Missoula Montana has a pretty phenomenal variety of bars to choose from for your weekend endeavors. The themes and varieties range from dive bar, burger joint, dance bars, wine bars… and the list goes on. Well today my friends, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The best bar in Missoula is not located at the heart of downtown but rather off of the intersection of Brooks and Stevens in the Stevens Shopping Center. Yes, my fellow beverage enthusiasts, I’m talking about the one and only Katie O’Keefe’s!
Now if you are unaware of this magical establishment I am speaking of that is quite alright. It’s an easy to miss location in a shopping mall, with barely even a sign out front. Don’t let the street view fool you because inside is where all of the magic happens.
When you walk into the establishment you are greeted with a buzzing red sign that assures you that you’re right where you want to be. Don’t walk up to the bar top just yet or you might miss the single best thing about Katie O’Keefe’s.
Before you get to the bar top there is a room to the right where you can pick the prettiest horse out of the group and put money down on some ponies. Yup, I’m talking about horse race gambling. In this room, there is a window where you can place your bet with a fine woman to put your money on a horse in accordance with The Tote. This might be the most unique feature of this little-known bar is that you can bet on live horse races. This is a great spot to be when the Kentucky Derby rolls around!
Let’s go back to the bar top and check things out.
Ah this beauty here, this is called the Wheel of Destiny. This is a fun bar game where you get to spin the wheel and you purchase the beer it lands on for only ½ of the price. The trick to this game? Don’t land on a beer that you don’t want to drink! There are 30 different beers that include Highlander, Red Stripe, Colt 45, Skull Splitter, Dragons Breathe, Mickeys, Old English and many more. Ah there are possibilities for some great half prices beer on that wheel but also some beers I NEVER want to drink. May the odds be forever in your favor…
Moving on… The bar top is made of a wooden counter top with plenty of bar stools for you and all of your friends. The employees here are kind and true friends that make the place feel like home.
This first room is filled with gambling machines for you to try to win some money playing Poker, Keno, or Line games. You gotta love Montana for making it easier to gamble than any other state. So we have pretty much covered the first few rooms and the main bar area in Katie’s. You might think this is the end of the tour but OH NO!! There is another level to this amazing hole in the wall bar that I know you are excited to go check out!
There are a few stairs towards the door of the establishment that take you down a lower level of Katie’s. There you will find so many tables and fun bar games that you could spend all day there. There is a plethora of tables in this lower part of Katie’s that pretty much guarantee you a place to rest your booty, even on the busiest nights. I know these tables are a few extra steps away from the bar, and let’s face it that makes some of us a little uneasy. But don’t worry because cocktail waitresses flow between the tables making it easy for you to get a beverage without ever leaving your seat.
Don’t feel like sitting down and enjoying your drink? There are plenty of bar activities for you to pass time with your friends. These games include two separate dart boards as well as multiple pool tables.
Now that we have seen the games, the other half of the downstairs part of the bar includes many, many more tables for you and ALL of your friends to enjoy. The decorations of this bar include many Montana bar staples such as an Elk mount, a Moose mount and plenty of TV’s to watch your favorite sports programs.
Katie O’Keefe’s has a few more perks to mention before I let you go. Where do you usually go to watch your favorite team play when football comes around? Are the local bars too crowded that you can never get a good spot? Katie’s is definitely the place to be on football Sunday because they have catered food provided by The Montana Club restaurant.
Are you a person who enjoys the dying card game of cribbage and just don’t know where to go to play? Don’t worry because Katie’s has a cribbage club that allows for some card playing fun.
Thank you for joining me on this journey through the best bar in Missoula that nearly no one knows about!
Written by: Raelin Jaqueth