HOBSON — The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way many small businesses operate, and even rural areas with little or no confirmed COVID-19 cases are not immune.
“The fact that we’re in a remote location has definitely created a bit of a challenge,” said Liz Carr, the owner of Tall Boys Tavern in Hobson. “We’re definitely off the beaten path. So, we’ve had to do more outreach on social media and different runs of advertising to get the word out that we’re still open. Come get some grub.”
Before the pandemic, Tall Boys attracted many out of town visitors who made it a top spot for destination dining in central Montana. But then state guidelines and restrictions hindered travel from more populated areas.
But according to Carr, the business stayed busy and stayed open thanks to the small community with a population just north of 200 that stepped up to help.
“We’ve had a lot of more local community members coming out of the woodwork, supporting our business. Locals who wouldn’t normally stop in have been making more of an appearance or spending their dollars here,” Carr said. “We really take that to heart because everyone is pinching pennies right now, so when someone decides to give you their dollar you really appreciate it because it could be spent somewhere else. And they chose us.”
Tall Boys re-opened its dine-in area on May 5. And though Judith Basin County currently hasn't recorded a single confirmed case of coronavirus, Carr says that restaurant patrons have been really diligent and respectful of social distancing guidelines.
"We've had to remove some seating," Carr said. "But we’re a big space, so adhering to the guidelines hasn’t been as tricky as I’m sure it has for other establishments."