Levi Forman wrote:
Not being a person that spends a lot of time in bars, what is your criteria for a good bar? For me it's always been a pool table and a juke box that's not being plugged by teenagers but I've never spent enough time in one to become part of the crowd there.
As a regular at Miller's in Helena, its just nice to sit at a bar where you know everyone and everyone knows.
For example, I walked in yesterday around 4, sat between two guys I know from the bar (who I probably see about once every two months, but I have been talking with them on suck a schedule for the past 5 years). We sat and watched the Masters, and had a good time cracking jokes at Tiger Woods' expense.
You could be doing this with a friend at a friend's house, but at my age whenever I have company it involves a cleaning/tidying up session that I really do not want to do. Why not just go to the bar and shoot the poop with your friends there?
Ambiance is also a factor......many of the great bars mentioned here should be experienced, just for that.
As an example....take the Jersey Lilly. I have been driving from Helena to Miles City to go antelope hunting for 20 years. For the firsy 15 years, I probably stopped at Ingomar maybe twice. Now plan my trips to stop at the Jersey Lilly for either lunch or dinner, depending how we are running, and a beer. I have found that to be an extremely enjoyable way to head to the happy hunting grounds.