Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happiest Hour: Poor Henry's

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 2:41 PM

The bartenders at Poor Henry's said they'd long wanted an Indy writer to make it in for a whiskey. Happy to oblige.

Why you’re here: Because on a recent late afternoon, while driving along Interstate 90, you realize it’s high time you visited that lonely bar with the tall, vintage sign that beckons from the frontage road near Clinton.

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Claim to fame: Bartender Lindsey Seelig says Poor Henry’s has “the coldest beer on the trap line.” But you soon learn that that—whatever it means—is the least of the bar’s attractions.

When to come: Morning’s a good time, actually. Owner Todd Hughes cooks up made-to-order breakfast sandwiches that are, Seelig says, “overflowing with breakfasty goodness,” i.e., bacon, egg, sausage, ham, and cheese.

And when to come back: Late August, when Poor Henry’s hosts its annual Redneck Games, with live music. Compete in carburetor shot put, mud wrestling, and tug-of-war, and bob for pigs’ feet and chicken wings.

What you’re drinking: A Bud Light bottle, please, with a shot of Fireball cinnamon whisky.

Atmosphere: Two flat-screens hang above the bar, one blaring Great American Country TV and the other tuned to SportsCenter on mute. There are a couple pool tables, a few dinging video poker machines, and a sizzle wafts from the kitchen. Asked how long the bar’s been around, the regulars grumble. “Since it’s been here,” one says. Then they agree on 1951, roughly.

How to find it: Take exit 126, Clinton, and head west on the frontage road.

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

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