Happiest Hour 

Kim Ryan, Brooks & Browns

Her specialty: "It's all special," she says. I ordered a gin martini, dirty, and it was excellent.

Pouring drinks since: Before moving to the bar inside the Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park about a year ago, she worked nine years in Helena at Miller's Crossing.

What'd she learn in Helena: Politicians talk. Ryan, however, is tight-lipped about the secrets she heard.

Best nights to catch her: Brooks & Browns comes to life for Tuesday's open mic and trivia on Thursdays, both of which are regular shifts for Ryan. On a recent Tuesday a generous crowd supported a long line of local musicians waiting to test their material. JP Falcon Grady, a Browning native with killer pipes and playing a gorgeous Gibson J-200, got the crowd to join him in a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

Her secret: The regulars lined up at the bar don't just come for the live music; Ryan has a dedicated following. When asked what it is that keeps folks coming back, she quips, "Either my sparkling smile or my smart mouth...Probably the mouth."

Happy Hour specials: From 4 to 7 p.m. every weekday, well martinis run $4, domestic pitchers $5 and microbrew pitchers $7.

Where to find her: 200 S. Pattee Street, inside the Holiday Inn.

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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