Beloved Home of Montana’s First Coffee Cart Closing After 32 Years
Heartbreaking news came in over the Labor Day Weekend.
After 32 years in the Florence building, and after 13 years of ownership, Denis Keast and Jim O'Byrne announced on social media that Catalyst Cafe and Espresso will be closing.
This is the second restaurant to announce a closure that is located in the Florence Building. Second Set Bistro announced in August that its last day open would be September 9, 2023.
The social media post from Catalyst Cafe and Espresso acknowledged that there had been rumors about the closure and said, "Our lease is up and it's time for a new chapter."
Earlier in 2023, the Catalyst Cafe experienced some unusual vandalism when someone poured motor oil on the steps of the business multiple times. In an interview with Townsquare Media Keast said, “It’s just a minor inconvenience. We’re not all that worked up about it. We’re mystified by it. If there’s a beef with us, we’d just prefer to talk about it.”
Missoula Reacts to the Closing of the Catalyst Cafe
The announcement was met with an outpouring of support from the Missoula Community. Many shared their experiences visiting the Cafe over the years, heralding it as one of Missoula's best breakfast restaurants. One commenter recommended a "Missoula Favorites" cookbook as a collaboration between the Catalyst Cafe and The Shack, another long-time favorite Missoula breakfast restaurant that closed in February of 2022.
On a personal note, I think the Catalyst Cafe and Espresso made the best latte in Missoula, possibly in Montana, which makes sense given they opened as Montana's first coffee cart in 1991. I wish the owners all the best in their next venture.