Happiest Hour 

Monk's Bar

What you're doing: It's the first Friday in February, and we're listening to music by Russ Nasset and the Revelators. The band performs under blue lights on Monk's new stage, above a massive dance floor that leaves plenty of room to boogie. Since opening the new bar four months ago, Monk's general manager, Justin Manzer, has been working to lure performers from across the Northwest. The bar hosts everything from honky-tonk to industrial metal to burlesque performances. "I want it to be diverse," Manzer says.

Who you're drinking with: It varies depending on who's performing. At about 9:30 last Friday night, it was men in khaki pants and Griz shirts and well-coiffed women in heels. As the evening wore on and DJ Squirmi prepared to spin a set, a handful of younger people filed in.

What you're drinking: Monk's offers a variety of martini, shot and drink specials nightly. Tonight's selections include an Effen black cherry-pomegranate martini for $4, champagne for $2.50 and apple shots for $2.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JESSICA MAYRER

Ambiance: Those who frequented the Ryman Street bar when it was Amvets will recognize a few holdovers. The stone and redbrick walls remain. However, the space was completely renovated with new floors and tables, fresh paint and a warmer feel. And Monk's smells better than Amvets did.

How to find it: 225 Ryman Street.

Hours: Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7 on.

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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