Claim to fame: "Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que," mainly, although the surprisingly enticing Happy Hour specials are quickly gaining popularity among local deal-seekers. Even those normally allergic to Reserve Street have been known to migrate past box stores and through thick traffic to imbibe at Dave's.
Décor: The usual chain restaurant kitsch covering the walls, like vintage beer ads, hunting paintings and "Live Bait" signs. Through all that clutter, one item stood out: A Harvest Moon Brewing Co. poster from Belt, Mont.
About those Happy Hour specials: Every Sunday through Thursday, from 8 p.m. to close, drafts run $2 and appetizers cost a measly $3.99. The tap menu features Moose Drool from Big Sky, Cold Smoke from Kettlehouse, Dragon's Breath from Bayern and Flathead Cherry Ale from Glacier Brewing. That means you can get a pint of Dragon's Breath and a plate of BBQ Rib Tips (hickory-smoked and served on a bed of fries) for less than the price of a movie ticket at the nearby Carmike.
And the barbecue: Bartender Lynsey Evans walked me through a sampler of Dave's five signature sauces on my first visit—the original Rich & Sassy, Georgia Mustard (with a little vinaigrette thing happening), Texas Pit (smoky), Devil's Spit (spicy, but not enough for my taste) and the Sweet & Zesty (exactly how it sounds). You can slather any or all of them on anything from the kitchen—big squeezy bottles are placed at every table—but I found the Texas Pit most delicious.
How to find it: 2915 N. Reserve Street, near Home Depot.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.