A popular North Reserve Street restaurant known for its fresh soups and salads and the use of locally grown produce throughout its menu will be closing its doors this week after nearly five years in business.
Graham Roy, owner and founder of Romaines Restaurant, announced his decision to close earlier this month and named Friday as the last day of business.
“There’s several aspects of owning a business and restaurant and one is the space you occupy,” Roy said on Thursday. “I’m nearing the end of a five-year lease at my location, and I’ve decided not to renew it. There’s a couple of reasons, one being it’s becoming cost prohibitive.”
Roy opened Romaines in early 2013 at 3075 N. Reserve St. Since then, the restaurant made a name for itself as a green-certified establishment – something it worked to earn through the Green Restaurant Association.
As part of that effort, Romaines used local and organic products when possible, with produce coming from Dixon Melons and Harlequin Produce, the latter based in Arlee. The pork and beef was raised in Montana, and food offered by take-out came in recyclable containers.
“I enjoyed working with local farmers and producers here, and I got to be a mentor to lot of employees that were learning both job skills and life skills,” said Roy. “All of that was rewarding for me to do.”
Graham, who was raised in Missoula, attended culinary school in Denver and worked in several Missoula kitchens before opening his own restaurant.
He plans to take some time to explore his future.
“It was an exciting opportunity to create a restaurant and it’s something I like to do,” he said. “I’m happy I had a chance to work with great employees over that time and create something good for Missoula.
“I’m going to step back a little while and look at what I accomplished. I like to work with people and mentor people, and I know how to run a business, so I’m going to go out and use my skills.”