It's getting warm out once again, and we all know what that means: Time to shake off the blankets, turn down the thermostat and leave the heated confines of our homes and offices. But there's still a chill in the air, so as always we're at the ready with a suggestion on where to escape the cold.
This week: The Old Post Pub
Atmosphere: The old brick and wood-panel interior lend the Old Post a sort of Prohibition-era look befitting a place that masks its location with modest, muted signage. Flanked as it is by flashy establishments like Sean Kelly’s and the Iron Horse, the Old Post often gets overlooked by the throngs of weekend drinkers that descend on downtown, says bartender Will Deschamps. But the place has more charm than an orphan with a three-legged kitten. Take Charlie, the Old Post’s stuffed bobcat mascot donated long ago by one of the kitchen staff. He took a tumble recently and had to go to the taxidermist for some reconstructive surgery, but he’s back to greeting patrons from his perch above the back door. As bartender Katie Malone says, “It’s not a bar without some dead stuff.”
What you’re drinking: Happy hour hits every day from 4 to 6 p.m. here, with all Big Sky brews on special for $2.75. Not sure what’s on tap? Take a look above the bar, where bartender and waitress Meaghan Gateley kindly illustrates the Old Post’s selection. The artist does amazing things with chalk, Malone says. Note Gateley’s hilarious depiction of the “de-evolution” of man, a nasty side effect of tasty beer.
What you’re eating: The best bar food in town, in Deschamps opinion. And he’s not the only one with a palate for Old Post fare. Mayor John Engen stops in regularly—he strolled in while the Indy was in the midst of some bar-side research—and Malone says summer brunches and Griz games get particularly crazy. If you’re looking for specific suggestions, try matching that happy hour pint of Big Sky with some happy hour wings, on special for 25 cents each.
Claim to fame: For starters, the place has been around for more than 20 years. They’ve got killer Bloody Mary’s, Malone says, and the bar is operated by the American Legion Forgotten Warriors Post #101. Translation: It’s a nonprofit establishment with strong ties to the local community. “Quality of people, quality of atmosphere, quality of community involvement,” Deschamps says. “And it’s one of the only bars Brad Pitt will visit when he comes to Missoula.”
Where to find it: Head inside 103 W. Spruce in downtown Missoula, directly behind Worden’s Market.