Apr 20, 2017 - By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff WriterA third Cowboy Cafe will open on Riverton's Main Street this week after months of planning by owners Robert and Severine Murdoch.
The Murdochs bought Dubois's Cowboy Cafe in 1993 and said they were considering a move to Riverton even before expanding to Sheridan with a second restaurant in 2014.
Until they were able to purchase the old Lapeyre Hotel last year, however, they said they weren't able to find a building that fits their needs -- and they didn't want to build anything new or lease.
"We knew we wanted to be in a downtown location," Severine said.
"And it takes too much time and energy into making it what we want to have a landlord decide they want to triple rent," Robert said.
Robert began making some cosmetic repairs in 2016 and since the beginning of February, he's been working 80 hours a week to get the business ready to open Friday.
Since deciding to expand to Riverton, Severine said "the response we've gotten has been very positive."
"Our reputation has expanded to Riverton and Lander," she said.
The Riverton restaurant is a more ambitious venture than Dubois and Sheridan.
The Dubois restaurant seats 48 people, while the Riverton location seats 80 with 20 more in a private meeting room.
The Riverton building is also about three times the size of the one in Dubois and Severine said said she's excited to be in a "nice historic location."
"This one needs to be lived in," Severine said. "It's too nice of a building.
The couple have "micro-managed" the Dubois and Sheridan locations, with Severine commuting to Sheridan every week.
In Riverton, though, they're hiring a general manager, and the couple said they'd considering expanding to new locations in the future if this venutre doesn't become too overwhelming.
Severine said she's happy to be creating jobs, especially in a state where it's "becomng harder and harder to find one."
"It's something we enjoy as entrepreneurs -- creating a stable, good-working environment," she said.
The Cowboy Cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
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