Missoula's food scene has seen some dramatic change over approximately a two-month period.

Since the beginning of August, five restaurants have closed or announced that they intend to close in the near future.

Second Set Bistro Missoula Montana
Photos courtesy of Second Set Bistro via Instagram

Missoula Restaurants That Have Closed or Announced Closures

  • Sa Wa Dee closed its restaurant on September 1, 2023, but will continue as a food truck.
  • Second Set Bistro closed on September 9, 2023.
  • Hoagieville on Reserve Street closed on September 10, 2023. The location in the mall is still open.
  • Burns Street Bistro announced it will close on October 1, 2023, but will continue its catering truck into 2024.
  • Catalyst Cafe announced it will close around November 22, 2023.
catalyst cafe missoula montana

So much change in such a short amount of time begs the question, what are the factors that could be contributing to all this change? We explore a few possibilities below.

Read More: Montana Restaurant Serves Some Nostalgia When You Pay Your Bill

What Factors Could Lead to Missoula Restaurant Closing?

Food Prices

While consumers are noticing the increase in food prices, restaurant owners are feeling it too. According to information from the National Restaurant Association, "92% of operators say food costs are a significant challenge."

Rent Prices

With the rising costs in many areas, facility costs like rent could be affecting Missoula businesses, too.

Getting Help

Driving around Missoula you'll see that many restaurants are hiring. Again, this is a national trend. The National Restaurant Association says "89% of restaurant operators say labor costs are a significant challenge."

Different Direction

It's also completely understandable that anyone working in a profession for over a decade might want a change of direction. In the announcement from the Catalyst Cafe, the owners said "Our lease is up and it's time for a new chapter." In our interview with Chef Raz Schneider from Second Set Bistro he said of potential next steps:

If we do a next venture, we're going to work hard to be able to make sure that our message is more clearly received by the people, so they understand what we're all about...We built a cool spot, we're proud of that. It is a shame (Second Set) was never able to meet its full potential, and not to be corny, but there's a reason why, and we get to figure that out and that will be an exciting new chapter.

As Missoulians, we can hope that we'll see new and exciting ventures from the owners of these restaurants and wish them all well in the meantime.

24 Closed Missoula Businesses We Wish We Could Bring Back

We asked Missoulians which of their favorite businesses that have closed down would they like to see make a triumphant return. Here's what they came up with.

Take a Peek Inside the New Oil & Balsamics Store in Downtown Missoula

Tosca Fine Olive Oils & Balsamics, located on Main Street in downtown Missoula offers bold and rich flavored oils and balsamics.