All the talk last week centered around new businesses in town. We finally had the much-anticipated opening of the Missoula WinCo. If you haven't been - I've yet to hear anything but positive things from people after they check it out. We also had some pretty big news with the announcement that Missoula will be getting a Chick-fil-A. The details are pretty minimal but we know it'll be located at the site of the former Pier 1 Imports on N. Reserve.

It's always exciting when we have grand openings and new business announcements. But we start this week with news of a closure. Effective today, the Pearl Cafe is closed. The Missoulian reports that new ownership has taken over, the building has closed, and they hope to reopen in the summer.

A message on the restaurant's website stated: "I am excited to announce my retirement from the restaurant business. After 45 years of professional cooking and restaurant operation, I plan to turn the restaurant over to its new owners on March 1 and they will spend a bit of time remodeling and updating. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your celebrations and special dinners for so many years. With love, Pearl"

People took to the comment section of a Facebook post by the Missoulian to share their thoughts on the closure.

- Happy retirement, Pearl! You’ve served so many excellent meals, and I am so sad to see you leave. That said, you’ve earned a well deserved retirement. Thank you for cooking memorable meals.

- A classy, well tasteful, top notch restaurant. It is a loss to those who loved its food and atmosphere. Farewell Pearl! You did good by us.

- We always celebrate our anniversary with dinner at the Pearl. Top notch! Will miss it. Enjoy your well deserved retirement, Pearl! Best wishes.

- Oh, my favorite polenta. *sigh* enjoy a much deserved retirement but man, that one’s gonna hurt.

We'll have to wait and see what's in store when the new owners reopen later this year after some remodeling. In the meantime - if you have a memory or thoughts about the Pearl Cafe - share your them in the comment section of the Facebok post above.

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