Happiest Hour: The Jack Saloon 

It's Homecoming weekend at the University of Montana. But on the outskirts of Missoula, some folks will be celebrating a homecoming of a different sort...

This week: The Jack Saloon

Tears in beers: Earlier this year, the famed Lumberjack Saloon off Highway 12 between Lolo and Lolo Pass closed its doors suddenly and without explanation. Loyal drinkers lamented on Facebook, with one commenter writing, “There’s tears in my beer.” Others simply thanked the establishment for its years of service and bid a fond farewell—a farewell that, as of this weekend, many will be overjoyed to retract.

The Jack is back: So much for the lyrics to Percy Mayfield’s old blues classic, “Hit the Road, Jack.” The Lumberjack, officially renamed the Jack Saloon and Grill, announced this week that it is once again pouring drinks—under new owners Stuart and Patty Larkin. Rumor first began circulating on social media, and The Blaze finally confirmed the reopening Wednesday. Juan Sandoval, general manager at the Jack, says the doors have actually been open for a month now, but the bar is still working on getting the word out.

Bring on the party: The Jack is hosting a grand (re-)opening tomorrow, Oct. 5, and if past experience is any indication, it’ll be a big one. Local country music group Sho Down will take the stage, and Sandoval says the bar will have a $3 specialty shot to “welcome the Jack back.” He wasn’t sure Friday what the shot would be, but added “it will definitely involve whiskey.” Live music will continue every Saturday night from here on, and in a true return to style, those who have tossed back a few too many can rent a cabin for $60 to $80 a night. Sandoval says the Jack is also actively looking for “a good deal” on a bus, so the bar can resume regular shuttles to and from Missoula.

Where to find it: If you don’t already know where to point your car, head west up Highway 12 out of Lolo and keep your eyes peeled for the sign on the right. The Jack is at 7000 Graves Creek Rd.

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

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