Hop on the bus, and when you step off, grab a breakfast sandwich, courtesy of Ninja Mike’s.
After months of work, the new morning cafe is set to open in Mountain Line’s Downtown Transfer Center, offering commuters a new breakfast option as they start their day.
Ninja Mike’s, owned Ethan Sky Siegel, is set to open next week.
“It’ll be a grab-and-go space with a service window on the street corner at Pine and Ryman, and a service counter in the bus station,” Siegel said Thursday. “A lot of the equipment needed to be upgraded from the old establishment, because nothing has been in here since 2014.”
Siegel, a regular vendor at the Clark Fork Market, has spent the past few months refurbishing the retail space located in the Transfer Center, changing out everything from the water heater to the electrical and plumbing systems.
The storefront marks his first move into a brick-and-mortar presence in the downtown district. It also has the enthusiastic stamp of approval from the chair of Mountain Line’s board of directors, Amy Cilimburg.
“Ethan and Ninja Mike’s have shown they’re committed to offering a great product that meets the needs of people on the go,” Cilimburg said. “This is a much-needed quick-stop breakfast and coffee option for bus riders, shoppers and downtown employees, and we’re happy to see them bringing great cuisine and new energy to the Transfer Center.”
Siegel launched Ninja Mike’s as a food stand at the Clark Fork Market in 2009. He expanded to a mobile food truck in 2016 and turned an eye toward sustainability.
The new venue will compost waste through Soil Cycle, a bike-powered composting service. It will also offer its food in compostable containers and source its ingredients from local producers and suppliers.
“This will be my 10th season, and I’ve been able to work with the local food suppliers,” Siegel said. “Our meat, our eggs and our cheese, it all comes from regional food suppliers. Whatever is seasonally growing, we’ll incorporate as well.”
Siegel said the eatery will offer online ordering, along with made-to-order and grab-and-go options. The stand’s expanded menu will include burritos, tacos, potato skillets, locally roasted coffees and more.
Much of the menu stems for the success of Siegel’s food truck.
“It’s a very simple menu to start, and it’s breakfast only,” Siegel said. “Eventually, I do want to expand, but first I want to master these items. It’s similar to the trial run I had on the food truck in 2016. I found that breakfast burritos were more popular than the sandwiches I was making at the market.”
Ninja Mike’s will hold a grand opening at the Downtown Transfer Center on Sept. 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The first 50 customers will receive a free local-roasted cup of coffee.