Denis Leidholt did more than rebuild his casino in the aftermath of a fire that destroyed three buildings on Miles City’s Main Street in 2009.
He raised up a building that captures the history of Miles City, in more ways than one.
The building itself was designed to fit in with the old brick structures on Main Street — right down to what looks like a bricked-over window on the east side of the casino, but which was intentionally created to give the building an antique feel.
Leidholt also salvaged cast-iron columns from the original building and used them throughout the establishment, and he used salvaged bricks to decorate the front bar. The big steel door from a walk-in safe, which was the only thing standing in the middle of the bar after the fire, is set into one of the walls, now strictly for ornament.
Along the top of the walls in the casino room itself, Leidholt’s designer, Bruce Larsen of Billings, created a series of historical scenes from Miles City, Butte and other parts of the state, finely detailed silhouettes cut into black stainless steel.
As the crowning touch, he brought a huge collection of ornamental Jim Beam whiskey bottles back to Miles City from Red Lodge, where it had been for 35 years. In specially made display cases lining the walls of the bar, the casino and the stairwell leading to the second floor, 650 of the brightly colored ornamental bottles are on display, grouped by theme — hunting, fishing, politics, automotive, states, cities, birds, trains and more.
Leidholt, who owns the Cellar Casino with his brother, Duane, said they were just on the verge of having their final meeting on the building’s interior design when he heard that the Jim Beam collection was available.
Pius Meier, the former owner of Natali’s Cafe and Lounge in Red Lodge, had called Leidholt’s architect, Jim Bos of A&E Architects in Billings, to tell him about the collection. A Miles City construction contractor originally had the Jim Beam bottles on display at the Olive Hotel there, a few blocks down Main Street from the Cellar Casino.
After the Olive changed hands in the late 1970s, the contractor took the collection with him when he retired to Red Lodge and the bottles ended up at Natali’s. Meier said he retired in 1996 and sold the business to a man who opened a pizza restaurant. The pizzeria displayed the collection for a couple of years, Meier said, but after that the bottles ended in Meier’s “huge, huge basement.”
Meier tried selling the bottles at a few Jim Beam collector conventions and later on eBay, but everyone wanted just one bottle or a few at most, and Meier wasn’t interested in piece-mealing the collection.
A reluctant Leidholt went to Red Lodge with his wife, thinking there was no way, at that late date, of incorporating the bottles into his new casino. But all it took was one look.
“We said, ‘These are too cool. We’ve got to do it,’” Leidholt said.
The collection totals 1,174 bottles, including a small number of Lionstone whiskey bottles depicting historical figures from the American West. Leidholt said they cherry-picked the best of the entire collection and put the rest in storage.
Larsen, owner of the Big Idea Co. in Billings, designed the metal brackets that hold the bottles inside the display cases. But the brackets had to be bent to cradle the bottles, no two of which have identical shapes.
That meant it was a four-man job putting the 650 bottles on display: One person bent the brackets and another ferried each bracket and bottle to two other people who were on scaffolding to put each bottle in its place. The job took two solid weeks, complicated by trying to fit bottles by theme and in such a way that they looked good together.
“It became like a giant jigsaw puzzle,” Leidholt said.
Larsen designed the stainless-steel silhouettes, which he calls “scenery valances,” by using photographs to make computer images, which were converted to CAD files (for computer-aided design) by Shepherd Stainless Inc. The company then used fine lasers to create the steel silhouettes.
The valances include images of Denton Field in Miles City, the water tower, the original Cellar Casino building, cowboy scenes and even a representation of Mere Image, a 1970s rock band that was based in Miles City and toured regionally. It featured Leidholt on drums.
The rebuilt casino opened in June and Leidholt hopes to have the kitchen open soon. Leidholt had a lot of fun designing the new building, but mostly he is proud to have rebuilt at all in the wake of the devastating fire, which claimed three historic buildings and nine businesses on the 700 block of Main Street.
Leidholt, a native of Miles City, said he and his brother didn’t want to walk away from Main Street.
“We knew if we didn’t rebuild on that spot, it was probably the beginning of the end,” he said
The Cellar is the place to be if you are looking for delicious appetizers | pizzas | burgers | sandwiches, a full bar loaded with specialty drinks, and a lively gaming atmosphere! Get on down here and let our crazy fun bartenders and laid-back crowd show you a good time!
Kitchen open daily from 10a – 2p and 4p – 10p.
Bar and Casino open daily from 8a – 2a.
Cenex Zip Trip is a chain of convenience stores owned by CHS, Inc. Headquartered in Spokane, Washington, Cenex Zip Trip has stores in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. We sell Cenex gasoline along with great beverages and snacks.
Charles Moore, Inc. in Miles City, Montana, is proud to offer all types of new and used equipment for sale, as well as fabrication, welding and trucking services. We are here to help you!
Backhoes • Loaders • Tractors • Trucks • Trailers • Haying Equipment • Trenchers • Pay Loaders • Land Levelers • Grain Handling Equipment • Boats • Snowmobiles — We have a little bit of everything!
“Need a piece of machinery moved? Charles Moore Inc has the equipment and the professional staff to move your equipment. We have machinery trailers and RGN trailers to move your equipment around. Give us a call today!”
Weaning is just Around the Corner! Try these Great Anipro Products that we have on hand!
Our drivers haul grain, hay, livestock, and equipment across the country. We also use hoppers to carry bulk commodities. Call us for all your local seasonal hauling needs!
Needing hay hauled for the winter? Let Charles Moore Inc. take the stress away! Our hay trains can haul anywhere from 45 to 48 bales at a time! We have the equipment to load as well. We have two 644E John Deere Payloaders with a GrabTech grapple forks to load our trucks quickly and without busting bales!
Looking for hay for the winter? Give us a call! We work hard to find the hay that will fit your feeding needs. Call for pricing and details, our staff will be happy to help you!
CityServiceValcon provides bulk fuel deliveries of all grades of gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil for your farm, business or commercial needs. Our extensive fleet of trucks and our network of bulk plants allow us to provide quick and efficient delivery service throughout Southeastern Montana. Our courteous drivers are professionally trained, licensed and committed to customer service and safety.
Our Discount Fuel Centers are clean, well-lit and accessible to any sized vehicles, including tractors and trailers. They accept all major credit cards and Fleet cards including: Wright Express, Comdata, Fuelman, Gascard, T-check and Voyager.
CityServiceValcon prides itself on a strong mission to better serve the community and to be “THE Distributor of Energy Products”.
Our Mission is to provide outstanding service and quality energy products in a professional and profitable manner with:
Coca-Cola Bottling Company High Country is a family-owned, regional Coca-Cola Bottler founded in 1956 serving portions of Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. The company distributes hundreds of different varieties of sparkling soft drinks and a vast array of still beverages including sports drinks, bottled waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, energy drinks and coffee.
Membership EligibilityYou are eligible to become a member of Community 1st Federal Credit Union if:
You live, work, worship, or attend school in one of the following Montana counties: Carter, Custer, Garfield, Powder River, Prairie, or Rosebud;
You are a family member of a member that currently belongs to Community 1st FCU; or
You are a member of an association headquartered in Miles City, Montana.
Our Mission Statement
“It is the mission of Community 1st Federal Credit Union to advance members’ financial goals and promote the best interests of the community, with energy, integrity, and concern.”
Your Credit Union
Community 1st Federal Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit organization. Originally formed under a multiple group charter in 1953, the Credit Union has adapted to the needs of its community throughout the years. For the first 44 years of its existence, the Credit Union, then called Miles City US Employees Federal Credit Union, was dedicated to the needs of local federal employees and their families. Under this definition, the Credit Union grew to $5 million in assets and served nearly 1,600 members.
By 1997, it had become clear that all residents of the greater Miles City community would benefit from the unique brand of service offered by a cooperative financial institution. That year, the NCUA recognized their foresight and approved the Credit Union’s conversion to a community charter, which allowed the organization to extend services to Custer, Rosebud, Garfield, Powder River counties under the new name of Community 1st Federal Credit Union. This field of membership was further expanded in 1999 to include Prairie County.
By December 2009, Community 1st Federal Credit Union had grown by 175%, to $14 million in total assets, and had added roughly 1,000 new members to its roles. This growth afforded the Credit Union the financial strength needed to diversify products and improve pricing, and to generally do a better job of providing financial services to its members.
In 2010, the Credit Union undertook a merger with Carter County Federal Credit Union, and by the end of that year saw total assets increase substantially and total memberships exceed 3,000. Today, total assets exceed $20 million.
Throughout its history, the credit union has been community-oriented. This has been accomplished not only through the services we provide our members, but through the support of employee volunteerism, scholarships, and donations. Community 1st has demonstrated a deep commitment to the youth of the community through ongoing assistance in local schools, teaching young students the value of saving and planning. The credit union donates generously each year to local service organizations, as well as local and national beneficent causes. Community 1st enjoys strong visibility and community involvement through sponsorship and participation in many of the local events that define our region as a neighborhood.
Community 1st Federal Credit Union provides lending (commercial and consumer), saving and checking accounts, IRA, certificates and more.
Hours: Lobby – M-F/9-4, Drive-In M-F 7:30-5:30, Sat 8-12
Creative Corner proudly serves the Miles City area!
We are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one. That is why we always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect.
Providing a healthy meal to all who come to us in need –
the poor, the hungry and the lonely.
Your Custer County Community Table – Where everyone is welcome!
Hunger comes in many forms; an empty stomach….meals with little nutrition….loneliness. At your Custer County Community Table, we offer a nourishing, appetizing meal as well as a friendly harbor for the lonely to share their joys and sorrows.
Come in for lunch on any weekday, and you’ll see families, veterans, the elderly, the disabled, the disadvantaged, and the general or working public enjoying a delicious meal together. You’ll hear tall tales, jokes, laughter, and condolences in a bright and safe environment. For many of our guests, this is the only nutritious meal or social interaction they’ll have the entire day.
We invite you to join us any weekday from 11:00am – 12:30pm where you’ll be greeted by friendly volunteers and enjoy a bowl of delicious soup.
Your Donations Are Appreciated
Creative Way to Provide a Second Meal……We have recently started offering a sack meal to those noon-time guests who will go without a dinner meal. Sack meals consist of sandwich, fruit or vegetable and dessert.
Non-Profit dedicated to helping Miles City Youth attain higher education founded in 1991. CCEF is a locally operated and supported, non-profit, tax-exempt scholarship foundation, and is administered by an all volunteer Board of Directors. It is our goal to help every deserving CCDHS graduate with college expenses Funding for the Foundation comes from various sources. Several Miles City families established endowments. Others have named designated memorials that are given every year. CCEF Alumni, local businesses and organizations have begun to contribute to annual scholarships. The annual phone-a-thon, organized by the CCEF and manned by CCDHS students generates over $20,000 per year; half of which is invested in the general endowment and half awarded to the current graduating class.
Rising costs are closing doors to higher education for many individuals in our community. Through CCEF, we have the opportunity to make a strong statement about the importance of education beyond high school. We provide encouragement and financial support for local students.
Educational opportunity is the basis of economic development — and the future of Miles City and Montana lies in our youth!