One last stand: Longtime downtown Missoula business closing its doors
One of Missoula’s favorite stores will be closing the doors for good at the end of this year.
And the news comes as a disappointment for long-time customers and fans of Carlo’s One Night Stand.
But after decades serving the Missoula community, the owner told MTN News he’s ready to hang up his hat.
“Our main rule at Carlo’s for many, many years is we first have fun, and then we try to make some money,” observed owner Max Gilliam.
Carlo’s One Night Stand sits on Third Street in Missoula where it’s been for many years.
“I vacuum, and I straighten some things. And basically, my MO is I try to pack as many clothes in here as possible,” Max said.
Employees, customers, and trends have come and gone but in 42 years there’s one thing that’s never changed.
“I didn’t realize it then, but I’ve been doing exactly what I wanted with my life,” Max told MTN News.
The 77-year-old says his love of clothes started many years ago by admiring the fashion of his parents.
“And they just dressed in the fashion of the day,” Max recalled. “I grew up, in the late 40s and early 50s, seeing them and all their friends in their terrific attire.”
That admiration grew into a decades-long business in Missoula, “everything in this store I picked out individually,” Max said.
He started by exploring local rummage sales — and boy, does he know the good stuff when he sees it.
But Max says there is one thing he doesn’t love, “the 80s were simply awful.”
All of his opinions, his taste, his store, and his character have made an impact.
“Max thank you for your cultivation of the human spirit, and the peace and social justice movement that drives Missoula’s heart and soul,” one customer said “You’ve done your best, and I really appreciate it. I’m sorry, he’s just a great guy.”
Max says he’s loved working with people over the years and is happy to see the customers have loved the store too.
“It’s very heartening to hear people — you don’t hear it every day, but when they tell you that you’ve been so instrumental in their lives, it’s kind of inspiring to me to think I did that.”
“For me, it’s good to not be attached to all these things. I got enough going on in my life. I don’t need any more to think about at 3 a.m.,” Max added.