After a winter of selling bread and remodeling restaurant space, Rudeboys Bistro is open to the public.
The bistro held a soft opening earlier this week, and owner Matt Melvin wasn't quite sure what to expect.
"We've already had three return customers," he said with a laugh.
The restaurant opens officially on Monday.
"We're ready to roll," he said.
The bistro joins Melvin's other business 3 Birds Bakery, and all of it is located in the old Log Cabin Bakery shop at 2401 Second Ave. N. downtown. Melvin opened 3 Birds in November after buying the store from owner Mike Schaer.
Before Melvin bought the bakery, he had spent a year and half running the Rudeboys food truck, from which he baked bread and sold sandwiches. He's enjoyed having a permanent roof over his head.
That doesn't mean the Rudeboys truck is retired; it will resume service next week, Melvin said. Its daily locations will be posted on the Billings Food Truck Tracker Facebook page.
When he first opened in the Log Cabin location he worried he wouldn't get much foot traffic. The bakery sits a few blocks from both the cluster of restaurants on North Broadway and the string of eateries on Montana Avenue.
But he was surprised. Foot traffic, he said, has been pretty good.
Tears welling up in her eyes, Lorraine Evangeline confirmed that Log Cabin Bakery will close this weekend.
Log Cabin Bakery had closed in October after then-owner Helen Brown decided to get out of the bakery business. She had purchased Log Cabin from Schaer, who has owned it for decades. After Brown was unable to find a serious buyer, Schaer offered to buy the bakery back.
Melvin approached Schaer the next month and the two struck a deal. Melvin immediately got the bakery up and running and starting selling breads and other baked goods to customers and delivering to restaurants. He used the proceeds from the bakery to fund the bistro.
Melvin wanted to open the bistro because he's passionate about good food made from scratch. High-end fare doesn't have to be expensive, he said.
The owner of the Rudeboys food truck is making the transition from mobile sandwich-making to stationary bread baking.
"We want to change that," he said.
Lunches at the bistro range between $8 and $9, and customers get plenty of food.
"Everybody's really loving it," Melvin said.