I'm not exactly a regular Bob Vila when it comes to projects around the house. But I will admit with the lack of activities around town - and the lack of sports on TV - I've made more trips to The Home Depot and Lowes than I usually do. I'm finding myself making excuses to go to the hardware store so I can tackle any little project I can find. Because of my lack of knowledge and penchant for doing just enough to get the job done, I joke with my wife that I should film my adventures and post them to YouTube as a series titled The Half-ass Handyman.

It seems I'm not the only one filling their schedule with DIY projects. Local businesses found themselves in uncharted waters when lockdown and stay-at-home orders hit Missoula earlier this year. What do you do when you can't open your doors and you have no customers? It served as an opportunity for a few places to take care of housekeeping issues. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you actually have the TIME to tackle a simple repair or slap on a fresh coat of paint.

The following details are from an article in The Missoulian that outlined a few upgrades you'll notice the next time you visit some local favorites:

  • The James Bar in downtown Missoula remodeled a portion of the interior with a U-shaped bar and a slightly different layout. It increased the amount of bar seating to about 19 while keeping about the same number of indoor tables.
  • The Missoula Club, known locally as the Mo Club, invested in new paint and repairs, among other minor upgrades.
  • Red’s Bar put in a new floor and refinished the bar surface.
  • The Reno bar and restaurant in East Missoula went through a significant remodel.
  • The Press Box in Missoula put in new flooring, new paint, a new bar railing and is completely remodeling the kitchen. The bar and restaurant shut down in December after the Missoula City-County Health Department cited the business for health code violations, but general manager Matt Warner said they’re addressing all the problems and hope to be open by the end of July. "We hope to be open in two weeks," Warner said on June 29.

On a related note.........Quibi is a new streaming platform that features episodes that are under 10 minutes. I loved Flipped. Will Forte and Kaitlin Olson star in a spoof of home renovation shows. Check it out if you're looking for another way to kill some free time during the pandemic.