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Happiest Hour

The Union Club



Who you're drinking with: Multiple generations of cowboy types wearing Wranglers, labor leaders charting organizing strategy and people spanning a spectrum of sexual and gender identities who mingle on the dance floor. "We run such a good mix of people," says Union Club bartender Leslie Ruacho. "We get gay people. We get straight people."

What you're dancing to: The Union hosts only homegrown bands like Tom Catmull and the Clerics, Russ Nasset and the Revelators and Zeppo, Montana. There's never any cover charge.


What you're drinking: Ruacho sells a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon. The bar also offers several local microbrews on tap including Powder Hound, Moose Drool and Big Sky IPA, along with a full bar. As far as mixed drinks go, the "Dark n' Stormy,"—Goslings Black Seal Rum with ginger brew on ice—is a house favorite.

Happy Hour specials: There are a slew of them. The Union Club sells domestic drafts and well drinks for $2.25 Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 10 p.m. until midnight. On Monday nights, $2.75 gets you a Big Sky microbrew with a hot dog. On Fridays and Saturdays, shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey and Crown Royal Whisky set you back $2.75 all day long.

Claim to fame: The ground underneath the Union Club has been the epicenter of Missoula's labor movement for more than 100 years. Today, the historic structure remains home to several labor groups, like the Missoula Area Central Labor Council and the Teamsters Union, which have offices in the three-story brick building.

How to find it: Downtown at 208 E. Main Street.

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

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