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Happiest Hour: Rough Stock Saloon


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Where you are: The Rough Stock Saloon. It’s gone by the name for six years, and before that it was called Swede’s for “forever,” according to one regular. The Rough Stock is just off Drummond’s Front Street, parallel to the train tracks and down from the Conoco gas station. There’s an open outdoor patio with a view across the tracks that on a clear day stretches off toward the Pintlers.

Why you’re here: Perhaps you’re stopping here on your way to or from Philipsburg , or because you just fished a stretch of the upper Clark Fork. Or maybe, like the group of elderly ladies in bathing suits who catcalled an Indy reporter last Friday evening, you’ve just been tubing and drinking the afternoon away, far from the crowds in Missoula. For whatever the reason, The Rough Stock offers a cool and dark interior that’s perfect for hiding from a hot summer day. 

What you’re drinking: A domestic can or bottle, probably. They’re cheap ($3 for a Bud Light), although the microbrew selection is also pretty good, featuring beers from Great Northern in Whitefish and The Front Brewing Company in Great Falls. 

The scene: “Rough stock,” for the uninitiated, refers to the bulls and horses raised to buck off cowboys in rodeos. Just across the river from Drummond’s rodeo grounds, the Rough Stock holds true to its name with a corner full of photographs signed by rodeo riders. Most signatures thank the bar for “a good time,” though one stands out as thanking the bar “for the kind glass of water."

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email


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