Friday, May 7, 2010

Happiest Hour: Sportsman's Bar

Posted By on Fri, May 7, 2010 at 3:30 PM

It's weekend time, and to get you ready here's our weekly installment of Happiest Hour—a salute of sorts to western Montana watering holes of various flavors.

This week: Sportsman's Bar

Claim to fame: Bar owners John and Tammy Zunski are known for crazy, un-PC shenanigans. Last month, Sportsman’s Bar (aka “Sporty’s”) announced a midget toss. After bar patrons hung out for hours waiting for midgets purportedly arriving on a bus from Seattle, John finally revealed that it was all an April Fools hoax. “Midget tossing is illegal,” he noted to the partly relieved, partly disappointed crowd, which slowly dispersed.

  • Photo by Carter Young

Atmosphere: The sign on the front door says, “Entering is Consent.” Behind the bar another sign reads, “Notice: Sexual harassment in this area will not be reported. However, it will be graded.” In the corner is a claw machine where you can win flavored condoms and penis- or boob-shaped key chains, among other things. On the walls are pictures of patrons partying hard, breast flashing and all. Despite its crassness, Sporty's comes off as more playful than sleazy or threatening.

What you’re drinking: Budweiser and shots of Apple Pucker, along with snack boats of peanuts. “I touched your nuts,” said one female bartender as she hands them over to a patron.

Who you’re drinking with: Twenty-something groups of friends taking photos of themselves flipping off the camera. John Zunski, whose looks and persona earned him the nickname “Howard Stern,” DJs an array of arena rock from AC/DC to G n’ R. Longtime locals, including the town’s official Santa Claus, sit drinking at the bar. Others hang out in the backyard around a bonfire next to a life-sized purple palm tree made of lights.

How to find it: 616 Railroad Avenue in Alberton. Take I-90 west toward Coeur d’Alene for about 26 miles, and then exit 77 at Petty Creek Road. Merge onto Adams Street and then onto Railroad Avenue next to the Ghost Rails Inn.

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

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