Edible Bozeman

The Jump Gastropub and Deli

Lynn Shanahan moved to Montana in support of her husband’s lifelong dream to live here. But a week after the furniture was unloaded, Shanahan was suddenly alone in a new place with a drastically altered life when her husband unexpectedly passed away. She found her own Montana dream while building a space for people to gather, dance, and celebrate good food and community.

The Jump Gastropub and Deli is among Gallatin Valley’s newer eateries. The restaurant, bar, and country-western dance destination brings together owner Lynn Shanahan’s vision for an elevated yet approachable space. It is located in Gallatin Gateway at 75770 Gallatin Rd. and is run by Shanahan and her business partner, Tom Henesh.

Shanahan wanted to create a community space where everyone could come together for what she calls “a festival of food and entertainment.” And after a year of operation running the restaurant, bistro, coffee counter, and sparkling bar featuring live music and the biggest dance floor in the valley, Shanahan is certainly well on her way.

After acquiring a solid staff, head chef, and managers, Shanahan began adding weekly activities to the scene. In addition to the restaurant, bar, and all-day breakfast and lunch bistro, The Jump offers live music on weekends, often featuring big-name bands playing honky-tonk, country folk, modern American roots, and more. Trivia happens every Tuesday night, Bingo every Thursday night, and West Coast Swing lessons are every Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

But the real draw is the weekly Western Swing Wednesdays, when a DJ provides country music while instructors from Western Roots Country Dancing give lessons from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and open dancing runs until midnight (although those under 21 have to say so long at 9 p.m.). “It’s gotten huge,” Shanahan says. “There’s about 250 people in here on Wednesdays. We invite people of all ages—families, all walks of life, everyone—to come out and enjoy the dancing.”

Although she’s now a fixture of the local community, Shanahan is from all over the country. After growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she went to college in Michigan and then moved to New York City, where she raised her children and had a career in apparel, including working as the CEO of Tommy Hilfiger for many years. Shanahan’s Australia-born husband, John, worked in the mining business, and in 2016 he began permitting the Black Butte Copper Project in White Sulphur Springs. Shanahan was drawn to Bozeman, so in 2020 they found a house they loved and began relocating to Gallatin County. But only one week after they moved, John passed away from a sudden heart attack.

“I had moved to Montana only a week before, and all the moving vans were coming, and so it was a matter of ‘Do I stay or do I go back to New York?’” Shanahan says. “I still had my apartment in Manhattan, and then COVID hit and everything shut down. I couldn’t even get back. My sons got the last flight out of New York, while my daughter was stuck in business school in England. So that’s how I became a Montanan: because we were here for a year and a half.”

Faced with the unexpected, Shanahan says she wanted to do something for the community she was becoming a part of. She’d met Henesh on an airplane and learned he was a surveyor. The two began discussing real estate and made plans to work together on a development.

“I want to create food that makes people feel something. I consider myself an artist, and my food is my art.” —Luis Valdovinos , head chef, The Jump

Lynn Shanahan, owner of The Jump in Gallatin Gateway, recently welcomed Luis Valdovinos as head chef of the restaurant. Together, this duo intends to further elevate the gastropub, now with Mexican-inspired fare.

While searching for a project, Henesh and Shanahan learned that the Buffalo Jump Gentleman’s Club was for sale. A former competitive ballroom dancer, Shanahan was interested in the building’s potential.

“Tom and I went out to look at the place, and it was in bad shape,” she says. “They had had a public auction in August of 2020, and nobody took it. So we just decided, ‘That’s it.’ And that November, we bought it, tanning beds and all. I still have the poles.”

For those unfamiliar with the story, the Buffalo Station strip club opened in 2003 in what had been a Sinclair gas station (and once, in an even earlier life, a cheese factory). It closed in 2008, only to reopen in 2009 under new ownership as the Buffalo Jump Gentleman’s Club, which closed in 2020.

Among the exciting things happening at The Jump is the arrival of its new executive chef, Luis Valdovinos, who owned Last Call Mexican in downtown Bozeman. Hailing originally from Chula Vista, California, Valdovinos was heavily influenced by the fresh food of Rosarito, Mexico, a village in nearby Baja where his family had a home. His father is also a chef, so Valdovinos grew up cooking and later had restaurants of his own in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I got to experience a lot of fresh seafood and produce in Rosarito,” he says. “That really shaped my philosophy on cooking: bringing fresh ingredients, the right ingredients, the right spices to any space, the importance of texture and proper execution.”

“I want customers to feel a sense of place for themselves. I’m trying to give people a beautiful place to be and treat them to good food they can afford. At the end of the day, it’s just good food, and good people.” —Lynn Shanahan, owner, The Jump

Valdovinos will source meat for The Jump from Daniel’s Meats, a family-owned business in Bozeman. He’ll procure beef from Wickens Ranch and plans to prepare hearty birria (a winter stew) and chimichurri steak. He’ll source seasonal produce locally for dishes like gazpacho served with grilled cheese, and his menu will also likely include slow-braised Yucatan pork, carne asada fries, and his take on tacos.

“I want to create food that makes people feel something,” Valdovinos says. “I consider myself an artist, and my food is my art. So I’m eager to bring my experience to The Jump’s menu. I want people to say, ‘I need to stop there for dinner,’ or ‘I’m willing to go out of my way to get steak at The Jump.’”

Between Shanahan’s gusto and Valdovinos’s expertise, this shouldn’t be a problem. The Jump is already extremely well-loved and frequented by the neighboring communities.

“When people walk through these doors, I want it to feel like ‘Cheers,’” Shanahan says with a laugh. “We have a 4:02 guy—he’s always here right at 4:02 p.m.—but I also want a big group to feel like they can roll in for the first time and have a community they can join. I want customers to feel a sense of place for themselves. I’m trying to give people a beautiful place to be and treat them to good food they can afford. At the end of the day, it’s just good food, and good people.”

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