Happiest Hour 

VFW Club

Claim to fame: Rousing history lessons from vets by day, rousing karaoke from college kids by night.

Atmosphere: An impressive collection of antique weaponry lines the walls, including rusty bayonets dating back to the late 1800s. The club, which is open to everyone, also boasts one of the most extensive local collections of classic tunes on its jukebox. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin often croon through the VFW's sound system, serenading veterans of foreign wars lost in reverie. "But there is some Lady Gaga in the front for the weekends," says bartender Odessa Joseph.

What you're drinking: A full bar, but domestic beer fills most glasses. Caesars and Bloody Marys cost $3 all day on the weekend.

Who you're drinking with: Regulars, many of them retired military, hang out weekday afternoons talking war and politics. That makes it easy to pick up a history lesson, if you're looking for one. But the VFW's complexion changes by night. In particular, karaoke on Friday and Saturday lures a youthful and vocal crowd.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JESSICA MAYRER

Happy Hour specials: Weekday afternoons, between 4 and 6 p.m., well drinks and domestic beer in a can or bottle run $2. Pints of domestic beer on tap are a steal at $1.50.

How to find it: Next to Biga Pizza at 245 W. Main Street

—Jessica Mayrer

Happiest Hour is a new column that celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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