The bar scene in Great Falls is fairly sedate and typical for a city its size, with one outrageous exception: the Sip 'n Dip Lounge at the O'Haire Motor Inn, 17 7th St. S. (tel. 406/454-2141), an authentic tiki bar, clad in bamboo and loaded with South Seas paraphernalia of all kinds. The sip in the moniker refers to the cocktails served by the bar. The dip, however, is quite unusual: Windows behind the bar make for a view of a pool where actresses in mermaid garb swim on Wednesday through Saturday nights. Then you've got "Piano Pat" Sponheim tickling the ivories, as she has since 1963, delivering unusual covers of Neil Diamond, Sinatra, and Elvis tunes. This is one of the kitschiest, wackiest, and flat-out coolest nightspots, not just in Montana, but in the entire West.
Beyond the Sip 'n Dip, another nightspot worth checking out is Machinery Row, a vast basement club under the Breaks Ale House & Grill.
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