To the Missoula Community:
After much consideration, I have decided that the Top Hat Restaurant will join several other local restaurants and temporarily discontinue seating in our dining room. It is unclear at this point how long we will implement this policy.
The Top Hat will continue to operate, but will shift our focus and efforts exclusively to take-out service. The Top Hat phone number to order take-out is (406) 728-9865. The Top Hat will provide more information on our take-out offerings in the coming days. The closure of our dining room is a very difficult decision when considering our staff and ongoing financial obligations. Based on current information, we feel it is the right thing to do for the Missoula community.
Given the relatively small numbers of documented infected citizens, I understand that some in our community will view this as an overreaction. From our perspective, it is the prudent course of action. Without specific guidance from our local, state and federal leaders, we need to follow the lead of other communities that are further advanced in this situation.
Earlier this weekend, France, Spain and other European countries announced the mandatory closure of all restaurants, bars, cafes and venues. Today, the governors in five states — California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington — closed bars and restaurants. In other parts of the country, mayors of major cities such as Nashville ordered similar restrictions.
The apparent rate that the virus is spreading in Europe and parts of the US requires our community to get ahead of this issue and take action. Again, based on the information we can gather from observing the actions of other states, and countries around the world, we believe Missoula community leaders, business leaders and elected officials are best served by acting quickly to “flatten the curve.” It appears we have the ability to reduce the impact on our community if we move quickly.
While we as a community do not want to overreact or panic, we also need to take prudent precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing and avoiding public gatherings are two steps that appear to be effective in limiting the spread. While it would be helpful to have more consistent and informed guidance from our leaders, we feel it is prudent to take this action in their absence.
Restaurants, bars and venues are on the front lines of the coronavirus. We encourage Missoulians to support those restaurants that are discontinuing table service and moving to a take-out only model. We need your support in this very difficult time.
- – Thank you, Nick and Robin Checota, owners of the Top Hat and Logjam Presents.