to the Flathead and Mission valleys for Dusty and Mandy Kisler in mid-August. Dusty grew up in Kalispell, while Mandy was raised in Eureka.
The Kislers and their children had been living in the San Diego, Calif., area for the last 15 years. Dusty was in the construction business – doing “media blasting” – while Mandy’s focus was on clerical work and office management. While they were away from Montana, Dusty also worked as a bartender, where he has 16 years experience.
So it was a “good fit” for the Kisler’s when they found out that Gerry and Joe Browning were going to sell their downtown Polson business, Vine & Tap, at 218 Main St. The Brownings put a lot of money and sweat equity in what had been called the Wolf Den. It’s reputation turned completely around when they “gutted” the building and turned it into one of most relaxing and clean businesses of its kind. After three years, Gerry and Joe decided it was time to sell.
Dusty and Mandy were looking for a business in the Flathead and Mission valley area to buy. “We kept searching. This (Vine & Tap) was the fourth place we were seriously looking at,” Dusty said, finding out about the availability online. They consummated a deal, and the Kislers took ownership Aug. 15.
GERRY WAS very passionate about her wines,” Dusty said. “We do have a wine club and we give $2 off every Wednesday.”
The Kislers believe the only drawback was that people thought Vine & Tap was just a wine store. So the slightly new name is Vine & Tap Bar.
“Our goal is to make it a local bar, something Polson needs,” Dusty said, and the establishment at
They added four large-screen TVs, and patrons can watch sports – including all Griz and Bobcat football games – or anything that’s on the networks they carry. “College (sports) is huge here,” Dusty said.
They’ve moved some furniture and “softened” the lighting. “We want to make it ‘warm’ in here,” Mandy said.
Just inside the front door is the wine den, and behind the bar are a variety of draught beers. “We are hoping to add some new tap handles,” Dusty said, and a specialty is “bottomless mimosas” during certain hours Saturdays and Sundays.
LOCAL FAVORITE Pop’s Grill 214 is right next door to the Vine & Tap Bar, and the Kislers are serving breakfast – coming from Pop’s – from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dusty said that Pop’s has added lunch and dinner to accommodate Vine & Tap.
“We’re trying to make it more ‘lively,’” Dusty said. “We’re trying to make it a ‘blue collar’ bar … We want to keep it a comfortable place to come.”
In addition to breakfast on weekends, Vine & Tap Bar has an appetizer menu, which includes personal-size pizzas, and Panini sandwiches are being added to the options.
Vine & Tap Bar will host special events, such as a Paint-n-Sip Night on Wednesday, Oct. 10, beginning at 6 p.m. Local artist Julie Christopher will run the event.
“We want to start planning some events,” Mandy said, and she emphasized that the business is “family friendly,” as long as youngsters are accompanied by an adult.
Vine & Tap Bar is open seven days a week. Hours are 2 p.m. to close Monday-Thursday, Fridays noon to close, and Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 a.m. to close.
“This is our ‘coming home,’” Dusty said. “It’s great to come back to Montana. We’ve been welcomed with open arms.”