Friday, April 23, 2010

Happiest Hour: Desperado Sports Tavern

Posted By on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 3:30 PM

With the weekend fast approaching, we offer our favorite weekly homage to western Montana watering holes.

This week: the hot wings and cold beers at Despo's.

Claim to fame: A legitimate claim to the best wings in town. The meaty little suckers come slathered in buffalo sauce with huge flakes of red peppers, and only cost $9.95. They're wicked hot, but don’t even think of ordering the sissy sauce.

Atmosphere: Typical sports bar, with more than 30 high-def televisions. A tiered booth section even gives viewers the impression of sitting in the stands.

What you’re drinking: Mostly domestic beers, but a few local craft brews, like Kettlehouse Cold Smoke. No full bar.

Who you’re drinking with: Wing eaters. In other words, Despo’s doesn’t cater strictly to the backwards-cap sports crowd. They’re there, sure, stationed in front of playoff hockey or early-season baseball games. But much of the bar appears completely oblivious to the TVs.

Charming quirk: No table service. Order your drinks and wings at the bar, and then retreat to your spot. This makes for a fun game of spotting rookies left waiting and wondering why they’re being ignored.

Annoying inconvenience: Cash only. Even in Missoula, where people still use personal checks like its 1986, this seems unnecessarily antiquated. (And beware the high service charge at the ATM.)

Happy Hour specials: $2 drafts and $6 pitchers from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you’re ordering wings, trust us, and go with the pitcher.

How to find it: Tucked in next to a tanning salon at 3101 S. Russell, down by the YMCA.

—Skylar Browning

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail

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