by nathan oster
BT’s Diner in downtown Greybull changed hands over the holidays, with Ty and Carol Collingwood Gossens taking over ownership of the restaurant from Mike and Andrea Laird.
The Lairds were part of a group that bought the restaurant last January. Not long after, Carol joined the staff as a cook. As the year was drawing to a close, Mike approached her to gauge her interest in taking it over.
Carol said she gave it some thought and ultimately decided to take the plunge. A lifelong Greybull resident, she can remember when it was a grocery story. Her grandmother would visit the store and buy cases of root beer and orange pop, which she’d then store in her closet, much to the delight of her grandchildren who “knew where that closet was.”
Now she will be running the place full time, and while he plans to keep his job with the railroad, Ty plans to pitch in, too.
Carol spent 25 years travelling the state and region as a supervisor for Maverik before going to work at BTs, in part to get back to a normal schedule with less travel.
“I’ve lived here a long time, and Carol has too; you can get some good food here,” said Ty. “Plus, it’s a place people truly enjoy coming and eating. It’s a nice place and I think it has a great future.”
Ty laughed that he’s always had the “gift of gab” and that Carol is leaving that part of the job to him. She agreed, saying she enjoys the behind-the-scenes work in the kitchen.
Carol said all of the BTs employees stayed on after the ownership change and that she plans no significant changes in the short term, although some new things could be rolled out toward summer.
“The first week was a lot busier than I expected the first week of January to be,” she said. “We’ve had a ton of people coming in and saying congrats, which has been great.
“We are glad to be able to do this. For a lot of people, this is their destination. They are in week after week after week; they weren’t too excited about the prospect of it closing. I was glad we were able to step in and keep it going.”
In an interview this week, Mike Laird said the year was “hard” but also very “gratifying” and that they stepped away because it got to be too much. A case of “too many irons in the fire,” he said.
Mike owns Laird Sanitation, is involved in the National Guard and serves as a Greybull firefighter and EMT, and Andrea has a full-time job at Gottsche.
Mike said he believes the Gossens will “do just as good if not better than we did,” adding that it’ll still be a restaurant “coming from the heart.” The BT’s name won’t change.
“Knowing the customers who came in, and getting to know more people in this community, we loved it,” said Mike. “We absolutely loved BT’s Diner. The only reason we’re not still there is because she and I didn’t have time to spend together like we wanted to have.
As for the future of BT’s, Mike simply said, “Things are going to be good.”