Zydeco Café Closing in Billings | Food and cooking


The Cajun Cafe Zydeco’s Billings was closed last Thursday. The move came after years of economic pressure due to Covid-19 and inflation being.

Zydeco Coffee was installed in downtown Billings, at 2503 Montana Avenue, for seven years. They were known for a menu containing a variety of basic foods like Cajun jambalaya, donuts and a variety of po ‘boys.

The closure will not affect the coffee places Zydeco Helena and Bozeman. The Montana chain was opened by the Louisiana native Kevin Carloss, who sold the site in 2017 Billings Melissa Scott and Homer.

Melissa, who had served as the restaurant’s general manager for several years before buying it, wrote a heartfelt closing letter that appeared on Cafe Zydeco’s Facebook page and was taped to their storefront window.

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The letter stressed that the decision had been taken with a “heavy heart” and continued to thank the staff who helped to run the business as long as it did. The most poignant words of Homer concerned customers Cafe Zydeco.

“You are the direct result of our success,” we read in the letter. “We made countless friendships with our regulars and our conversations will be missed.”

The interior of Cafe Zydeco 2503 Montana Ave. in 2017. The Cajun restaurant downtown Billings recently closed.

Larry Mayer

Clearly the feeling was mutual. When the closure was announced Wednesday, March 30, the letter included a Saturday Closing Date April 9th. However, the community response was so overwhelming that Zydeco Cafe had to close early on Thursday April 7 after running out of food.

Homer declined to be interviewed for this article.

There is little chance that most restaurants are successful anyway, and pandemic Covid only exacerbated the problem. A survey by the National Restaurant Association found that about 80 000 restaurants have closed since the beginning of the pandemic. Staff shortages have increased and, combined with delays in the supply chain and a historically high inflation, it is difficult for small restaurants like Cafe Zydeco to stay afloat.

Another Billings restaurant was closed recently. The restaurant downtown, Perch, announced it would close with a publication Thursday on his Facebook page now disabled. They cited staff shortages and “theft employees” not specified as determining factors.

For Billings folks still looking for a Cajun food fix and don’t want to drive to the bayou, Cajun Phatty’s at 2564 King Ave W. remains an option.


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