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Famed Cardwell steakhouse reopens after devastating fire

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 17, 2023

CARDWELL — In 2021 Cardwell’s Lahood Park Steakhouse was nothing but a pile of burnt cinders, but it’s back with a beautiful view of the Jefferson River Valley.

“The phoenix you’re seeing there is a bird carved by Mike Maydak near Harrison, Montana, and he carved it out of a burnt beam from the old restaurant, but what you see is actually the phoenix rising from the ashes,” said owner Phil Lalich.

The ashes were from an early morning fire on Sept. 30, 2021, which destroyed the restaurant that had been in that location since 1928. Lalich, who has owned the restaurant for four years, said it was a shock after the fire.

“You don’t really realize what you’ve lost, it takes a little while for that to sink in, you know, I’m not the kind of guy who wallows in the past, so when I made a decision to rebuild, so here it is,” said Lalich.

The new restaurant is just a little bit south of the former location with a great view of the Jefferson River.

The Butte native even furnished the new restaurant with the bar and barback from the former Montana Bar in Butte that his father used to own. Coincidentally, the bar and barback were in the Irish Times Bar when it was damaged in a fire in 2020. It took him 1,000 hours to restore it.

“And it looks a lot like a remember as a child when I was in my dad’s place,” he said.

The new restaurant just recently opened for businesses and customers have expressed their happiness in having it back.

“I get a lot of hugs, people tell me they’re very happy were open again, lots of good people walk through that door every day, lots of good people,” said Lalich.

The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 PM. to 9 PM.