BOZEMAN — MacKenzie River Pizza has been a staple Bozeman restaurant for more than 30 years and is finally getting a remodel. The restaurant sold all of its furniture to the public, and one man even drove all the way from Townsend to get a very special table.
“Well, I'm coming down to get at least a table for my wife and I because we’ve been coming here for a while,” says Edward Mott, who took the trip from Townsend to Bozeman Friday morning.
Ten years ago, Edward and Kay Mott had their first date at MacKenzie River Pizza and have been celebrating anniversaries and date nights at the same table ever since. So, when the couple heard the pizza shop was selling their furniture, they made sure to be first in line.
“It's a chance to get a piece of our relationship,” said Edward.
MacKenzie River opened in 1993 in downtown Bozeman and has been a staple restaurant ever since. They recently announced a remodel where they plan to swap out furniture and decor that has been there since opening day.
“There's definitely mixed feelings. It kind of seems like it's split down the middle. Half the customers are pretty excited to see it get updated, and the other half are pretty upset to see the historic MacKenzie River look go away,” says Kyle Gallagher, the general manager of MacKenzie River.
Friday morning the pizza shop had a furniture sale to loyal customers in which they were able to come into the restaurant and pick out tables, chairs, and painted bull skulls to bring home.
“They usually try to get any of the MacKenzie River stuff back into the hands of the community if they want it since people have a lot of memories,” said Kyle.
In the purchasing interaction between Edward Mott and a fellow MacKenzie River employee, Mott tells her, “I mean, 10 years coming here on date nights does something for you."
The furniture sale lasted all of 10 minutes before loyal customers swept the restaurant clean out. MacKenzie River says all the proceeds from the furniture sale will be donated to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, in an effort to give back to the community.
And, as Edward Mott heads back to Townsend to surprise his wife, he tells us, "I'm very excited; I got the table and I just can't wait to see her face when she sees it."