Happiest Hour: Harold's Club 

With all this nice spring weather, we've been itching to get out of the office early and start our weekend. And you know us well enough by now to realize our weekend starts with the first frosty glass of beer. Take our Happiest Hour advice, make it a trip this afternoon. Not all the good bars are in city limits.

This week: Harold's Club

Claim to fame:
“I don’t know if it’s the beer on ice or the animal heads in the bubbles,” says bartender Jenny Regan. Or maybe it’s the annual New Year’s Day Ride from the Rhino to Harold’s. According to Regan, local motorcycle club Montana Legends makes the run every year, “snow or rain or shine.”

Atmosphere: A bit loud on a recent midweek afternoon. The regulars are having a spirited conversation about car racing and Discovery Channel’s “Cash Cab.” Larry Lanoue just sips his drink, chatting off and on with Regan. He sums the joint up as clean, “but not white-glove clean.” Regan adds they still enforce the Code of the West. “Whoever orders the drink buys it,” she says.


What you’re drinking: Patrons used to favor Jack Daniels, but today the popular drinks range from Bud Light to Maker’s Mark. One thing’s sure: There’s no such thing as a weak pour here.

Who you’re drinking with:
“Local yokels,” Lanoue jokes. Mostly good-natured neighbors from Milltown and Bonner, with a few errant college kids thrown in.

What you’re talking about: Pool tournaments, fiddle jamborees, the 17-year run of Solid Sound Karaoke at Harold’s every Friday night—the average conversation here rambles in that pleasant, homey way. Talk of the area’s best dive bars gives way to talk of the smoking ban gives way to the infractions at the Turah Pines Bar gives way to Lanoue’s stories from the military…

How to find it: Head east through Milltown on Highway 200. Take a right on Owen Street after crossing the Blackfoot River and drive over the railroad tracks.

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Darrell Scott

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