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In the late 1800s, towns and cities in the United States faced a common problem: the inconvenience of unpaved streets and the pervasive mud and odor that went with them. In 1900, everything changed: the buffalo block, a cheap, water-resistant, and nearly-indestructible brick, was developed. Soon, settlements across the country were paved with them, and Montana Avenue and the town of Billings were no exception.
Although buffalo block remnants are fewer and further between now that we’ve long since adopted asphalt paving methods, we unearthed plenty of buffalo blocks on the old patio and scattered throughout the building when we began our remodel of the Rex in 2018. And one day, while doing a walkthrough of the renovation, our granddaughter saw a brick and said, “Well, that would be a cool name for a restaurant!”
“Hmm,” we thought. “She has a point.”
Not just because of those old paving bricks, but also because “Buffalo Block” seemed to capture decades of history, harkening back to the days of Buffalo Bill and when the hotel bar went by the name of “Buffalo Bar.”
To make a long story short, the name sort of just stuck.
So cheers to a new legacy — while honoring our rich history.
1 “History of Stree Brick.” Antique Brick Warehouse.
Stop by and see what we’ve done with the place. Make a reservation now or just stop by and say hi.