RED LODGE — Nothing quite says the 4th of July like hamburgers and hot dogs and the Red Box Car in Red Lodge serves up both. It's a spot that's beloved by the locals and their commitment to the community was as evident as ever when they provided free meals to many after the devastating floods.
The iconic Red Lodge restaurant has been serving up burgers and shakes on the banks of Rock Creek for 50 years.
As the rivers rose and flooding overtook much of Red Lodge, all anyone could do was watch and hope for the best.
"We came out Sunday evening and stood on the deck, said a few prayers. We knew it was coming so we just braced for impact," said Adam Kaylor, owner of the Red Box Car.
The flooding narrowly missed the restaurant but as the rivers rose and damage continued, Kaylor and his staff didn't sit back and watch. They got to work, serving free meal after free meal to emergency workers, volunteers and flood victims.
"My first thought was, let's do what we can to help. Thankfully we weren’t alone, we have a great team of employees. They jumped in and donated their time and they helped make it happen," added Kaylor.
Kaylor lost count on how many meals they gave out but some days the count was upward of 250. Doing what they could to help in a time of need. "Honestly we're just doing our part.... there were so many people helping and I think the community really pulled together as a whole and chipped in to help," said Kaylor.
Now that the water has receded, the Red Box Car is one of many businesses trying to make the best of the critical summer tourism season. As 4th of July weekend kicks off, a chance to put the floods behind and salvage the summer has arrived for the residents of Red Lodge.
"I’d just like to let everybody know that Red Lodge is a great little town. We’re all open for business, and we look forward to seeing everybody this summer. We’re going to try to make the best of it and hopefully the town has a great summer," said Kaylor.