We only made it to Red Lodge once in 2020, thanks to COVID-19 cramping our style. Now that the mask mandate has been lifted for most counties in Montana and businesses are hoping to get back to normal for the upcoming summer tourist season.

My wife and I booked a  Red Lodge hotel room heading into Mother's Day weekend. While the weather wasn't really very nice, we still had a great time getting out of town for the night and playing tourist in the popular mountain town. Of course, we've enjoyed good times in Red Lodge many, many time before, but on this quick visit I noticed a few changes up and down the main drag, aka Broadway Avenue (aka Hwy 212).

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

The Montana Store

Towards the south end of Broadway we noticed "coming soon" signs announcing a new shop called the Montana Store. Their Facebook page says this about the store,

We offer a variety of unique, hand selected products that are made in Montana in addition to local Montana themed items featuring Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

New restaurant at the Pollard Hotel.

On most of our overnight trips to Red Lodge we've stayed at VRBO's or one of the cheaper hotels. Since it was a special occasion, we splurged for the King Suite at the Pollard and it didn't disappoint. The restaurant and pub has been remodeled and rebranded as Marli's. They removed a wall and added a nice center-bar to the former dining areas. Food and service was great, as were the cocktails.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

The Pollard is still - allegedly - haunted.

HauntedRooms.com ranked the Pollard #4 on it's most haunted hotels in Montana list. Our bartender said he hasn't personally witnessed any creepy sightings, but told us most of it allegedly happens on the 3rd floor. After shutting down the bar, I crept around the halls, hoping for a spooky encounter. Nada. Not even an orb. Maybe next time.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Moo Country comes to Montana.

With an original location in Tennessee, Moo Country is a boutique on the corner at 108 Broadway Ave S. Their website says,

Follow this free-spirited, globe-trotting, high-stylin', self-made, Montana-raised woman with her 2 one-of-a-kind boutiques.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

East Rosebud Fly and Tackle shop sporting a rock-n-roll facade.

Maybe this store has always been here, and we're just now noticing it? However, we're pretty sure this is a new addition to the main drag in Red Lodge. I got a kick out of the AC/DC inspired signage.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Prerogative Kitchen

A new restaurant and bar in Red Lodge was something that instantly caught my eye. Unfortunately, they were closed for training the first time I strolled by and when I came back the next day to check it out, they were closed for a private party. Next time we'll check it out.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Carbon Fork Restaurant is now closed.

We've eaten here a couple of times in the past and I recall the food being just ok. An email from a Red Lodge resident told us the owner couldn't survive the loss of business from COVID-19. The building is gorgeous and our bartender at the Pollard thought the asking price was $1.2 million.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Katie Cakes Boutique

Who can resist a great cupcake? Nobody. So we had to stop in. Chatting with an employee, we found out Katie Cakes is celebrating their 2nd anniversary this spring.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Hometown Sisters boutique.

There are tons of little boutique shops in Red Lodge. This is the first time we've noticed Hometown Sisters. We didn't stop on this visit, but the merchandise in the window appeared very boutique-y.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Under construction at Red Lodge Pizza.

One of the best places for pizza in Red Lodge has been under renovation. Signs in the window say, "I know you are hungry... stand by." No doubt they're planning on re-opening soon for the onslaught of summer tourists.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

The Snag looking less Snaggish.

We barely recognized the Snag with its makeover. This was actually done a couple of years ago, but the brick and steel exterior still jumps out as "new" to us.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

Paris comes to Red Lodge.

Sometimes I wonder who actually buys stuff at these expensive little shops that line Broadway. Then I remember that I'm not a tourist.

Michael Foth - Townsquare Media

A new spot for breakfast and coffee.

Towards the south end of Broadway, by the ice cream shop and Palmita's, is where you'll find Cattail Bakery. It looked quite busy on a Saturday morning, with dogs waiting patiently for their owners out front. A classic Red Lodge scene.

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Change is usually a good thing, and we hope these additions, renovations and updates around Red Lodge are good for the community. After last year, I'm sure the town can use the support of visitor dollars.

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