Hayden Kevin and Alaine Montgomery, owners of The Food Mill restaurant in Hayden, say they just want to "have a life."
To do so, the Montgomerys are closing their restaurant for good Nov. 10. The Food Mill is one of only two sit-down restaurants in Hayden.
The couple has owned the restaurant since 1995 and has developed a regular following with a menu including sandwiches and burgers as well as diner classics such as country fried steak and blueberry pie.
"We'll miss everybody, that's for sure," Alaine Montgomery said, mentioning her regular customers who come in three or four times a week.
For the next few weeks, Kevin Montgomery said the restaurant will focus on "surviving, just surviving."
"It's time to do something where I don't have to be in the same spot," Kevin Montgomery said. The Food Mill has three employees working 10- to 12-hour days - Kevin in the kitchen, Alaine behind the counter and a dishwasher.
To get through the year, The Food Mill relies on 4-H, summer tourism and hunting season. All of those numbers lagged this summer, so the couple decided to try something different.
"It was time," Kevin Montgomery said. "Our lease was up in December, and December starts to slow down, so we decided to make November our last month."
Alaine Montgomery said she'll miss talking to her customers, whose orders she knows before they're placed. Kevin Montgomery is less nostalgic about what he'll miss from his job in the kitchen: "Me? Nothing."
After The Food Mill closes, Alaine Montgomery said it probably will take a couple of months of remodeling before the new owners open a Mexican restaurant in its place. Because the space has been occupied by a restaurant for as long as either Montgomery can remember, both are glad to have a new eatery option in Hayden taking its place.
"I think Hayden's ready for a change, and I think the Mexican place will do really well," Alaine Montgomery said.