Everyone knows that Bozeman is growing at a pretty fast pace and for some locals that’s not a good thing. As new people and businesses continue to flock here, the landscape of the city continues to change. However, for many years the Bozemanites miss the “Old Bozeman”.

So what qualifies a business as an “Old Bozeman” business?

That’s a great question, so how about we set some ground rules? An “old Bozeman” business must be local and have been part of the community for several generations. Now that that’s established, we can start narrowing down a lot of places that don’t fit the criteria.

I wanted to hear from people who have been on Bozeman longer than 5 minutes. I’m talking about people who were born here, or who came to college and never left. The people who remember the city before the rest of the world discovered it. So, I went online and posted on social media, and asked the question:

“What is the most ‘Old Bozeman’ company in Bozeman?”

Not only did they respond, but some even told the story of some cases, which is super cool. Bozeman is fortunate to have a handful of businesses that have been around for generations and continue to be run by people right here in Gallatin County. While many people suggested lots of different places, we narrowed it down to 3 companies based on feedback from local Bozemanites.

The 3 Most “Old Bozeman” Companies in Bozeman

Kennyon Noble Kenyon Noble has been locally owned and operated for over 130 years. Established in 1889 (which also happens to be the year Montana became a state), Kenyon Noble has been a part of building Bozeman from the beginning. With three locations in Bozeman, Belgrade and Livingston, Kenyon Noble continues to serve the people of Gallatin County today and will for generations to come.

Owenhouse Ace Hardware Owenhouse Ace Hardware has been part of the Bozeman scene since 1879, so over 140 years ago. The store started with the intention of equipping farmers with the supplies they needed. According to their website, “Bozeman residents have trusted the folks at Owenhouse Ace Hardware to supply them with everything from strollers, wagons and plows to modern tools, appliances and lawn mowers.“With multiple locations, the Owenhouse Ace Hardware on Main in downtown Bozeman looks like the old hardware store you’d find on any main street in America back in the day, which completely adds to its charm.

Western coffee The Western Cafe is definitely a Bozeman favorite. In fact, I dare say that of all the submissions we received, Western was the most suggested “Old Bozeman” company. The Western has been around for about a century and is still locally owned and serves people a good, tasty, traditional dinner, including a few they’re famous for like their chicken fried steak and cookies and gravy. The Western Cafe doesn’t just look like “Old Bozeman”, the Western looks like “Old Montana”. A place where locals go to start their day, talking about local sports, local politics and local gossip. It’s a piece of Americana served on a plate.

Several other “Old Bozeman” companies have also been suggested. Places like The Eagles, Schnee’s, Roundhouse, Sports, Chalet Sports, Bozeman Bowl, Catspaw, Miller’s Jewelry and Gallatin Laundry have all been part of Bozeman for generations.

Do you agree with the Top 3? Is there another company to add to the list? We would love to hear your input.

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