“Little” might be in the name, but there’s nothing small about the portions at Ronan’s newest diner
Story & photography by Justin Franz
Sean Perry has been working in the restaurant business since he was in high school when, like so many people that age, he got a job washing dishes in a kitchen. Perry, who grew up in Polson, originally planned to be a teacher and went to the University of Montana for an education degree, but he never strayed far from the restaurant business and waited tables while living in Missoula.
After college, he decided to go all in and stay in the business. In the years since, he’s worked in restaurants from Polson to Miami. But a few years ago, Perry decided he’d had enough of working for other people. So he and chef Guy Hill, who had previously run a deli in Polson, hatched a plan to open their own eatery.
“I had learned so much from working at other people’s restaurants over the years that I figured it was time for me to try it myself,” Perry said.
In February 2018, Perry and Hill opened Little Montana along U.S. Highway 93 in Ronan. The co-owners decided to split duties upon opening: Perry would take care of breakfast and Hill would cover lunch. The restaurant is also open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, and the owners hope to expand that in the future.
The breakfast menu includes a number of morning favorites, including nine different types of pancakes and multiple omelets. The lunch menu features cold, hot and oven-baked sandwiches. Little Montana also has a number of different soups available every day. The soups have become so popular that it’s not uncommon for people to call to see if their favorite variety is sitting on the stove.
Perry said the daily specials are another one of the restaurant’s specialties. Among the rotating specials, patrons will find a chipotle chicken fried steak eggs benedict dubbed “The Little Montana Benedict.” The dish features a poached egg atop a chicken fried steak sitting on a homemade biscuit. The entire dish is doused with spicy chipotle gravy and served with hash browns.
“We like to do different specials to give people a reason to keep coming back,” Perry said.
And people are coming back. Perry said it’s not unusual for Little Montana to be full during its Friday and Saturday dinners. Perry attributes it to the fact that, until recently, there weren’t many dining options in Ronan.
Hill, who has been working in kitchens since he was 15, said he’s pleased that the community continues to support Little Montana. He said it’s especially gratifying that people enjoy the results of something he is so passionate about.
“Creating food is kind of like art for me, and I love it when I can please people with great food,” he said. “It’s just a great feeling.”
Description Eggs benedict with chicken fried steak and chipotle gravy served with hash browns.
Location 63452 U.S. Highway 93, Ronan