Why you're here: It's summer, you're road tripping on Highway 200 and the sun's been beating relentlessly through the windshield for hours. Maybe your AC is on the fritz. Maybe you just need to escape the monotony of dashed yellow lines and Maroon 5 CDs. Doesn't matter. Lambkin's comes into view as you slow down through Lincoln, and you think to yourself: Why not?
What you're drinking: Provided you've timed your stop to coincide with happy hour—every Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.—you'll probably be sipping a Miller Lite. A six-pack in a bucket of ice goes for $9. Well drinks and canned beers are $1.75, but the $1 draft pints of Cold Smoke or Big Sky IPA will really do your wallet a favor. If you miss happy hour, or arrive too early, Bloody Marys and Caesars are the recommended boisson de choix.
Where you're sitting: The lounge has five large flatscreen televisions, visible from the bar or, if you're ordering from the restaurant next door, the tables. Feeling lucky? Keno machines literally crowd the bar. Most popular at this point in the year, however, is the patio out back. At this particular spot on Highway 200, you can catch some rays without gripping the wheel.
Who you're drinking with: According to bartender Darcy Jorgensen, pretty much everyone. Given the bar's location along a major state highway, the guy or gal sitting next to you could be from Great Falls or Australia. Travelers congregate here constantly, whatever the season. "It's a major stopping point for Griz fans," Jorgensen says. "Cat fans, too."
Why you're staying: Prying yourself away from Lambkin's can be a real challenge sometimes. The lounge hosts bingo every Wednesday. It has karaoke one Saturday a month—though what Saturday tends to remain a bit of a mystery. Lambkin's even has seasonal parties like Mardi Gras and their annual gambling extravaganza, "Vegas night."
How to find it: Take Highway 200 east from Missoula until you hit Lincoln. Watch for Lambkin's on the left. If you get to Roger's Pass, you've gone too far.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.