Happiest Hour 

The Old Post Pub

Atmosphere: The old brick and wood-panel interior lends 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, says bartender Will Deschamps. But the place has more charm than an orphan with a three-legged kitten. Take Charlie, the Old Post's mascot, a stuffed bobcat donated long ago by one of the kitchen staff. He took a tumble recently and had to go to the taxidermist for reconstructive surgery, but he's back to greeting patrons from his perch above the back door.

What you're drinking: Happy hour hits every day from 4 to 6 p.m. 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 has kindly illustrated the selections. Also note Gateley's hilarious depiction of the "de-evolution" of man, a nasty side effect of tasty beer.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALEX SAKARIASSEN

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 by regularly—he strolled in while the Indy was in the midst of some bar-side research.

Claim to fame: 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.

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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