When the M&M bar burned down, Butte lost a piece of mining city history. The neon M&M sign no longer lights up Main Street, and there is a giant hole where the building used to stand.
After writing "The Cabbage Patch," a book detailing the lives of people who lived in one of Butte’s poorest communities, author Jake Sorich was searching for a new story to tell when the M&M burned to the ground.
Sorich decided it was time to write about the historic bar.
"It would just be a good way to remember what used to be here and remember the bar and all the people and just the history of a 131-year-old bar," said Sorich.
The book is broken up into three main parts: the day of the fire, history of the M&M bar, and a collection of personal stories.
Over the course of 6 months, Sorich and his grandfather interviewed people closest to the bar. The people who worked there, people who owned the bar, people who knew or were related to people close to the bar.
"We tried to get as many living people who had like a direct relation to the bar as we could and just to hear their stories and to hear what it was like for them and what it meant for them to see it come down and what it’ll mean for them to have it rebuilt," Sorich said.
Sorich hopes the book will help people recall the good times had in the historic bar.
"Everyone has an M&M story. They just really cherish the place and it was really a part of Butte as much as Butte was a part of it," he said.
The book can be found at Books and Books, The Corner Bookstore, and anywhere books are sold.
Jake Sorich and M&M owner Selina Pankovich will be at Books & Books on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. doing a signing and answering questions about the bar and book.