Yet another tenant has closed its doors in the Butte Plaza Mall.
Tippin A Glass Cafe — an eatery in the mall — announced on social media that the restaurant’s last day would be Halloween. A similar message was posted on the restaurant’s website. Both messages advertised a sale of the restaurant’s equipment.
“Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way. It’s been a great 6 years. We appreciate each and everyone of you,” the restaurant’s owners wrote to followers on Facebook.
The restaurant was owned by Craig and Cindy Bernhardt, who opened Tippin A Glass in 2012.
The Montana Standard was unable to reach the Bernhardts for comment.
The restaurant’s closure comes during hard times at the Butte Plaza Mall. The mall has been besieged by a series of national retailers shutting their doors. In many of those instances, the stores closed as a result of company-wide bankruptcies.
The latest store to announce an impending closure was Payless ShoeSource, whose leadership told The Montana Standard last month that the shoe retailer, too, would be closing up shop.
John Cavaldoro, regional manager for the retailer, couldn’t give a firm date on the store’s last day, but said “it will at least be a couple of months.”
Payless ShoeSource Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection last year and announced that it would be closing hundreds of stores. Since then, the company has emerged from bankruptcy without being forced to fold.
As of Monday afternoon, Payless was still open in the mall, advertising a going-out-of-business sale with signage outside the store.
Meanwhile, Butte was struck a psychological blow in April when Bon-Ton Stores Inc., the parent company for Herberger’s, announced it would be closing all of its stores due to a company-wide bankruptcy.
Herberger’s last day in Butte was Aug. 29.
In September, Bon-Ton customers got a glimmer of hope that their local stores might reopen after an Indiana tech company CSC Generation Holdings Inc. said it planned to buy the ill-fated company’s intellectual property and relaunch all of its brands, including Herberger’s, as online retailers. The company has also said it plans to reopen brick-and-mortar stores in select states. So far, Montana hasn’t been named as a state where stores might reopen.
In previous interviews with The Montana Standard, members of Butte’s economic team—an informal group of county officials, economic-development advocates and business leaders led by Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Dave Palmer — have said they’ve been talking with Texas-based analytics firm Buxton Co. about potentially striking up a partnership that could provide a boost to the local retail scene.
The company uses data, including consumer data it gathers from credit-card companies and companies that track web-browsing habits, to help counties, cities and other jurisdictions recruit retailers.
In early October, the group invited a Buxton representative to give a presentation during a public information session.
The meeting, intended to gauge public sentiment on hiring the firm, was not the final word on whether the team plans to contract with the company.