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Happiest Hour: The Happy Meal



This week's happiest hour celebrates the organic evolution of a drink special. Welcome to the adult Happy Meal, and enjoy the sunny weekend.

What you’re drinking: Otherwise known as PB & J or Burgers and Fries, the Happy Meal is not what it sounds like. If you find yourself sitting at the Golden Rose and you utter those words, expect a shot o’ Jameson and a pounder of PBR for $5 (but you’re going to tip, so have some singles ready). The name is shrouded in mystery, some chalking it up to a subtle McDonald's advertisement, others claiming it belongs to a regular or a bartender. Regardless, the infamous daily special is here to stay.


Who you’re drinking it with: Your friends, enemies and in-betweens. The happy meal does not discriminate. “Everybody orders ’em,” bartender Andrew Richards said. “It’s our most-sold drink special, compared to other nightly specials like Absolutely or $1 wells on Thursday.” He wasn’t kidding; someone down the bar ordered one right after he said that.

What’s the occasion: There’s only $20 in your checking account and you like to feel fancy. Jameson can be a luxury when you’re down and out, though the PBR may reinforce your staggering poverty. “A lot of the time, it’s people out looking for a cheap drink,” Richards said. “I don’t know many other places that offer a daily special like this.”

Where to find it: Any bar at Missoula’s Badlander complex, at the corner of Ryman Street and Broadway—the Golden Rose, the Badlander, the Palace, the Central—except the Savoy.

—Brooks Johnson

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

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