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Montana man buys restaurant table where he and his wife had their first date

Bozeman restaurant sells furniture ahead of remodel
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Posted at 8:27 AM, Feb 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-12 10:46:44-05

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 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,” said Edward Mott, who took the trip from Townsend to Bozeman on 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 Mott.

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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,” said Kyle Gallagher, the general manager of MacKenzie River.

Friday morning the pizza shop had a furniture sale to loyal customers where they were able to come into the restaurant and pick out tables, chairs, and painted bull skulls to take 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 Gallagher.

During the purchasing interaction between Mott and a MacKenzie River employee, Mott tells her: “I mean, 10 years coming here on date nights does something for you."

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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 Mott heads back to Townsend to surprise his wife, he said: "I'm very excited. I got the table and I just can't wait to see her face when she sees it."