After a long wait, Montana's restaurant on Front Street in Meridian is ready to open Saturday.
NewsCenter 11 visited Friday as cooks and the wait staff completed training.
Montana's staff of 45 practiced cooking and serving Friday, using real food prepared in the facility's kitchen. Owner Ken Montana will open the doors Saturday, Aug. 24 at 5 p.m. in what he calls a soft opening.
"The soft opening is going to be, open the door, a temporary type menu for anybody that walks in," said Montana. "It will not be our printed menu and we're inviting everybody to just come down and enjoy but everything will not be totally available."
Montana says he began planning his Meridian restaurant four years ago.
"I fell in love with Meridian a number of years ago passing through and then when I started looking around 99.9 percent of the people I've met in this town have just been superior, friendly just good people and it's been a pleasure doing business in Meridian," he said.
His menu will be extensive.
"We will serve all the way from our traditional ribs and barbeque items and smoked meats which are our noted items on the coast and in Pensacola but we will expand to a very, very high quality seafood item with grilled salmon steaks and a grilled grouper, things along that line," said Montana.
Workers and invited guests tasted many featured menu items at Friday's serving and cooking practice.
Montana's contains 20,000 square feet. It will serve 314 in the main dining room, 100 in the lounge and 400 upstairs in the banquet facility.