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2 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Table of Contents Best Dessert: The Sundance Cheesecake Café. 3 Best Place to get Married: Daly Mansion............. 4 Best Historical Spot: Daly Mansion........................ 4 Weekend Getaway: Lost Trail Powder Mountain .................................................................................. 5 Best Bartender: Dan Mitchell................................. 6 Best Veterinarian: Dr. Joe Melnarik/Valley Pet Clinic....................................................................... 7 Valley Voice: Will Moss, Ravalli Republic............. 8 Best Teacher: Kerry Hanson/Daly Elementary..... 8 Best Visual Artist: Steve Wilson............................... 8 Best Coach: Mr. Albert, Hamilton High................. 8 Best Dentist: Dr. F. Chet Nelson.............................. 8 Best Mechanic: M&M Trans and Auto.................. 9 Best Chiropractor: Barnings Chiropractic............. 9 Best Massage Therapist: Betty Schroeder at Rosewood.............................................................. 9 Best Unsung Hero: Dominic Farrenkopf.............. 10 Best Musician: Joan Zen....................................... 10 Best Salesperson: Margaret Ohl/Ford’sDepartment Store . ........ 11 Best Waitress: Helen Montgomery/ Sundance Cheesecake Café.............................................. 11 Best Sandwich: River Rising ................................ 12 Best Steak and Best Prime Rib: Victor Steakhouse............................................... 12 Best Soup: The Filling Station Grille....................... 12 Best Wine Selection: The Edge............................ 12 Best Salad: Nap’s Grill........................................... 12 Best Outdoor Dining: Sleeping Child Farms........ 13 Best Microbrew Selection: Bitter Root Brewing.. 14 Best Place to Meet men and women: Bitter Root Brewing.............................................. 14



Local Issue: Medical Marijuana.......................... 24 Things the Valley needs: Jobs, Walmart, Kid’s activities and zoning........................................... 24 Best Bank: Ravalli County Bank........................... 25 Best Barbershop: Bradley’s Hair Salon................ 25 Best Nursery or Garden Center: Moellers........... 25 Best Antique Store: The Flea Market................... 25 Best Book Store: Chapter 1.................................. 26 Best Children’s Clothing: Me & Mom.................. 26 Best Home Accessories and Furniture: Bitterroot Furniture............................................... 26 Best Drug Store: Bitterroot Drug........................... 26 Best Bed and Breakfast: Deer Crossing............... 26 Best Candy Shop: Big Sky Candy........................ 26 Best Hair Salon: Cabanas .................................. 26 Best Health & Fitness Center: Canyons............... 27 Best Florist: Flower Happy..................................... 27 Best Men/Women’s Clothes: Fords...................... 27 Best Organic Choice: Bitterroot Grocery Emporium.............................. 28 Best Unique Gifts: Red Door ................................ 28 Best Design: Madison Creek .............................. 28 Best Jewelry Store: Miksell’s ............................... 28 Best Hardware/ Home Improvement: Evan’s Ace . ....................................................... 28 Best Feed & Farm/Pet Supply: Quality Supply . 29 Best Tack Store: Quality Supply ......................... 29 Best Fishing Headquarters: Fishaus . .................. 30 Best Dog Grooming: Pampered Pets . .............. 30 Best Place to Pamper Yourself: Rosewood Wellness .......................................... 30 Best Second Hand/Pawn: Ravalli Services .................................................. 30 Best Fresh Produce: Super 1 Foods ................... 31 Best Video Rental: Crazy Mike............................ 31

Best Place for Local Entertainment: Bitterroot Root Brewing....................................... 14 Best Asian Food: Second Street Sushi................. 15 Romanic Dinner: Naughty Moose....................... 15 Best Breakfast: The Kitchen ................................ 15 Best Place to Eat Alone: River Rising ................. 17 Best Bakery: River Rising ..................................... 17 Best Mexican: Fiesta En Jalisco ......................... 17 Best Margarita: Victorian Casino ...................... 17 Best Bloody Mary: The Edge .............................. 18 Best Casino: The Silver Coin ............................... 18 Best Cowboy Bar: Cowboy Troy’s ..................... 18 Best Friday Night Spot: (tie) Bitter Root Brewing and The Office..................................................... 18 Best Burger: Nap’s Grill......................................... 19 Best Happy Hour: The Edge................................. 19 Best Sports Bar: The Edge..................................... 19 Best Anniversary Spot: Signal Grill....................... 19 Best Espresso: Zaxan Coffee Roasters................ 19 Hospitable Restaurant: Filling Station.................. 20 Best Business Lunch: Signal Grill........................... 20 Best Lunch under $5: Subway.............................. 20 Best Atmosphere/View: The Grubstake Restaurant ................................ 20 Best Pizza: Pizza Hut............................................... 20 Best Bird Watching: Lee Metcalf......................... 21 Best Horseback Riding Trail: Lost Horse.............. 21 Best Day Hike: Blodgett Canyon......................... 21 Best Local Getaway: Lake Como....................... 22 Best Camping Spot: Lake Como......................... 23 Best Bike Trail and Swimming Hole: Lake Como.......................................................... 23 Best Annual Festival or Event: Ravalli County Fair................................................ 24 Best Art Gallery: Art Focus Fine Arts and Framing.......................... 24

Thanks for voting us




210 N. 1st, Hamilton • 363-5107 • 10AM - Midnight 7 days a week





DLY • 9





Bitterroot’s Best Weekend Getaway! ISSOUL


Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 3

Best Dessert: The Sundance Cheesecake Cafe When Helen Montgomery’s parents bought the Sundance Cafe back in 1983, the restaurant’s dessert menu included an ice cream pie, a carrot cake and a cheesecake. My how things have changed. “We do probably close to 40 kinds of cheesecake,” said owner Helen Montgomery, who officially changed the restaurant’s name to the Sundance Cheesecake Cafe a few years ago. “Pretty much, if you ask for a flavor, I can do it.” The restaurant’s dessert offerings also include a large selection of pies, ice cream dishes, eclairs and more which have made them a top contender for Bitterroot’s Best Dessert year after year. And, in case you were wondering, there is a secret to making the perfect cheesecake ... but you’ll have to discover it on your own. “I don’t share our secrets,” Montgomery said with a laugh. “There definitely is though.” The Sundance Cheesecake Cafe is located at 900 S 1st St. in Hamilton.

Fiesta En Jalisco


Best Mexican Food & Best Margarita


201 Main Street, Stevensville (next to Plum Loco) • 777-0014


BBetween this and the New Business of the Year award from the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce, we are having a GREAT time in Stevensville.

We appreicate our loyal customers! CALL



4 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Best Place to get Married: Daly Mansion As one passes through the gates of the Daly Mansion and into the corridor of maple trees that lines the entrance to the historic grounds, it becomes obvious that this is someplace special. Special enough, as many decide each year, to be the setting for one of the most important moments of their lives: their wedding day. With sprawling, beautifully landscaped grounds and a sense of true Bitterroot history to be found at every turn, it’s no surprise that voters have dubbed the mansion and the Bitterroot’s premier place to get married. The Daly Mansion is located at 251 Eastside Highway in Hamilton.

Best Historical Spot: Daly Mansion For the Daly Mansion’s Preservation Trust’s new executive director Susan Hardman, all it took was one tour through the mansion with a volunteer tour guide to know that she wanted the job. “It was positively magical,” said Hardman, “I was completely enthralled and amazed by all the details that the [tour guide] knew.” Now, after getting the chance to work with the mansion’s staff which includes upwards of 80 volunteers - it’s no surprise to Hardman that the local attraction has been voted the Bitterroot’s Best Historical Spot. “I think it’s a real honor,” she said. “[They] work so hard to interpret that history for people and I think it makes a really incredible experience for children and adults when they come through. You actually experience history.” The Daly Mansion is located at 251 Eastside Highway in Hamilton.

Mikesell’s fine jewelry It’s all about thesparkle

thank you for once again voting us Bitterroot’s Best Jewelry Store! We appreciate your loyal patronage. serving the Bitterroot Valley for 27 years. Tuesday-Friday 10-5:30pm / Saturday 10-4pm pm 201 W. Main • 363-6236

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 5

Weekend Getaway: Lost Trail Powder Mountain It comes as no surprise to anyone who loves the outdoors that Lost Trail Powder Mountain has claimed the most votes as the best location for a weekend getaway. It is quickly morphing from a local secret to a top destination in the region for epic skiing and snowboarding, as well as a great restaurant, live music and other events. Lost Trail Powder Mountain sits atop the Continental Divide on Hwy 93 South at the Montana and Idaho border. They boast over 300 inches of snowfall every year, and are still a family-owned and opereted ski hill in this age of corporate ownership of massive condominiumfilled resorts. In the summer, hiking, mountain biking and bird-watching are popular summer activities at the mountain. Lost Trail Powder Mountain can be reached at 821-3211 or www.losttrail. com.

Thank you for voting for us!

6 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Faces of the Bitterroot Best Bartender - Dan Mitchell It sounds like a cliché, but within the intimate confines of The Banque Club bar on Main Street in Hamilton, there is a bartender who will end up knowing your name, your preferred drink, your favorite baseball team and your birthday. OK, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole on top of a cliché and a half. But one thing rings true about Dan Mitchell’s efforts behind the bar at the Banque Club – he is as friendly a bartender as you’ll ever meet. And he will not only know your favorite drink, but if it’s something he doesn’t make or hasn’t got the ingredients for, he will put that bottle of what-have-you on order, so he can make it next time. Mitchell, who also runs the Paper Clip across the street, is the first one to tell you that he’s new to bartending. Perhaps his modesty could have something to do with Bitterrooters picking him as the valley’s best. The Banque is located at 225 W. Main St. in Hamilton

Congratulations to

Bitterroot’s Best Coach Mark Albert

Hamilton High

Congratulations to

+ A Bitterroot’s Best Teacher

Kerry Hanson Daly Elementary

From the Hamilton Booster Club

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 7

T h a n k yo u Bitterroot’s Best

Eastside Hwy, Hamilton 406-363-6004


Historic Spot Place to Get Married



Thanks for voting us Best Veterinarian: Dr. Joe Melnarik/Valley Pet Clinic It isn’t often that Joe Melnarik, veterinarian at Valley Pet Clinic in Hamilton, takes time out of his busy schedule to analyze just what, exactly, keeps their customers coming back. But when Dr. Joe - as he’s known - heard that he’d been voted the valley’s best veterinarian, it gave him pause. “We just try to treat everybody on a personal level,” he surmised. “We try to work hard for everybody and try to be as affordable as we can.” For the vet of 16 years, the recognition means a lot, and tells him that his clients trust his work. “I’m proud that people are confident in us and I’m glad to be able to help everybody out as much as we can,” Melnarik said. “We’re just very grateful.” Valley Pet Clinic is located at 1420 South 1st St. south of Hamilton.



1002 N. 1st St., Hamilton 363-1502

8 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Valley Voice – Will Moss, Ravalli Republic While I often joke that I have the pleasure of working the skiing and beer beat, there is little that I enjoy more than getting to share with our readers the qualities that make the Bitterroot Valley such an amazing and unique place. This valley is home to a diverse array of people from a kaleidoscope of backgrounds, and while not everyone sees eye-to-eye on every issue we face, I have yet to meet one person who doesn’t want the best for their family, friends and community. The best part about this job is the opportunity I get, every day, to meet the people, experience the places and hear the ideas that make our community so distinct and intriguing ... not to mention the privilege of sharing those things with all of you. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to earn your recognition as this year’s Valley Voice. Thank you. – Will Moss-

Best Teacher – Kerry Hanson/Daly Elementary

Best Coach - Mark Albert/Hamilton High School For the second year in a row, Bitterroot residents have voted Mark Albert of the Hamilton High School the Valley’s best coach. Over his 13-year-tenure in Hamilton, Albert has coached boys and girls basketball and cross county. On the day the Ravalli Republic caught up with him, Albert was coaching an all-stars girl’s basketball team at a tournament in Las Vegas. Albert said it’s his love of kids that keeps him coming back to the coaching field. “I just love kids,” he said. “Coaching is something I really enjoy … It’s a blessing and truly an honor to be around kids and do something you really love.” Albert said he is especially proud that Hamilton has boasted the largest cross country team of any school the past few years. “We take a lot of pride in our cross country team being one of the biggest in the state,” he said. “One year we had 50 kids. I get and recruit as much as I can. There are a lot of kids on the team who never get asked to do anything else. It’s important to them.” Albert said he’s humbled by recognition. “It’s hard to know what to say,” he said. “It’s obviously humbling.” When he’s not coaching, Albert teaches math at the high school.

Best Dentist – Dr. F. Chet Nelson Bitterroot residents selected Dr. F. Chet Nelson of Hamilton as their favorite dentist. Nelson’s business is located at 421 State St.

Best Visual Artist – Steve Wilson

Of all the important, yet often In 1991, a motorcycle accident thankless jobs that people take it changed Steve Wilson’s life. upon themselves to tackle, teachWith severe injuries leaving him ing is close to the top of the list. a paraplegic, Wilson picked up a We all remember our own brush and began teaching himself school days - No more pencils, no to paint. more books, no more teachers, Nearly two decades later, dirty looks - and while we couldn’t Wilson - who lives in Corvallis wait to grow up be done with the - is still painting and is consishomework and tests, many of us tently recognized as one of the also remember a teacher or two Bitterroot Valley’s premier artists. that made an impact on our lives. Creating colorful, almost surFor Daly Elementary third-grade realistically vivid images of serene teacher Kerry Hanson - voted as landscapes and wildlife that seem this year’s Bitterroot’s Best - the to come alive with light, Wilson chance to make that impact is what has been voted the Bitterroot’s makes the job worthwhile. Best Artist many times. “Just being able to connect with And in a valley that is heavy them and help them find confidence in themselves,” said Hanson, a with talented artists, that means a 22-year education veteran. lot to him. But, she added, teaching is really a team effort. “I’m always honored that people like what I do,” Wilson said. “I teach with amazing, amazing people,” Hanson said. “I can’t “There are some amazing, amazing artists here in this valley and the imagine being better than they are; they’re just incredible.” fact that they would vote for me ... I’m overwhelmed.”

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 9

Best Chiropractor – Barnings Chiropractic Jack and Mandy Barnings will tell anyone who will listen that they love the Bitterroot. And people here in the valley apparently love them right back. For the past six years, Bitterroot residents have thought enough of the husband/wife team to vote them as Bitterroot’s best chiropractors. Mandy Barnings said the couple appreciates the thought. “For us, this is a big thank you from the community,” Mandy said. “We’re very appreciative of that. We like to treat every patient like they are a family member of ours and that’s come back to us in a very positive way. There’s just an abundance of gratitude.” The couple have made Hamilton home for the past 11 years after practicing for the previous six in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “We love this place. It feels

like home to us,” Mandy said. “Living in this community is like having a large extended family … I especially love how this community supports community events. It feels good to belong to a group that cares so much about each other.”

Mechanic – M&M Trans and Auto Mike Draper opened his Hamilton automobile repair business 27 years and he’s never looked back. Working side by side with his son – another Mike Draper – the business offers full service repair to all varieties of automobiles. “We do a lot of transmission work, but we also do a full line of general repair,” Draper said. “I started this business in 1983 and named it MM Trans and Auto. After 27 years, I still have people telling me they thought we just did transmission repair.” This is the third or fourth time

that Draper’s business has been selected as Bitterroot’s best. Each time it happens, Drapper said he can’t help but smile. “It does stroke your ego a bit to get that little pat on the back,” he said. “Flattery gets you everywhere with me.” The business employees eight people and is located at 350 Skeels Ave. in Hamilton

Massage Therapist Betty at Rosewood Betty Schroeder at Hamilton’s Rosewood Wellness Center knows how to make her clients feel special. No telephone interruptions. Be a good listener. Put all your energy into meeting their every need. In return, Schroeder’s clientele voted her the best massage therapist in the Bitterroot. “I have fabulous clients,” Schroeder said. “The clients make everything happen here … they really become like family.

We know each others lives and stories. If it wasn’t for the client, we wouldn’t be here.” Schroeder’s has operated her business at 415 State St. for the past seven years. The center offers all the pampering a person could imagine, including massages, pedicures, nails and facials. Schroeder learned the massage trade at a school in Missoula, then served under a chiropractor for a year before buying Mitch and Tina Ware’s well-established business. “I learned a lot from Mitch and Tina,” she said. Schroeder focuses on therapeutic massage, using a variety of techniques to soothe tired and injured muscles. “I have clients who tell me they don’t know how they would get through to the next week with their massage,” she said. “I love pampering the client … I’m just very grateful they voted for me.”

10 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Unsung Hero - Dominic Farrenkopf In the two months since Dominic Farrenkopf had his head shaved and sculpted into a head-turningly extreme spiked mohawk, his do has recovered and is again nearing normality. What hasn’t changed since that fateful haircut is the positive impact that Farrenkopf’s sacrifice - part of a creative fundraiser he organized for the Bitterroot Youth Home - has had on the youth home’s residents. “My wife said maybe I should have bought a T-shirt that said ‘I did this for a fundraiser,’� said Farrenkopf. “We had hoped that it would raise awareness for the youth home and I think that’s worked.� It’s that kind of dedication to serving and improving his community that has earned Farrenkopf - who by day is the assisted living activity director at the Discovery Care Centre - the nod as the Bitterroot’s Best Unsung Hero.

Musician - Joan Zen For five years running, Bitterrooters have selected Joan Zen as their favorite musician in the Valley. Whether she and her husband, Jason Hicks, are singing at intimate affairs, community fundraising events or to capacity crowds, Joan Zen has been wooing Bitterroot music fans for years now. Her soul, rock and funk sound continues to attract fans of all ages to her different venues that includes Hamilton’s Bitter Root Brewery and The Office as well as Blacksmith Brewery in Stevensville. Zen’s music is more than a singular experience. It’s an opportunity to forge change to make the Bitterroot Valley a better place to live for all of us.



A bit of decadence



Congratulations! The Ravalli Republic is proud to have Will Moss on our team!

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 11

Best Salesperson – Margaret Ohl/ Ford’s Department Store When Margaret Ohl found out that she had been voted the Bitterroot’s Best Salesperson, she was shocked. As a sales clerk at Ford’s Department Store in Hamilton, Ohl loves helping her customers but isn’t used to getting recognition for it. Usually, she opined, one is inclined to remember their favorite clerk at the grocery store or a teller at the bank. “That somebody would remember the clerk at Ford’s?” Ohl exclaimed. “I was just very, very flattered by that.” But, she added, it’s no surprise that customers of the longtime Main Street staple are satisfied with the service they receive. “We’re about customer service,” Ohl said. “We love waiting on our customers and taking good care of them ... I love working here. I love our customers and we have some incredible people that come in and incredible people who work here, too. So, it’s just a great place to be.” Ford’s is located at 136 West Main St. in Hamilton.

Best Waiter/Waitress: Helen Montgomery/The Sundance Cheesecake Cafe When Helen Montgomery’s parents decided five years ago that it was time to retire from running Hamilton’s Sundance Cheesecake Cafe, Montgomery figured she’d step in and keep the business in the family. In addition to running the locally beloved restaurant - where she worked as a young child as well - Montgomery also waits tables, though she thinks of the job a little differently. “People come in that I’ve known since I was a little kid working in here,” she said, “so it’s not so much waiting on people as it is just greeting your friends.” Apparently, that perspective strikes a chord with the cafe’s customers, who voted Montgomery the Bitterroot’s Best Waiter/ Waitress. “It’s nice to hear that people like me,” she said. The cafe is located at 900 S 1st St. in Hamilton.

12 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Bitterroot’s Best Restaurants Best Sandwich - River Rising Sure, sure it’s two pieces of bread with some meat and vegetables, smeared with a few condiments, in between. And it’s not in the Constitution, but everyone knows not all sandwiches are not created equal. If you ask Kori Miller, owner of River Rising, what makes her cafe’s sandwiches standout, you won’t hear about the yummy bread, the unique and mouthwatering combinations that come cold or hot. No, you’ll hear nothing that you expect to hear about sandwich manufacturing, care and delivery. What will you hear, you ask. “It’s a team effort,â€? Miller says about the pride that her whole staff puts into the cafÊ’s sandwich artistry. Ask her what her favorite is, and she’ll give you a mouthful. “I’d have to say the turkey morel mushroom,â€? Miller said. River Rising is located at 337 W. Main St. in Hamilton.

Best Steak and Best Prime Rib – Victor Steakhouse If there’s one thing that Bitterrooters know, it’s good beef. And where do they go when they want the best steak or prime rib around? Well, for the past few years the answer has been the same: the Victor Steakhouse. “Obviously, I’m pleased,� said owner Kim

Gibson. “I think it’s the quality of beef that we use and the way that our cooks prepare it and the seasoning we use.� The Victor Steakhouse is located at 2426 Meridian Rd. in Victor.

Best Soup - The Filling Station Grille The Filling Station Grille has had an eventful first year as the new kid on the block. First they brought a pioneering (for Montana) blend of New Mexican and down-home grill fare to the upstairs location next the Banque building on Main Street in Hamilton. Then they motored on down the block to a new location – a streetlevel spot near the corner of Second Street which incorporated the around-the-corner ice cream parlor into the mix. And what do they have to show for it? For starters they have developed a remarkably loyal following of diners who are developing remarkably strong addictions to New Mexico-style green chile. And those folks have now voted the green chile stew and green chile enchilada soup as “Bitterroot’s Best� soup. “There isn’t really anything around like it,� owner Raina Young said. “So I guess I’m not surprised. Plus, it’s really tasty.� The Filling Station is located at 203 W. Main St. in Hamilton

Best Wine Selection - The Edge You want wine you say? You want to have the pick of grapes from four

The Red Door extends a

different continents? The Bitterroot’s Best has your answer: The Edge Restaurant & Sports Bar. With a massive wine selection at Hamilton Wine & Liquor under the same roof, there are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of bottles just a few steps from your table. So, just sit back and let the helpful waitress guide you in finding the perfect glass or bottle to go with that steak, seafood or Cajun dish. The Edge is located at 140 Bitterroot Plaza Dr. in Hamilton.

Best Salad - Nap’s Grill Brian Ojala, the manager at Nap’s Grill said he doesn’t think the Hamilton eatery is likely to ever see its salads outsell its famous burgers. But the Bitterroot public thinks enough of those delicious salads to vote them best in the valley and that got a nice reaction from Ojala. “That is sweet,� he said. In particular, Nap’s regulars know that they really hit the ball out of the park on their Mandarin chicken salad. Ojala said it is dressed up just right with a house oil and vinegar concoction that has been around for quite a while. When it’s right, it’s right. “It’s an old recipe that’s just caught on,� Ojala said of the dressing that’s been a staple at Nap’s for more than a decade. Hopefully, it’ll be around for a decade more. Nap’s Grill is located at 220 North Second St. in Hamilton.


Big “Thank You� to our Customers! We appreciate you voting us

Bitterroot ’s Best Unique Gifts

406.363.4482 • 301 West Main Street, Hamilton, MT 59840


/81&+0216$7 ',11(5021681&/26( %581&+6$7 681

Bitterroot’s Best Anniversary Spot Bitterroot’s Best Business Lunch

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 13

Best Outdoor Dining – Sleeping Child Farms What could be more satisfying than enjoying a delicious meal only yards from the garden from which much of it was picked while watching the sunset cast a gilded glow across the rolling hills of Sleeping Child Canyon? According to the Bitterroot’s fine dining aficionados: nothing. Which is why, only months after opening their doors, The Farm Table restaurant at Sleeping Child Farms has been voted the Bitterroot’s Best Outdoor Dining. “Based on the fact that we’ve only been open two months, it’s an incredible honor,” said Max Coleman, who along with his wife Darla runs the Sleeping Child operation. “For us, it reinforces that fact that this type of venue and concept was long overdue.” Sleeping Child Farms is located at 1639 Sleeping Child Rd. south of Hamilton.

Congratulations King Buzz! 1HLJK



1189 1st Street S, Hamilton • 406-363-7644 Also in Missoula, Butte & Dillon


225 W Main, Hamilton • 363-5205 OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 4-CLOSE

14 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Microbrew Selection – Bitter Root Brewing With the recent growth of the valley’s brewing community, the best microbrew category is getting more competitive but the reigning champion Bitter Root Brewing has managed to keep their crown. With a solid lineup of community favorites like the Nut Brown Ale, Sawtooth Ale and the inimitable Bitter Root IPA - plus a growing collection of unique seasonals and whims including the Huckleberry Honey Ale, the CTZ Single Hop Pale Ale and Belgian WitBier - it’s no wonder that these guys have beer fans coming back for more. Brewery Manager Jason Goeltz lends much of the credit to Head Brewers Jake Talbot and Tony Wickham. “We’re very fortunate to have two incredible brewers working for us,” Goeltz said. “And we have the infrastructure in place to have 11 of our brews pouring at any one time.” Lucky us. Bitter Root Brewing is located at 101 Marcus St. in Hamilton.


Best Place to Meet Men and Best Place to Meet Women – Bitter Root Brewing Hey you, Bitterrooter ... Looking for the right spot to meet that intelligent, attractive, athletic someone? Well, look no further than Hamilton’s own Bitter Root Brewing, where - according to the voters - the valley’s single go to mingle while enjoying world-class local brews and an unbeatable atmosphere. “What we’ve created here is ultimately a public house experience,” said brewery manager Jason Goeltz. “And by that I mean a tavern in which people from every walk of life feel comfortable walking through the door .... And hey, we’ve got hot babes and studly dudes. Not to mention a good looking staff.” The brewery is located at 101 Marcus St. in Hamilton.

Best Place For Local Entertainment – Bitter Root Brewing Over the years, the stage at Bitter Root Brewing has hosted hundreds of musicians from local bluegrass and blues acts to roadhardened touring reggae and rock bands and every year, it seems, the lineup get better and better. Brewery manager Jason Goeltz gives much of the credit to the local public house’ patrons. “It’s because our locals acknowledge and give so much praise to the bands that work so hard touring around and giving day after day after day,” said Goeltz. “I hear time and time again from these great bands who are looking us up about how they love to play here because of the return on investment they get from an emotional standpoint. They feel appreciated.” So, pat yourself on the back, local music lover. You’ve made the brewery the Bitterroot’s best place for live entertainment. The brewery is located at 101 Marcus St. in Hamilton.

Bitterroot’s Best... CASINO


Assisted Living • Memory Care • Skilled Nursing We offer our sincere thanks and congratulations to...


2010 Bitterroot’s Best Volunteer/Unsung Hero

5 5

match ma atch p a play


5 for $5 EXPIRES 8/6/2010

5 5

109 W. Main Street, Hamilton • The Office: 363-6969 • Silver Coin: 363-2111

Dominic is appreciated for his heart and mind:

IDEAS...ENERGY...CREATIVITY...COMPASSION A valued leader at Discovery Care Center and in the Hamilton community From Discovery Care Centre Residents & Management


Discovery Care Centre supports and promotes the health and happiness of our senior residents and their families by providing an environment of structure, safety, support and empowerment. We respect their individuality, preserve their dignity and honor their right of choice. We recognize that each person is unique and we strive to meet their unique needs.

DISCOVERY CARE CENTRE 601 N. 10th Street, Hamilton, Montana 406/363-2273

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 15

Asian Food – Second Street Sushi For the second year in a row, Second Street Sushi has been voted as the best place to get Asian food in the valley. Jera Kassner, who co-owns the restaurant in Hamilton with Toby Helms, said variety is the key. “We have a lot of versatility, a lot of things we can do differently,” he said. “People get more choices. They can individualize, custom build their favorite foods. Our kitchen is offering a few Chinese dishes that seem to be catching on.” Of course, sushi dishes such as the tiger roll and the dancing ell roll are the main attraction at the restaurant. They also offer sea urchin roe, and other tasty cuisines that you can’t get anywhere else in the valley. “If you get tired of cheeseburgers and Mexican food, we give you a choice unlike any

other,” Kassner said. “We are also putting together a wine pairing menu for reservation only, so look for that.” Second Street Sushi is open for lunch and dinner. They are located on the corner of Madison and 2nd St., across from the courthouse. They can be reached at 363-0600.

Romantic Dinner – Naughty Moose Located nine miles south of Darby on US Hwy 93 in the scenic south Bitterroot valley, the Naughty Moose is the perfect location for a romantic evening out. Bartender and manager Jarrett Rowe says the food and atmosphere of the rustic restaurant are the main reasons. “I think our food is the number one reason,” he said. “We have great food and a quiet atmosphere. We are very flexible on taking care of someone’s


BEST SALES PERSON 2010 - Margaret

needs.” All of the tables are lit by candelight, and the Naughty Moose has great views of the mountains. “We keep our lighting fairly low, and the rustic feel of the building gives a nice romantic ambiance,” Rowe said. “It’s just a nice quiet place in the valley.” The Naughty Moose has an extensive wine list that accomidates couples on any budget, and they serve everything from steaks to pasta to chicken dishes. “It’s a great place to go on a date for people of all ages,” Rowe said. “It’s a great place for an anniversary.” The Naughty Moose is located at 5390 US Hwy 93 South. They can be reached at 821-9955.

Breakfast – The Kitchen For a great-tasting, affordable, good old-fashioned American breakfast joint, there is no better place in the valley than The

Kitchen in Hamilton. On any given morning from Wednesday through Sunday, large crowds of all ages can be found enjoying heaping plates of bacon, eggs and steaming mugs of coffee as well as their signature cinnamon rolls. The Kitchen features generous portions of food that are served quickly and very hot. They have a friendly staff who great every customer as if they are lifelong friends when they come in the door. “There is no doubt in my mind why we won,” said co-owner Genie Chapman. “We have good quality food, generous portions and reasonable prices. It’s just damn good food and people keep coming back.” The Kitchen is located at 102 South 2nd St. in Hamilton and they can be reached at 3630903. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Doctors MANDY & JACK BARNINGS and Theresa

Wish to thank everyone who voted us the

Bitterroot’s Best Chiropractic Practice

Tom, Alan, Julie & the staff of Ford’s Department Store thank you for voting

BEST CLOTHING STORE, 2010. We look forward to helping you with all your clothing needs.

Care you can trust.


246 Marcus Street, Hamilton

16 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 17

Best Place to Eat Alone – River Rising Sometimes you just want to sip your morning cup of coffee in peace while the day breaks outside the window. Other days you’d prefer to sit for a silent lunch and do a little undisturbed people-watching. When these moments strike your fancy, there’s nowhere better to eat alone - say Bitterroot’s Best voters - than Hamilton’s River Rising. River Rising is located at 337 Main St.

Best Bakery – River Rising On any given day, River Rising in downtown Hamilton is full to the brim with people enjoying fresh-baked bread, pastries and other goodies with their coffee and sandwiches. It’s really no secret that River Rising is a fantastic bakery, and the voters of the Bitterroot agree. They offer delicious croissants, scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, Danish, pies, quick breads, brownies and other assorted treats to satisfy anyone’s craving. For those allergic to wheat, they also offer a large selection of wheat-free menu items. With an espresso bar, smoothies and a full lunch menu of deli items and soups, River Rising really has it all. River Rising Bakery and Deli is located at 337 West Main in Hamilton. They can be reached 363-4552.

Thanks Man!

for voting zaxan bitterroot’s best coffee

zaxan coffee & cafe

140 Cherry Street, Hamilton


Best Mexican Food – Fiesta En Jalisco

Best Margarita - Victorian Casino

With flavorful fajitas, tasty tacos and an awesome atmosphere, Fiesta En Jalisco is the place to be if you are looking to find the flavors of Mexico without leaving the Bitterroot valley. “We just have great food and great service,” said manager Jose Pepe. “We have a lot of repeat, loyal customers here. They come back because we serve good portions at a good price. And we have a really friendly staff.” Pepe said the fajitas are one of the most popular items, but everything sells well. “We are really the best place around for Mexican food,” he said. “We really appreciate the community here. We are friends and neighbors with everybody in the valley, so it’s like having a big family here. People care about each other here.” Fiesta En Jalisco is located at 1659 North 1st in Hamilton. They can be reached 363-4339.

When your bar is serving up tequila concoctions for the “Bitterroot’s Best” Mexican restaurant, you’d better be ready to bring it. Turns out, the bartenders at Victorian Casino, right next door to Fiesta En Jalisco, have their margaritas down cold. to hear bartender Beth Faughn tell it, they are proud of their super secret recipe. It shows in the numerous titles for Best Margaritas they have going. “We always have the best margarita,” Faughn said. “We have for years.” Faughn said the recipe lives up to the tough critiques of the folks working next door. “We have to be good,” she said. Congrats, because you aren’t just good, you are the best. The Victorian is located at 1659 North 1st St. in Hamilton.

18 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Best Bloody Mary - The Edge Got a Bloody Mary on you mind? Well the good folks at The Edge have just the solution for you. It comes a bit spicy and full of all the trimmings and has been a favorite of locals since The Edge first opened its doors in 1997. What is the secret to The Edge’s patented Bloody? They would tell you, but then they’d have to kill you. Suffice to say they go down all too well and when enjoyed on the back patio with a view of the Bitterroot Mountains, these things might just be in the running for “World’s Best.” Cheers. The Edge is located at 140 bitterroot plaza Dr. in Hamilton.

Best Cowboy Bar - Cowboy Troy’s Cowboys know the place, because they can hitch their

mount to the rail out front and don’t even have to take their spurs off once inside. “We have the best cowboyfriendly wood floors,” said Renee Abbe. “And then outside we have the burn pit going. We throw another log on the fire for our cowboys.” Sure there are other proprietors in the valley that lay out the welcome matt for our bowlegged brethren, but none that do it with quite as much enthusiasm as Cowboy Troy’s in Victor. In addition to the atmosphere, the kitchen fare is also cowboy friendly, right down to the “Sweathouse Pizza,” which is layered up with barbeque sauce, ham, pineapple and hot peppers. “We have the best cowboy music, live every Friday night,” Abbe said. “I guess we won for a good reason.” Cowboy Troy’s is located at 2359 U.S. 93 in Victor.

Best Casino - The Silver Coin Been to one casino, you’ve been to them all, right? Wrong, most definitely, wrong. There is a best and it is the Silver Coin. And what’s the secret to being the best? “We definitely have one of the nicest facilities in town and we always have the most current games,” said manager Gabe Diaz. But obviously there’s more to it, right? Indeed. Diaz said it really comes down to people. “The girls that work here are outstanding and that’s across the board,” he said. “All the places [casinos] in town are not that different. It comes down to service and we have excellent service.” The Silver Coin is located at 109 W. Main St. in Hamilton

Best Friday Night Spot – (tie) Bitter Root Brewing and The Office Perhaps it’s symbiosis that both of these places are picked as Bitterroot’s Best. Not only are they pretty much right across U.S. Highway 93 from one another, but while the brewery stops pouring beer at 8 p.m. (please change this law, liquor lobby), the folks at The Office will keep the party going into the wee hours. So you can start the night off with a tasty microbrew and a bit of delicious fare from the Bitter Root Brewing’s awesome kitchen, then walk across to The Office for cocktail on the patio. Both places offer lively atmospheres and a chance to mingle with friends old and new. And on a Friday night, with a Bitterroot weekend beckoning, the atmosphere is likely to be ratcheted up just a notch or two. TGIF.

FLEA MARKET 363-4567

217 Main, Hamilton

Lunch Dinner THANKINYGOUUS Mexican Food FOR VOT OOT’S R R E T IT B Great Sandwiches AND Hand Dipped Ice Cream Treats



Best Soup Most Hospitable Restaurant

“From almost old to nearly new” Voted

Bitterroot's Best Antique Shop Thanks to everyone who voted for us! 131 Old Corvallis Rd., Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 375-0266 10-6 Mon - Sat. Closed Sunday

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 19

Bitter Root Brewing is located at 101 Marcus St. in Hamilton and The Office is at 109 W. Main Street in Hamilton.

Drink specials: check. Yummy appetizers: check. Friendly staff: check. Plenty of space to spread out and mingle: check. Burger - Nap’s Grill Patio with a million dollar view of the Nap’s Grill is well-known in the Hamilton Bitterroot Range: check community as the best place to get a burger The only question that remains really is and fries. Owner Tyler Gilder said there are how happy you’ll get while visiting happy countless reasons why Nap’s was again voted hour at The Edge. the best place to get that All-American meal. The Edge is located at 140 Bitterroot Plaza “Where do I start?” he asked. “We get our Dr. in Hamilton. meat fresh every day, we hand paddle our burgers out. None of the burgers are frozen and it’s just a good product. We use only Best Sports Bar - The Edge Angus beef. We’ve got it all dialed in, nothWhat’s in a name? ing sits around.” Well with The Edge Restaurant & Sports Gilder said almost every day he has cusBar, you get a pretty good idea that you’ve tomers telling him that they have just eaten come to the right place to watch sports. the best burger of their lives. “I’m going to start writing a Top Ten In fact, there are enough TVs spread Things Overheard in Nap’s,” he said. throughout this spacious facility to satisfy a “People come up to me all the time and tell whole lot of fans, rooting for a whole lot of me how good the burgers are.” different teams. The Nap’ss 3/4 pound burger with fries In fact, you can see motor sports on one and a drink is the most popular item, accord- TV, hockey on another, boxing here and ing to Gilder. He said he has worked hard to baseball there. make the restaurant more comfortable. They have a giant screen and plenty of big “I’ve done a lot of changes like getting and medium to keep you happy too. new booths and tables,” he said. “People So you want to see some sports, The Edge deserve something nice.” is your place. Nap’s Grill is located at 220 North 2nd St. Go team. in Hamilton and they can be reached at 363The Edge is located at 140 Bitterroot Plaza 0136. Dr. in Hamilton.

Best Happy Hour - The Edge

Anniversary Spot: Signal Grill

Looking for that after-work scene to unwind with? Look no further than The Edge Restaurant & Sports Bar, where they really do have it all when it comes to happy hour.

For a nice, quiet and romantic evening, there may be no better place that the Signal Grill in downtown Hamilton. The elegant and classy atmosphere lends itself nicely to making every anniversary feel like a special

occasion. “It’s a cozy, comfortable restaurant,” said office manager Mary Wulff. “It’s a nice quiet atmosphere for someone to have an anniversary.” The Signal Grill is located 131 West Main in downtown Hamilton, and they can be reached at 375-9099. They are open for lunch and dinner.

Espresso – Zaxan Coffee Roasters Stacy Lewis, owner of Zaxan Coffee in Hamilton, works hard to make sure her coffee is the best quality and she is not shy about it. “I do have the best coffee,” she says with a laugh. “And we have highly-trained baristas.” The rich aroma of fresh coffee in her cafe is because Lewis roasts all her coffee right at her shop, in five-pound batches. “I have a very fresh blend, because I roast it myself,” she says. “I have a lot of return customers. That’s mostly what I have. I know what they are going to order before they say it most of the time.” Lewis has been using the same beans for a long time, and she gets them from exotic places such as Costa Rica, Sumatra and Ethopia. Balancing the acidity and brightness - and perfecting roasting times and temperatures is a subtle art that doesn’t always go as planned. “I have learned over the years what works for me, and I keep doing it,” she said. Zaxan Coffee Roasters is located at 140 Cherry Street in Hamilton. They can be reached at 375-1333.

Thank You for voting Dr. Joe

Bitterroot’s Best Veterinarian!


1420 South First Street • Hamilton, MT 59840

20 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Business Lunch – Signal Grill

Hospitable Restaurant - Filling Station Although they are relatively new to the valley, The Filling Station in Hamilton has already earned a reputation as one of the most customer-friendly restaurants around. “We make everybody feel at home,” said owner/manager/waitress Raina Young. “It’s like a ‘Cheers’ atmosphere here. It’s a community gathering spot, someplace to have fun. We have so many regular customers that like to hang out with us, and we are always happy see our customers.” Young said it’s gotten to the point that she gets concerned if she doesn’t see some of her regulars for a few days. “I tell them to remind me when they are going to be out of town,” she said. “Because if I don’t see them in here I get worried that something has happened.” Young said she has made a lot of friends since she opened the restaurant up last October. The grill did so well that they moved to a new location on the corner of 2nd and Main Street, where they now serve ice cream and have additional space. “What a compliment to be voted the best by customers in the Bitterroot,” Young said. “We have the best customers anywhere.” The Filling Station Grille can be reached at 3634567.

If you are looking for a place to complete that sale or hammer out a business deal, the Signal Grill is your spot. “We get a lot of business lunches,” said office manager Mary Wulff. “It’s very quiet in here, so it’s easy to have a conversation with someone.” Indeed, on most weekdays you can spot men and women in business attire going over their notebooks and spreadsheets. They offer lunches in a variety of price ranges, from very inexpensive to higher end, Wulff said. “You can get anything from a steak to a burger to a pasta dish,” she said. The Signal Grill is located 131 West Main in downtown Hamilton, and they can be reached at 375-9099. They are open for lunch and dinner.

Lunch under $5 - Subway The $5 foot-long sandwich deal from Subway is a dream come true for anyone looking for a meal on a budget. Manager Heidi Drake of Subway in Hamilton says the reasons people love eating lunch in Subway are simple. “We offer fast, friendly service,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of sub shops in the valley, and people love the $5 foot-long.” Subway has locations in Florence, Stevensville, Corvallis and Hamilton. There are many reasons why Subway has more franchises in the nation than any other restaurant, and the budget-lunch is at the top of the list.

thank you for voting us Bitterroot’s BEST Mechanic!

m& m

Atmosphere/View – The Grubstake Restaurant While there are a bucketful of great places to eat a meal in the Bitterroot, none can offer an atmosphere or view quite as unique as The Grubstake. Situated due west of Hamilton, about 2,000 feet above the valley floor in a rustic, circular log cabin, there is nothing conventional about this local’s secret. From the colorful and quizzical posters, riddles and poems that cover the walls to the breath-taking 180-degree view of the valley and Sapphire Mountains beyond, there is no better place to take the family for a plate of Osso Bucco and some homemade root beer. A word of advice: ask the friendly owner about his antique sidearm at your own risk.

Pizza - Pizza Hut For the second year in a row, Pizza Hut’s pies have been voted the best in the valley, and for good reason, according to assistant manager Trudy Medlar. “We take a lot of pride in our work,” she said. “We have a great team and everyone here works hard to make sure our customers get the best experience.” Of course, the unlimited lunch buffet of pizza and salad is a popular attraction for working folks and high school kids looking for a big meal on a budget, Medlar said. PIzza Hut is located at 1002 North 1st St. in Hamilton. They can be reached at 3631502.

Thanks EVERYONE who voted us Bitterroot’s


Prime Rib & Steak

TRANS & AUTO O 363-1998 350 Skeels, Hamilton



2426 Meridian Rd, Victor SUN - THURS 4-9PM•FRI & SAT 4-10PM

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 21


Bird Watching - Lee Metcalf

The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge continues to be the bird watchers’ first choice of places to go in the Bitterroot Valley. Established in 1963 as a haven for wildlife, the refuge was named for Stevensville High School graduate and longtime Montana senator, Lee Metcalf. With a mission to manage habitat for a diversity of wildlife, the refuge focuses its efforts on providing a home for all varieties of migratory birds. On almost any day, you’ll find folks strolling the pathways with binoculars in hand or slowly driving by the large ponds situated near the refuge’s headquarters hoping to observe waterfowl, shore and song birds that spend at least part of their year at the beautiful setting along the meandering Bitterroot River against a backdrop of towering majestic mountains. There are 2.5 miles of nature trails in the refuge’s wildlife viewing area, including a half-mile long wheelchair accessible pathway that leads to the Bitterroot River. So pick up your spotting scopes and binoculars and take a trip to this gem in the Bitterroot.

Horseback Riding Trail – Lost Horse Up above the Lost Horse Creek Lodge a mile or two, there’s a wonderful place to saddle your horse and head into the mountains. Riders in the know simply call the area “Lost Horse.” “It’s a really nice place to ride,” said Karen Phillips of the Bitterroot Backcountry Horsemen. “There are a lot of overgrown logging roads to explore. It’s all non-motorized and quiet.” Most of the area is an easy ride that doesn’t involved a lot of climbing. “There are a lot of nice level areas to ride,” Phillips said. To get there, drive past the Lost Horse Creek Lodge and watch for a diversion dam off Lost Horse Creek. Just beyond the dam, a bridge crosses the creek and there you are. “There are a ton of nice places to ride once you get there,” Phillips said.

337 W. Main, Hamilton


M-F, 6:30-5:30 Sat, 8-4 • Sun, 8-2

gourmet or build-your-own SANDWICHES • delicious COOKIES and DESSERTS • made-to-order specialty COFFEE DRINKS • free wireless INTERNET

Thanks for voting us the BEST: Place to Eat Alone,

Day Hike – Blodgett Canyon The scenic hike through Blodgett Canyon’s sheer cliffs, towering peaks and shimmering creek is a perennial favorite for Bitterroot outdoors people. The hiking trail offers adventure to all varieties of the hiking crowd. While some chose to challenge themselves to all day trip to enjoy a roaring waterfall or spend a night fishing in at the lake or a nearby beautiful meadow. The trail there is laced with wildflowers and if you’re lucky you might even find some huckleberries ready for eating on some nearby bushes. Blodgett Canyon is a must do hike for everyone who calls this place home. It’s also a great place to send the relatives when they come for a summer visit.



Thank You! We appreciate the support of the community. We enjoy serving the Bitterroot Valley.

Bakery and Sandwich

in the Bitterroot!

Hamilton: 363-6200 Stevensville: 777-7300

22 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Best Local Getaway – Lake Como Feel like taking a dip to fight the summer heat? Lake Como. Want to put the boat in the water for an afternoon of water skiing? Lake Como. Looking to saddle up the horses for a nice, long trail ride? Lake Como. Thinking about going for a relaxing, scenic hike? Lake Como. Got the itch to do some angling? Lake Como. Need to get out on the mountain bike? Lake Como. Just looking for a good place to lie on a beach and soak up the sun? (Yup, you guessed it) Lake Como. Visually spectacular and close to everything, it’s no surprise that Lake Como has been voted this year’s Best Local Getaway. Lake Como is located east of US Highway 93 between Hamilton and Darby.

Open 7 days a week • 8am-7pm

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 23

Mountain Bike Trail and Swimming Hole – Lake Como

Camping Spot ­– Lake Como

Lake Como has something for everyone. Just like last year, Bitterrooters picked the area as their favorite place to take a spin on a mountain bike or cool off with a swim in its refreshing waters. The Lake Como Trail offers a challenge for mountain bikers with the right equipment. It has eight miles of varied terrain around the Lake Como Loop. If that’s not enough, the trail connects to the 14-mile long Rock Creek Trail. The scenery around the lake is stunning, but you’ll want keep your eyes peeled to the trail. When you’re done biking, consider taking a plunge into the inviting lake waters. The sandy beaches are a favorite place for both young and old during the dog days of summer. It will cost you a five spot per carload to park at the popular beachfront, but it’s worth every dime. Picnic tables at the area make group events fun. Boaters, canoers and jetskiers have easy access to a launching area and dock.

Lake Como’s inviting waters, gorgeous scenery and quick access to miles of outstanding mountain trails make it once again the Bitterroot’s favorite camping getaway. The very popular camping area offers those looking for a quick getaway three different areas to pitch a tent or park a trailer. Fees range from $16 to $8 a night. While the temptation might be to set up camp and stay all summer long, the Forest Service requires campers to move at the end of 14 days. If you’re looking for wildlife, Kramis Pond at the entrance of the upper campground is often visited by moose. Bears are fond of the area too so be careful in disposing garbage.

Mexican ant Restaurant

Thank you for voting us the Bitterroot's

Best Margarita We accept acce competitor's coupons Enjoy our "b "best" margaritas on the patio!

“Muchas Gracias” for voting us the Best Mexican Restaurant nt in the Bitterroot Valley Join us for one of ourr Great Mexican Meals!

1659 N. 1ST ST. • HAMILTON



24 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Culture, Activities, Issues Annual Festival or Event – Ravalli County Fair When the last days of summer and fall is in the air, Ravalli County residents come together for one last hurrah at the Ravalli County Fair. The Ravalli County Fair has always been one of the most beloved events of people who call the Bitterroot home. Last year somewhere between 22,000 and 25,000 people attended the fair. Nona Walker, the fair’s vendor coordinator, is a third generation Bitterrooter who grew up looking to the annual event. She still can’t help but get excited when the gates open every year. “It’s just this feeling you get,” Walker said. “There’s a whole different kind of excitement when the fair first happens. The smells and the sounds. It brings out the child in us.” Being voted the best festival is wonderful on many different levels, Walker said. “The people who work down here do an amazing amount of work,” she said. “People have no idea what it takes to put this all together … we have people who wait all year so they can volunteer for the fair. It really does take a community to make this place a success.” There’s always room for more volunteers. Here’s your chance to sign up?

Art Gallery – Art Focus Fine Arts and Framing Robert Neaves knows good art and people in the Bitterroot know that’s exactly what they will find when they walk into his business on Hamilton’s Main Street. For the third year in a row, Neaves’ Art Focus

was selected by Bitterroot residents as the best art gallery in the area. “It makes me feel very privileged to be selected once again,” Neaves said. Neaves’s gallery has been a mainstay on Main Street for the 16 years. Often as not, you’ll find folks slowing to peer in his window display that changes on a frequent basis. “I try to show the work of local artists,” he said. “I think it’s important to give people a real place to show their work.” Today’s economy is rewriting all the rules for folks in the art gallery business. “There are a whole bunch of strange factors going on,” Neaves said. “A lot of galleries are focused on selling to baby boomers, who are now beginning to think about downsizing and giving their art to their kids. In many cases, the kids don’t want the stuff. They’re into the electronic world and everything they need is on iPods and cell phones. Neaves said he used to be able to count on wildlife art to pay his rent or house payment. “Back when I started, you could paint anything on a horse or with a teepee in it and it would sell … right now there are probably more good artists than there are good collectors.”

Local Issue – Medical marijuana After a string of bizarre crimes tied to the burgeoning medical marijuana trade in the valley and across Montana, Bitterroot residents agreed that was the most pressing issue in the local area. Over the last year there was a dramatic jump in the number of medical marijuana cardholders and the main street businesses selling medical marijuana. Communities across the state struggled

with how to address the issue. Both Darby and Stevensville opted to place a moratorium on new medical marijuana businesses within their town limits. Hamilton adopted interim zoning to address the issue. A strange case of alleged vigilante justice over the theft of medical marijuana from a shop just outside of Stevensville left many residents shaking their heads. The state legislature is expected to take on the issue when it meets after the first of the year.

Thing the Valley needs most – Jobs, Walmart, Kids activities and Zoning The Bitterroot Valley was hit hard by the nationwide crash of the housing market. The county’s log home industry was hit particularly hard. Housing contractors and subcontractors have also struggled with the slowdown. It’s not clear yet where the next big employment boon will come. Some residents think a Walmart might be one way to help shore up the ailing economy, but that issue was a contentious one the last time the big box store company attempted to move into Hamilton. Speaking of contention, some folks still would like to see the county embrace zoning of some sort. After the beating the county commission took on that issue the last time around, don’t expect anything on that front to move forward anytime soon. Bitterroot residents also think that someone needs to step forward to figure out a way to develop more activities for children throughout the valley. Want to volunteer?

Thank you for voting us BITTERROOT’S



252 W. 25 252 WM Main, ain ain, ai in, n, H Hamilton amiililt amil am ilto ilto ton • 36 ton 3363-5220 633-52 55220 2200 M--F 99M M-F 9-6; -6; 6; S Sat, at, 10 at 110-5:30 0-5 -5:3 5:330 www. www. ww w.chhappte ter1 r1bo r1b bookkst bo stor ore. re. e.coom


Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 25

Bitterroot’s Best Businesses Nursery or Garden Center Moellers Moellers Nursery, located on the Eastside Highway south of Corvallis, is composed of three greenhouses and around 20 acres of land used to grow a wide range of flowers. The nursery strives to keep pace with the demands of their customers. As growing needs change, so too does the nursery. When growing fruits and vegetables grew in populatiry, the Moellers changed up their inventory to focus less on shade trees and more on fruit and vegetable plants. Over the years, the Moellers have grown just about everything. So if you’re looking to expand your green thumb hobbies, stop by Moellers Nursery for all your gardening needs.

Bank - Ravalli County Bank Ravalli County Bank was founded in 1895 by Marcus Daly and has kept its focus local ever since. Local focus extends to ownership as well; with the exception of a few years control of the bank has been local as well. The Shonkwiler family bought the bank in 1966 and Chuck Shonkwiler has been president since 1983. “I think we have simply tried to provide consistently good quality service,” Shonkwiler said. In the past year the bank has added a new commercial loan officer and a consumer compliance officer to support lending staff and keep employees up to date on regulations. Shonkwiler said the past couple of years have been challenging for banks but that the recession appears to be ending and hopes are on the future. “This bank has served the valley since 1895,” Shonkwiler said. “We try to be good corporate citizens and we care about our community.” •224 Pinckney St., Hamilton, 363-1222; 1131 N. 1st St., Hamilton 375-0500; 39 Stevensville Cutoff Road #G, Stevensville, 777-0002, and 1070 Eastside Highway, Corvallis, 961-5200.

Barbershop - Bradley’s Hair Salon Bradley’s has been a Bitterroot staple for 14 years. Owner Brad Park says the salon handles men, women and children with cuts, perms and coloring. “We pride ourself in having a clean and friendly shop,” he said. Another part of Park’s success is his long-time employees. Donna Mitchell has worked with Park even before he opened Bradley’s, while Jill Turley has worked there for 11 years. “We are all Montanans,” said Park, who himself was born in Corvallis. Mens cuts start at $14 while womens cuts are $22. Bradley’s relies not on advertising but simply on good value and good service. “I have never advertised,” Park said. “I just say your work is your advertisement. Word of mouth here gets around pretty well.” •805 S. 1st Street, Hamilton, 363-2229

Antique Store - The Flea Market As long as the Flea Market in Hamilton continues to win this category, there will be some disputing the result, as predictable as it may be. And some of that dispute will come from Flea Market owner Joan Higgins herself. “We’re not really an antique store,” Higgins says each time she is notified of the best antiques honor. “I always wonder ‘why do they keep voting us best antique store when we’re really a second-hand store.’ Don’t get her wrong; Higgins is happy that folks like her store. They like if for the variety, she says. If you’re looking for a set of antique porcelain for fine dinner parties, you might even find it in Higgins’ store. And if you are looking for a set of dishes to eat off of on any given night whether you are entertaining the Rockefellers or the Clampetts, you can count on finding something at the Flea Market. The Flea Market is located at 131 Old Corvallis Road in Hamilton.

26 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Store - Chapter 1 You’d think Chapter 1 is the only game in town as the store has won Best in the Bitterroot year in and year out. The store focuses on the store’s place in the community. Chapter 1 employees recognize customers and greet everyone whether they are there to buy or browse. Inside the store are local and general interest books as well as guides and magazines and a coffee shop. In store promotions recently featured the World Cup as well as a contest to identify famous authors faces. In addition to the in-store experience, Chapter 1 maintains an active Web site with shopping, a gift registry and an events calendar. Chapter 1 is a key stop on the First Friday events and often hosts author signings. Shoppers interested in signed copies will find plenty to choose from. •252 W. Main St., Hamilton, 363-5220

Bed & Breakfast - Deer Crossing Stu and Linda Dobbins had bene coming to Deer Crossing Bed and Breakfast for 10 years and liked the place so much they decided to buy it. The Dobbins had been coming from California and bringing their horses and fishing and relaxing on the 25 acres. “It’s not a bed and breakfast, it’s a barn and breakfast,” Stu Dobbins said. “It’s a neat place.” The Dobbins have owned the place for five years and take pride in the wide range of accommodation options -- there are two suites, two rooms and two cabins -- as well as the barn for the horses. The b and b also accepts pets and children. “A lot of people come and like the ability to sit on the property

and relax,” Dobbins said. “We do weddings and receptions and have trails out the back door and people come for riding and fishing. Both of us can point them in the right direction.” Come hungry, because the Dobbins cook a full breakfast every morning. The signature dish is Bitterroot Baked Eggs. “It’s big,” Dobbins said. “It’s a full meal.” •396 Hayes Creek Road, Hamilton, 363-2232

Children’s Clothing - Me & Mom Me & Mom is rolling into its sixth year of offering unique clothes and brain-stimulating games. Owner Patti Martin keeps things fresh by changing clothes every six months and toys as often as she can. “We have our bestsellers that you can find anytime but we also change a lot out so the offering stays fresh,” she said. Clothes range from sizes for newborns to size 4. “A lot of people think because we are a specialty store that everything is expensive, but we have a lot of items that are very affordable,” she said. Games in the store are hands on and kids can touch and play with them. Martin stocks “games” that double as learning tools. “Even though it looks like a toy you are going to learn something,” she said. “You are going to learn colors or the shapes of things. It’s not just a piece of plastic. You are using your imagination.” New this year are a line of locally-made Barbie and American Girl doll clothes. •305 W. Main St., Hamilton, 363-3605

Home Accessories & Furniture - Bitterroot Furniture Bitterroot Furniture has been a Hamilton staple since 1966. Current owners Mark and Gayle Britnall bought the store in 1992 and have focused on having a wide range of products at a wide range of prices. The store is part of two regional buying networks, meaning shoppers get a wide range of products and styles at competitive prices. Manager Roxie Swaim said the store tries to have something for everyone. “We have everything from lodge to traditional and we touch on the contemporary,” she said. “We buy in big volumes and that helps keep the prices lower.” The store holds specials at least once a month that draws not only local shoppers but those from around the region. The store has six employees plus the owners and sells brands such as Lane, Broyhill, Klaussner, Best, Spring Air and Simmons. •223 Pinckney St., Hamilton, 363-1943

Drug Store - Bitterroot Drug The next time you need to fill a prescription, stop into the Bitterroot’s Best Drugstore. The store’s central location on Main Street in Downtown Hamilton makes it easy to find and the service can’t be beat. The store not only fills prescriptions but will safely dispose of your unused medication as well, providing a valuable service to the community. The drugstore also has a wide selection of gifts to peruse while waiting for your prescription order to be filled. The great service offered by Bitterroot Drug employees makes it easy to see why they were named Bitterroot’s Best Drugstore.

Candy Shop - Big Sky Candy Big Sky Candy is the place to go in the Bitterroot to satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge into some caloric overload. Michele DeGroot has owned the Main Street Hamilton store since 2001. Popular with locals and visitors alike, the store is a testament to sweets. Most candy for sale in the shop is handmade on site. Offerings include chocolate, toffee, sugarfree items, chocolate coated beans and nuts, the surprising range of candies that are either mouth puckering sour or look like animals, and Huckleberry jams. There’s also Dutch licorice and mints and vintage candies. •319 W. Main St. Hamilton, 363-0580

Hair Salon - Cabanas The Bitterroot favorite spot for a new hairdo is Cabanas. The salon is located at 902 S. 1st St., Hamilton, 363-7572

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 27

Health & Fitness Center – Canyons There’s plenty of places to get in a good workout in the Bitterroot, but few have the view that Canyons does. Members can sweat the calories away while checking out the full panorama of the central Bitterroot from the facility’s large picture windows. “Not many clubs have a view like the one we do,” said manager Chad Ekin. The facility has weight machines, free weights, a threelane 25-yard pool, and more. Classes include yoga, pilates, step aerobics and spin. “Anybody will be able to take part in any class,” Ekin said. The club and its 40 employees keeps a clean, healthy, family friendly atmosphere. Monthly rates start at $40. While the Bitterroot abounds

with biking, hiking, skiing and boating options, no place can offer the consistency and comfort of the Canyons, he said. “People definitely want to go outside and run and hike and all that good stuff, but there’s only a few months out of the year where you can really take advantage of that,” Ekin said. “If you want to stay in shape and stay consistent we offer things when it may not be so nice outside.” •472 Tammany Lane, Hamilton, 363-1555

Florist - Flower Happy Pam Suarez had long had an eye for color, texture and design. She’d worked before arranging flowers and also as an interior designer. She had been arranging flowers at another store when the store closed. Afterward, people kept asking Suarez for her opinions on flowers and bou-

quets. Suarez took the hint and opened Flower Happy. That was 10 years ago. The store started in the back of another store before moving to its present U.S. Highway 93 location. That move prompted a massive jump in business and things have gone well since. Flower Happy’s bread and butter is walk in customers wanting bouquets. That’s Suarez’s specialty. She likes to look at customers and assess them and build a bouquet based not only on price and color and size but on personalities. “When I was in high school and going to prom and getting a corsage I did not always know what I wanted, but I knew what I did not want,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to be creative.” Men come into the store knowing how much they want to spend but not want they want to spend it on. Women are dif-

ferent, Suarez said: they get overwhelmed by the selection of color, fragrance and texture. “For the most part people want something bright and fun and creative,” she said. “I like it when flowers are conversation pieces, too.” •302 N. 1st St. Hamilton, 3634318

Men/Womens Clothes Fords They say clothes make the man. If that’s the case, Fords in Hamilton has made a lot of men over the years. The Hamilton clothing store offers stylish, comfortable clothing for men and women of all ages. The helpful staff can help you find your size and pick out just the right styles. Fords offers name brand clothing at a reasonable price. There’s no need to make a drive to Missoula for your next clothing purchase, Fords is where it’s at.

Evans Ace Hardware

714 North First Street Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 363-3351 Open 7 days a week • 8am-7pm

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Organic Choices - Bitterroot Grocery Emporium Looking for all natural food choices? Look no further than 518 N. First St. in Hamilton. That’s where you’ll find The Grocery Emporium. With a wide selection of organic foods, from cheeses to meats, you’re sure to find everything you need to prepare an organic, healthy meal. The store offers many organic products from local growers and producers as well. Stop in to find the best organic choices in the Bitterroot.

Interior Design Madison Creek

Jewelry Store - Miksell’s (Asmus close 2nd)

Home is where the heart is. Everyone wants their home to reflect their style and tastes. With the help of Madison Creek, everyone’s home can be welcoming and beautiful. Opening in the summer of 2007, Madison Creek has quickly risen to be the Bitterroot’s Best Interior Design shop. Taking their name from the shop’s official watch dog/greeter, (Golden Retriever Maddee) the company strives to help everyone express themselves through their home furnishings. If you’re looking to upgrade your home’s interior style, look no further than Madison Creek in Stevensville.

Purchasing a new piece of jewelry? Head down to Main Street and visit Mikesell’s Jewelry. The locally owned and operated store has been serving the Bitterroot community for years. They offer custom design and ring setting as well as repair and restoration of your jewelry. Mikesell’s fine staff will treat your family heirlooms with the care they deserve. They also carry a wide selection of beautiful jewelry ready for purchase. Walk in and they will be happy to help you find the perfect piece for that special someone in your life.

Hardware/Home Improvement - Evan’s Ace Ace Hardware is committed to being “the helpful place” for hardware, plumbing, tools, grills, garden and more by offering our customers knowledgeable advice, helpful service and quality products. The Red Door opened up shop in Hamilton in 2005. Anyone with Services at the Hamilton store include hardware, electrical, plumbing, a passion for decorating is sure to find a host of great items for sale behind the red door on Main Street. According to the store’s website, cleaning supplies, hand and power tools, paint and sundries, lawn and garden, BBQs, gift cards, key cutting, glass and acrylic sheet cutthey specialize in home décor that is warm but not fussy, stylish but ting, special orders, paint color matching and screen repair. not contrived. There are plenty of items to choose from too! If you •714 N. 1st St., Hamilton, 363-3351 have trouble finding just the right gift, ask the staff for assistance. They’ll be happy to lend a hand and help you track down that one-ofa-kind gift you’re looking for.

Unique Gifts - Red Door

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 29

Nap’s p’s Grill, located in downtown Hamilton, Montana, has h en serving award-winning burgers in the Bitterroot Valley Vall been for over 15 years. This locally owned, family restaurant prides itself on its exceptional customer service and high quality ingredients. Our generous portions will guarantee that customers will not leave hungry!

Best Feed & Farm/Pet Supply - Quality Supply Quality Supply manager Bob Rummel looks for any way he can to improve the shopping experience at his store. Aside from low prices and wide selection he and other staff will help you carry your purchase out and can even arrange a delivery. “I hope that our customer service is the very best thing we do here,” Rummel said. “We try to find the extra things to do.” Hamilton’s Quality Supply is one of four in the store chain and was the third to open. Locally, there are 26 employees. Sister stores are in Missoula, Dillon and Bozeman. Quality Supply focuses on clothing, pet and large animal feed and power equipment. Rummel reports good business so far this year and said the store has put new emphasis on pet and large animal food. “We are a locally owned company,” he said. “We are not a big traded company. The owners live and work at the corporate offices in Missoula. It is important for people to know their money stays local.” •1189 S. 1st St., Hamilton, 363-7644

Tack Store - Quality Supply Located just south of Hamilton is a large supply store specializing in farm and ranch clothing and equipment. Quality Supply has all your tack needs. Rows upon rows of riding equipment and clothing are on display, all at reasonable prices. They don’t stop there either. Everything you could need to run a farm or ranch is available for purchase. If you’re just starting out, you can get plenty of help from knowledgeable the employees in the store. Even if you’re not in the market for a new saddle or lead rope, stop by Quality Supply and check out what all they have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

Bite into a Legend

take out available

Thank you for once again voting us

the Bitterroot’s Best Burger

M - Sat 11am-8pm • 220 N.2nd Street, Hamilton, MT 59840


30 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Dog Grooming and Care - Pampered Pets (BR Kennels close 2nd) Linda Williams started grooming dogs and cats in 1983, and while that was enjoyable, it was nothing compared to going into business for herself. “I had worked with a lot of other people, but this was special,” she said. “There is nothing else I would rather do.” Williams opened Pampered Pets in 1998 and focuses on grooming and day and overnight kenneling. Pampered pets has 24 suites for large dogs and 20 for small dogs, as well as 10 floor-toceiling catteries. Pets follow their guardian’s dietary instructions and get outside up to five times a day. “What we do is all about the animals,” she said. “What’s best for them, what they need, and how to keep them clean.” Overnight boarding is $12, while day sitting is $10. Dry food is available or owners can supply their own food. Grooming styles are available to the owners (or animal’s) satisfaction. “We try to pamper and be kind,” Williams said. •1735 Ward Lane, Hamilton, 3633091

Fishing Headquarters Fishaus Running a fly fishing shop might look like a barrel of fun, but behind the happy anglers, shiny gear and river-smelling boats is a lot of hard work. Fishaus has been a Hamilton landmark since 1981; Bill Bean bought the place in 1994. Fishaus is a full service fly shop, offering tackle, licenses, flies, classes and booking services with local guides. The store is an exclusive distributor of Cortland Pro, Scientific Angler and Scott Rods, among others. “I like the business because of the people,” said Bean. Those people include old customers and new fishers. “I like to help people who have never caught anything before get on the river and catch their first fish,” he said. “I enjoy working with people and doing the fly tying classes. I am a people person.” While fishing is a hobby and a passion for Bean, running a fly shop is hard work. “You are running a business and you are trying to make money,” he said. “It’s hard work, but I guess we make it look like fun.” •702 N. 1st St. Hamilton, 3636158

thank you from bradley, jill & donna for voting us

best barber!

Place to Pamper yourself (Day Spa) - Rosewood Wellness Long week at work? Stressful time in your life? Just want to relax? Spend some time at Rosewood Wellness Center in Hamilton. There you can get a massage to ease your tired and aching muscles and restore a sense of relaxation to your body. The center offers a wide range of massage techniques and spa treatments to make you forget all about your troubles. If you are looking to pamper someone else, Rosewood Wellness Center even offers gift certificates. Give them a call and schedule your pampering session soon. THE

Looking for a new outfit at a low price? Ravalli Services can probably help you out. As one of the largest thrift stores in the area, Ravalli Services has plenty to choose from. The store also serves people with disabilities, offering them a place to work. In addition to low prices, the store also helps out those in need. They offer assistance both to people referred to the agency by Salvation Army and those who walk in the door. The store offers $100 store credits to people in need and work clothes vouchers for vocational trainees.

Farm Table

1639 Sleeping Child Rd, Hamilton 4.5 miles up Sleeping Child Road reservations

375-8765 recommended

Thank nk You for Voting Us


hair salon

805 south first street • 363-2229

2nd Hand/Pawn - Ravalli Services

Look for our Menu at

Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010 - 31

6(59,1**5($7'(66(576 29( )2529(5<($56

Fresh Produce - Super 1 Foods (Farmers Market close 2nd) Grocery Store - Super 1 Foods The grocery business is a crowded one, with multiple stores selling similar products, all at paper-thin margins. How do you get ahead? â&#x20AC;&#x153;By focusing on customer service and quality,â&#x20AC;? says Hamilton Super 1 store director Mike Sherman. Super 1 is part of a regional chain based in Hayden Lake, Idaho. The Hamilton store has about 100 employees. Produce arrives at the store daily and sometimes as much as three times per day. The store buys local when it can, Sherman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We buy from growers in the Bitterroot -- Hamilton, Corvallis and Victor,â&#x20AC;? he said. In addition to loads of produce, the store has a large wine selection and plenty of frozen and natural foods. Sherman said prices are competitive and the store checks what other stores are selling at weekly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When prices go up or down, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s especially when we check to see what the competitors are doing,â&#x20AC;? he said. The company is a good one, he said, and treats its family well. Many employees have worked there for more than 20 y ears. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is not just a huge corporation,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a family business.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘1131 North 1st Street, Hamilton, 363-6200 and 39 Stevensville Cutoff Road # I, Stevensville, 777-7300

Video Rental - Crazy Mikes There are a lot of things to do in the Bitterroot Valley. Opportunities for entertainment abound. Sometimes though itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice to just kick back and put in a movie at night. When those nights arise, Crazy Mikes has the movie youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the mood for. With the largest movie selection in the valley, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re sure to find what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the mood for, from an action movie to a romantic comedy. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure what you want, their friendly staff will be happy to help you find just the right movie.







Sashimi Tempura Maki Sushi Noodle Bowls Daily Specials

Thank you for voting us BEST Asian food!

LUNCH HOURS M-Sat, 11:30am - 2:30pm DINNER HOURS: M-Sat, 5 - 9 pm

Corner of Madison & 2nd accross from the courthouse


32 - Ravalli Republic, Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank you for being our valued clients. We are grateful for the pleasure of serving you and meeting your wellness needs. On behalf of myself and all us at Rosewood Wellness Center and Spa we appreciate you as clients as well as friends.

Invigorate, transform, renew and allow us to make you look and feel as beautiful as you are.

Your wellness. Your way.

Bitterroot's Best 2010  
Bitterroot's Best 2010  

2010's winners of the Ravalli Republic's Bitterroot's Best contest