Montana’s back in the Sarnia restaurant game with new vigour

montana's chris treftlinChris Treftlin has a good feeling about his newest venture, one that builds quite nicely on the experience the area resident has gained in starting and running almost every conceivable type of restaurant style you might imagine.

And now, after several years in a senior position with Steeves & Rozema (he left htat company in 2010 after helping in the opening of Landmark Village), Treftlin is back in the restaurant game—this time as a minority partner in Montana's, a once (and Treftlin hopes), future booming part of the local restaurant landscape.

While Treftlin acknowledges the success curve will take a lot of hard work, that's no surprise to him. And he knows the basics of running a successful enterprise.

Even as he sat for an interview with, Treftlin was giving instructive advice to one of his managers, who is working to balance staff hours to ensure that ever-present challenge known to restaurateurs worldwide: keep customers happy and make sure they leave with full stomachs.

In the relatively short time the re-birthed Montana's has been open—Jan. 11—not everything has gone as smoothly as Treftlin might have hoped.

A guest who quite visibly publicized a perceived slight when it came to breastfeeding—the power of social media at work—was one of those moments.

But Treftlin's quick response, albeit on the heels of what some might have considered a one-sided story in the daily newspaper ('Montanas's apologizes' was on the page 2 continuation of the page 1 hammer), guest numbers quickly rebounded.

"It was a big misunderstanding," says Treftlin. "In the end, the guest came away satisfied with the way we handled the situation, which included extra training for our staff. "

The new Montana's may have basically the same physical atmosphere—not unlike the restaurant that closed four years ago—but Treftlin says he's staffed the operation with servers who know how to "read" the restaurant guests.

"Some people are all about ordering the food and getting out. Others want the show and our servers know the difference."

And yes, mothers and their young ones are always welcome.

"Honestly I've never seen so many kids and babies in the restaurant," says Treftlin. "It's great."

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