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New restaurant revives historic blacksmith shop

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Oct 30 2012 09:05:39 AM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

There's an old phrase, "Strike while the iron's hot," and that's exactly what Ken and Judy Sederdahl did when they opened up The Forge in downtown Kalispell.

"Me and my wife have always loved working on old buildings, we've had old houses that we've worked on and stuff," said Ken Sederdahl. "When we did this it was just fun to do."

But the project's about much more than just fun - the building is steeped in history. Jim Schmauch's father Jimmy took over the original Boyd's Blacksmith Shop in 1947 and rain it as Jimmy's Welding until 1988. The memories haven't faded.

"He did general welding, welding on logging trucks, built spiral staircases, built whatever came along," said Schmauch.

Now Jim is welcoming Ken and Judy as they breathe new life into his family's heritage. The restoration started from the ground up but they kept a lot of original details.

"It looks very similar to the day we walked in," said Sederdahl. "The only difference is that we added bean work, a refrigerator, and a counter. Everything else looks just like it did."

Schmauch brought h is family up from Missoula for a glimpse at what Ken and Judy did to his father's shop.

"Anyone that was interested in it just wanted to tear it down and build a parking lot. Ken and Judy came along with this vision..." said Schmauch. "We are just so happy that the shop is still here! It represents my dad."

"The history is awesome," exclaimed Sederdahl. "Now that it's all fallen together we feel really blessed."

The Forge is located at 227 1st Street West in Kalispell. They're open Monday-Saturday from 7-3pm for breakfast and lunch.