Helena institution Bert and Ernie’s closes after 48 years

Bert and Ernie’s owner Toby DeWolf serves customers at the bar in this file photo from 2011.

Eliza Wiley, Independent Record

It’s closing time, for the last time, at Bert and Ernie’s restaurant.

After 48 years of business, the Helena institution turned off its lights on Dec. 1, leaving behind memories of shared meals, wine and company.

Bert and Ernie’s “was a hub of things that were happening downtown. We’re going to miss it terribly,” said Helena City Commissioner Sean Logan, a frequent customer. “It’s just this mainstay of downtown, not only of food and beverage, but for many years there was a lot of music going on down there.”

Toby DeWolf, manager/owner of Bert and Ernie’s for 36 years, poses in Sommeliers, the upstairs wine bar.

Jill Sundby Van Alstyne, MTFP

More than a place to eat, Bert and Ernie’s was a business anchor, an innovator, a fundraising center, a de facto museum and a link to the past through

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