On Feb. 20, a new café and bar, Red Chair, opened on the west side of Bozeman, something the owners claimed the area had been lacking. Red Chair serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a drive through open until 1 p.m. serving coffee drinks and small pastry items. Those with dogs can also expect a free dog biscuit with their coffee.
The atmosphere for dinner is casual and fun. With seating upstairs and downstairs, customers seat themselves on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are seats at the bar as well as standing areas to be served the full menu. Red ski lift chairs greet you above the front staircase, and the wide windows provide a spectacular view of the surrounding area.
The menu is small, but covers all the dinner necessities: sandwiches, salads, steaks. I ordered the skillet nachos as an appetizer and the local beef burger with regular fries as an entrée. The nachos came quickly, served in a small skillet: crisp tortilla chips covered in sour cream, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes and jalapeños. At the price, the dish was smaller than expected, but the flavor was varied and extremely satisfying and the most exciting part of the meal.
The burger was simple. The patty was perfectly cooked to order, juicy and clearly handmade. It came served with the usual tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles and cheese on a buttery, puffy bun. While the flavor was average and unexciting, it was obviously high quality meat and carefully prepared. The other sandwich options are probably more flavorful, as Red Chair owners seem to be leaving the exciting burgers to their other restaurant, the Copper Whiskey Bar in downtown Bozeman. I look forward to exploring the Red Chair menu in future visits. The fries served with the burger made for a great pairing: thin, crispy, light and delectable.
I returned to Red Chair the next morning to test out the breakfast options. As I ordered a dirty chai and black coffee, I couldn’t help but notice the fascinating biscuit concoction in a case next to the register. Unable to resist, I ordered the Earl Grey Blackberry Biscuit, two homemade biscuits sandwiching locally-made jam and “a whole lot of butter,” according to the barista. While I enjoyed dinner the night before, I was vastly more satisfied with both the coffee and the biscuit. The homemade biscuits were light and flaky, the jam was exciting and an unexpected flavor which complimented the biscuits miraculously. The chai was lighter and less sweet than most other chai tea lattes, which made an impeccable surprise. The coffee, brewed from local Ghost Town Coffee beans, was delicious — and my dog ate his free, homemade dog biscuit in about two seconds.
The prices are steep for an average college student, averaging about $12-15 a meal, but the restaurant makes for a nice date, family visit or meeting friends for drinks, and the food is high quality.
In the end, I’m glad to have Red Chair on the west side of Bozeman where there is a lack of local, family restaurants, and I will return to explore the rest of their menus, both breakfast and lunch or dinner.
Red Chair is located near Ferguson Avenue and Huffine Drive, next door to The Ridge Athletic Club. It is open 6 a.m. – midnight, Monday – Saturday and 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday.