Happiest Hour 

The Jolly Cork's

Ambiance: The door to the Jolly Cork's makes it look like an Irish speakeasy if ever one existed. In the evening, the narrow green portal glows like a beacon on an otherwise dark block of Front Street. Walking through it reveals a secret-looking green staircase that leads you down into the disco glow of the basement bar. With its linoleum floors, it's less romantic than a speakeasy. But the red tablecloths and candles give it some coziness and the fact that you're listening to "It's Raining Men" indicates love is in the air.

History: The Jolly Cork's just opened in October, but the space already has history. It was previously Club Q, a LGBT bar popular for its dance parties. Bartender Tyrone Sumrall says he hopes the Jolly Cork's will bring in a diverse crowd, including the LGBT clientele since AmVets, the unofficial gay hotspot, has become a new bar called Monk's.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ERIKA FREDRICKSON

Happy Hour: 5 PM to 8 PM every night with two-for-one drink specials.

What you're drinking: This time of year? Hot alcohol, of course. Sumrall says that when the weather really gets cold—isn't that now?—hot cider and hot toddies will be available.

What you're looking forward to: A Christmas Drag show and New Year's Eve masquerade ball.

How to get there: The Jolly Cork's is located in the basement of the Elks Lodge. Enter through the door on the south side of the building, across from the Pearl Café and Trail Head.

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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