When John and Sandy Rose turned their 271 acre working ranch into the Skalkaho Steakhouse in the fall of 2002, they already had three decades of experience serving Montana style food.
The Roses have been in the outfitting and guide business since 1964 and have lived and worked in the Valley since 1975. In 1987 they moved to the ranch along with 60 head of horses and mules, and continued putting up hunters and taking them out on the trail. The same hunters kept coming back year after year to hunt, and thoroughly enjoyed the terrific, stick-to-your-ribs grub.
When John and Sandy sold their Idaho hunting and guide business in 1994, they continued outfitting in Montana. The wildlife mounted on the walls was collected by John during his 40 years as an outfitter and guide.
In the summer of 2000, fire swept through the Roses ranch, taking 70 tons of hay and their barn, but leaving their beautiful home intact. John and Sandy quickly joined the firefighting effort. While Sandy worked 16-hour days at a fire camp, John stayed home and fed firefighters working nearby. Morning crews started their day with a hearty breakfast of bacon, sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, juice, toast, cereal, muffins and doughnuts. At the end of the day, John whipped up washtubs full of spaghetti and meatballs and grilled platter-sized steaks for the hungry crews.
They knew they were good at feeding hunters and firefighters. Opening a restaurant seemed the perfect choice for a new business.
The Steakhouse is almost entirely family run: John, Sandy, daughter Chelle, granddaughter Tawnie, family friend Kim, and George. There is only one full time employee, and that is Karen who has been with us now for 3 years. Doc is 1 day a week, and she has been with us since we opened the doors. Libby is part-time and is going on 2 1/2 years with us. George who is Chelle's boyfriend is now a cook and a server and can pretty much do everything. Between Chelle, John and George (who are the only cooks), you are guaranteed to get a great quality meal that we would be proud to put on our own supper table at home......and since you are sitting in what used to be our living room.....well....lets just say, we hope you enjoy your meal!!