New bistro features French-inspired food with boxcar theme

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A new restaurant named Boxcar Bistro is coming to the Old Sawmill District of Missoula that will take you back to the Roaring ’20s.
The French-inspired bistro and bar opens Tuesday, May 4.
It’ll open with a full, three-course menu, as well as beer and wine.
The Old Sawmill District has places for people to live, work and get brunch.
Leslie Wetherbee with Wetherbee Group Real Estate, the developers of the OSD said that was the idea behind the district.
“We’ve always called it a pedestrian neighborhood so that you could just walk to everywhere. We wanted to have pretty much everything that you needed right here,” Wetherbee said.
However, it was missing a place for people to have dinner until Boxcar Bistro came along.
Trains used to run through the Old Sawmill District when it was a lumberyard. Wetherbee said that’s where the restaurant’s ‘boxcar’ theme came from.
“The lumber mills were a huge part of Missoula. It was what Missoula was identified as and that’s what caused Missoula to grow as it did,” Wetherbee said. “As the lumber mills all went away, and the city changed, we wanted to keep part of that history,” she said.
When you walk in, you’ll get a historic dining car feel with speakeasy vibes.
Boxcar Bistro’s Executive Chef, Jess Wrightson, said they’ll have a unique menu that changes with the seasons.
“We want to do traditional French-style cuisine. We’ll put our own little Montana Twist on it. We have a Sarsaparilla braised, with smashed fingerlings,” he said.

That’s just one of their dishes, there are plenty more to choose from.

“This is something that we’ve been talking about for a while and we’re just excited to give a piece of ourselves back to the community and let them know that ‘we’re here, we’re loud and we’re a lot of fun,’” Wrightson said.
Wetherbee added that keeping the district’s history alive was a top priority.
“We’re long-time Montanans, but especially in Missoula and we just wanted to do something that would preserve that history,” she said.
Boxcar sits right behind Dog and Bicycle and the two share an alcohol license.
You can eat at Boxcar Tuesday-Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To make reservations, visit Boxcar Bistro’s website.