Friday, August 12, 2011

Happiest Hour: Magic Diamond Casino and Liquor Store

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM

We've got a craving for hard booze and Keno machines. Since we can't float a trip to Vegas this weekend, we're spending this week's Happiest Hour at the next best spot: the Magic Diamond Casino.

Who you’re drinking with: On a recent warm Friday morning a man smokes a cigarette outside the casino and checks out Magic Diamond's female clientele as they come and go. Inside, middle-aged women in tank tops that reveal faded blue tattoos sip hi balls next to men in plaid shirts and ball caps. Magic Diamond barkeep, Bobbi, (who prefers we not publish her last name) wears a nametag with dollar signs on it. Bobbi knows just about all of her patrons by name; the ones she doesn’t know she calls “hon” and “sweetheart.”

Ambiance: The Magic Diamond feels like someone plunked a Las Vegas casino down in the middle of Missoula’s Westside. It’s cavernous and cool. That makes it tough to discern whether it’s day or night. Gaming machines emit a range of high-pitched bleeps that rise above AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds” on the radio. Illuminated dollar signs and dice that wring the wall just below the ceiling cast a blue, green, and orange glow on the faux plants and patrons that sit below.

What you’re doing: Gambling. There are no barstools at the Magic Diamond. The casino’s only chairs sit in front of Keno, Big, Big Win and poker machines. “Everything is pretty much about the gaming industry,” Bobbi says.

What you’re eating: Complementary snacks that include apple Danish and banana nut muffins prepackaged in plastic wrappers.

What you’re drinking: Whatever you want. Magic Diamond offers a full bar featuring hard booze and local brews. Draft domestics including Pabst and Kokanee are free for those who gamble, as is wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Magic Diamond’s liquor store makes it easy to stock up when you cash out to take the party home.

How to find it: Magic Diamond is just a couple blocks west of Orange Street at 1210 West Broadway.

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

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