Actually, there are a lot of fishy things in downtown Great Falls!
Some background – the Missouri River ambles through Great Falls and you occasionally see fishermen on the river banks. Several businesses have used the river and fish theme in their marketing…follow along as we explore the town.
A group of us were recently at Mighty Mo Brewing Company on Central Avenue in Great Falls. We weren’t sure of what beer to order so we chose a variety of beer flights. The flights were delivered in wooden “trout” holders. The start of this fishy expedition.
Names of Mighty Mo’s beers are clever and many are tied to fish or the Missouri River.
Dam Fog, an American wheat ale, is reminiscent of the foggy mist that you see when the Missouri River waterfalls tumble over the dams.
Pelican Point beer, a pale ale, got its moniker after a fishing and launching area about 30 miles upstream named, you guessed it, Pelican Point. Yes, you might see some white pelicans there (not at the brewery though).
Another beer in the flight was Lip Ripper, a double hopped IPA. If you’re a fisherman, you can relate to lip rippin’ while fishing. The brewers at Mighty Mo Brewing will tell you that they also have seasonal beers but as the saying goes – some are keepers, some are catch and release.
Our next stop in downtown Great Falls was the Sip ‘N Dip Lounge at the O’Haire Motor Inn, a locally owned lodging facility. Located just a half block off Central Avenue, you’ll typically find this place hopping and the main attraction these days is their mermaids. I don’t want to discount Piano Pat, a long, long time performer at the Sip ‘N Dip’s keyboards, but the night we were there was her night off.
The Sip ‘N Dip tiki lounge is upstairs and when you sit at the bar you look into the pool, sometimes seeing swimmer’s legs, sometimes seeing a mermaid (or merman) tail. As you look at the formica-topped bar tables you’ll notice they have a seahorse pattern, all keeping with the fishy theme.
There is more. The drink we ordered was a shareable cocktail called a fishbowl. It comes with about ten shots of a variety of liquors and several straws, some tipped with fish. It’s a fish story – a true story!
Between Mighty Mo and the Sip ‘N Dip is a mural, the result of downtown Great Falls’ recent Artfest. There are several murals on building exteriors all over downtown, and some fun crosswalk murals spanning Central Avenue, but the fish mural definitely stands out. And, it just adds to this fish tale.
Wander around downtown Great Falls and you’ll have a chance to see the mural art and also artwork adorning various signal boxes (look for the swimming fish on one of these).
After sipping a brew, sharing a fishbowl and gazing at the fish mural, I’d suggest some food.
How about Fish and Chips at the Celtic Cowboy, a local pub and restaurant with an Irish theme? You’ll get a
generous order of house made chips with Red Beer battered cod.
You could also try the Lobster Mac & Cheese at a new restaurant called The Block in downtown Great Falls.
Fish on – in downtown Great Falls!