What you’re drinking: Whatever suits your fancy. This isn’t a beverage recommendation. It’s a happy hour recommendation.

Where you’re drinking it: The bar at Finn & Porter in the DoubleTree hotel.

Why? Lots of reasons, not least to check out the redesign. F&P was closed much of March while the room was updated, and re-opened just before Easter. The bottle cages have come down from the central pillar that houses the pizza oven, functionally replaced by wrought-iron gates at the bar’s entrance. The color scheme has been lightened up to an ambiguous gray-brown that’s spiffier than F&P’s wood-panelled past, and doesn’t do anything to detract from the river-overlook window bank that makes this one of the most iconic rooms in Missoula. I don’t remember there being TVs before, but there are now, mounted on that pillar, and they run a Missoula promo video on a continuous loop. Pro tip: Your bartender is happy to tune them to anything else if you ask nicely. The promo is just the default. It’s fun to watch once. Unlike the visitors just passing through, you’ll recognize everything and probably everyone in it.

Finn & Porter

Any other reasons? Yep. Happy hour draft beers and well pours are $3, and house cocktails are a buck off.

But I’m hungry: Covered. Happy hour pizzas are $10 a pop, and the very respectable wings, usually $9, go for just $5. If you feel like gussying up in honor of the new paint job, happy hour oysters are 3 for $5. You can also order off the regular menu if you’re feeling flush.

Anything else? The new deck bar. It’s not finished, or open, yet, and they’ve been saying “soon” for a while now, but you know, it’s been rainy, and working out there must have felt like braving a North Sea oil rig when the Clark Fork was rushing through the pilings. They’ll get there. Soon, I hope. The weather yesterday was just begging for it.

When: 4–6 p.m., seven days a week.

Where, again? Finn & Porter, 100 Madison Street.

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

Editor

Brad Tyer edited the Independent from 2002 through 2007, and returned in late 2016. He’s an occasional freelancer, a former managing editor of the Texas Observer in Austin and the author of Opportunity, Montana (Beacon Press). @bradtyer on Twitter.

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