Saffron Table Closes

Saffron Table Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Bozeman.

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Saffron Table has closed after six years serving contemporary South Asian food on West Babcock Street.

Owner Andleeb Dawood announced the news Tuesday in a Facebook post.

Saffron Table’s closure comes as businesses across Montana begin to reopen after being ordered closed because of the coronavirus. Retail stores could open their doors this week. Bars and restaurants can begin serving customers on Monday as long as they follow guidelines like ensuring customers and employees remain 6 feet apart.

“As Bozeman begins to reopen, there is much uncertainty ahead for our restaurant and the entire industry,” Dawood wrote on Facebook. “It has taken a while to think all this through, but I feel it will now be best to close the doors of Saffron Table permanently.”

Dawood, who couldn’t be reached for comment, wrote that she is beginning her next project but didn’t specify what it is.

Saffron Table’s menu was inspired by food familiar to Dawood, whose family is from India and who grew up in Pakistan.

“My heart will be forever filled with the sounds of your laughter, the clinking of your wine glasses and the looks of enjoyment on your faces when you’ve indulged in our favorite dishes. …,” she wrote. “You’ve given me the opportunity to share my family’s culture, heritage and food with you and in return, you’ve given me the gift of community and the feeling that Bozeman is home.”

Dawood’s post has hundreds of comments from people reminiscing about the time they’ve spent at Saffron Table, which was in the building that was originally part of the Kirk Homestead site and was previously home to La Chatelaine Chocolat Co.

The restaurant closed its dining room on March 16 as part of a countywide closure to limit the spread of the virus. The restaurant briefly offered takeout before shutting its doors.

The closures have hit many businesses hard, but Saffron Table is the first Daryl Schliem, president and CEO of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce, has seen close permanently.

For now, he said Bozeman businesses are waiting to see what the gradual reopening will look like. Some — like gyms — are still waiting to receive guidance from the governor’s office on when they’ll be able to reopen.

“The bright side this time around is it isn’t like 2008 because the construction industry is still going strong and restaurants have continued some limited business with takeout,” Schliem said. “This is the shoulder season, so it’s a slower time in general. I think if things don’t change by June and the summer months remain slow, it could be a different story.”

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Perrin Stein can be reached at pstein@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2648.

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