by Mike Gerrity
Why you’re here: After a full day of “sendin’ it” on Lost Trail’s Powder Mountain, you pass through Conner on U.S. Highway 93 and notice a white sedan ditched in a snow bank. Recognizing that the temperature just climbed above zero hours ago, you decide now is the time to pull over for a bite to eat and to raise a toast to four-wheel drive.
What you’re drinking: Steamy Alpines (Irish cream, Rumple Minze and hot coffee) are a hot commodity here for riders coming down from the mountain, but pitchers of stout from Stevensville’s Blacksmith Brewing Co. are the quickest way for cold visitors to get the blood flowing through their frozen toes.
What you’re eating: While the Naughty Moose Burger does not contain actual moose (it’s buffalo), the $9.95 burger is made from scratch—just like the rest of the menu’s bar-food fare, according to co-owner Christy Thompson. The monolithic “Montana-sized” nacho pile ($12.95) can also easily satisfy four people.
Happy Hour: You can’t prove nobody ever said, “Life is like the Naughty Moose hors d’oeuvres table. You never know what you’re going to get.” A complimentary (read: free) hors d’oeuvres table is stocked every afternoon, Thursday through Sunday. It features a fluid assortment of potato skins, veggie trays, chicken gizzards and any number of other things. Situated beneath a dramatically stuffed standoff between a wolf and a mountain lion, you can’t miss it.
Where to find it: Look to your right after passing mile marker 21 on the way back from Lost Trail Powder Mountain. You’ll see it at 5390 U.S. Highway 93, in Conner.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email email@example.com.