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Montana restaurant owners discuss impacts of inflation, COVID-19 and floods

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Posted at 11:11 AM, Oct 05, 2022

WILSALL - Karen Shockey is one of the owners of the Bank Bar and Vault restaurant in Wilsall.

Over the past few years, they have faced the pandemic, the drought, and most recently the flooding of the Yellowstone River.

“It should be still accelerating, but because of COVID, the drought, and the flooding it’s not pushing forward the way that it should,” Shockey said.

Being in the northern part of Park County, Shockey says that they’ve noticed people canceling trips to come to Wilsall, thus not coming through the Vault Restaurant doors.

The Vault Restaurant has been in the family since around 2000.

Head cook Ashley Mugnier recalls why her grandfather began the endeavor.

“My grandfather pretty much wanted a ranch and restaurant to do what we’re doing, pretty much ranch to table for our beef,” Mugnier said.

The beef used at the Vault comes from the pastures of their family ranch, Muddy Creek Ranch.

On the walls throughout the restaurant, you can see different brands adorn the walls, including Muddy Creek’s.

When it comes to the other ingredients — eggs, oil, or even propane — the inflated price of goods and cost to ship is continuing.

“We try to stock up on other things and that’s costly,” Shockey said.

Despite the challenges they face, the Vault is grateful for the family of workers they have staffed and look forward to serving the community of Wilsall and its visitors for years to come.