On Saturday, May 23, I was lucky enough to have my sister come visit me in little old Hazen. She hasn’t been here often and never alone. We had all day to explore. Our ideas of fun are a little different from one another but one place we see eye to eye is small town bars. They are fun to explore and check out. With a sober driver in check, we set out for an eight hour, nine town tour of bars in west-central North Dakota. Here is a quick recap of where we hit and a few things we experienced at each location.
Hazen – Longhsots Bar
Of course, I am biased but this is my favorite bar. They interior is clean, well-lit and they have excellent popcorn and cold tap beer. They have frozen pizzas available if hungry. The bartender (Tim) is a hoot and treated us well.
Beulah – The Nite Owl
There are a few bars to pick from of course, but we picked the Nite Owl. They were set up for a band and 50th birthday party that evening. You can bring in your own food and snacks for a party. They have a variety of beer on tap and the barmaid was prompt and courteous.
Glen Ullin – Wet Spot
OK, so the name of this bar is a little crude but this is a very nice bar. Well lit and clean. My sister and I felt they had the nicest bathroom. They have a small patio out front. You can order fried food appetizers if you’d like. We were surprised to see almond crusted duck as an option. They also have horse betting and $2 pull tabs. The server was very nice.
Hebron – Brick City Bar (new to me)
This was probably the biggest surprise. The bar was very large inside and nice. I think it must have been recently remodeled? They had a large, covered outdoor patio. Our male friend felt they had really nice bathrooms. The women’s was also nice and clean, but not as good as Glen Ullin. These are important things!! The server was good.
Richardton – Cheers & Beers (new to me)
This was a very small bar. They had bar seating and one table and a pool table. We always look to see if bars have shake of the day or something like that to play. This place had a fun idea – if you bounce a ball off the pool table, you pay into the pot. If you scratch the 8-ball when breaking, you get the pot. The bartender was OK. I thought he was a patron at first as he was sitting at the bar.
I must note that at this time we were starting to get really hungry. We left Hazen at 1pm and we had breakfast at about 10a.m. Our one friend hadn’t even eaten. I am pretty bummed to tell you that NONE of these little bars had popcorn or pretzels or any (free) snacks. We went to the local Cenex to get some goodies and figured we’d eat in Halliday.
Halliday – O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill
We had heard that they serve food here. We will not know, maybe ever. The bar itself is really nice and seemed clean. While us girls were taking the photo outside, our driver was inquiring about a drink and the barmaid told him to wait. It was not busy. She proceeded to go outside and smoke. That is rude. She could have gotten us a drink first. We just got a bad vibe, unfriendly people and stares. After she came back from her smoke and still ignored us, we just left. We have money to spend and ain’t got time for rude people. As Julia Roberts says – big mistake, huge! Ha, just kidding. Not sure I’d go back again, especially if she was working.
Dodge – Wolff’s Den
This is a pretty small bar. It looked like they had food but it was microwaved? I don’t even know? She might have been making the meal for herself. The beer was cold and the bathroom was clean. The server didn’t seem to know which beers they had or not but was friendly to get what we wanted. We were still hungry.
Golden Valley – Saddle Sore Saloon
Getting back closer to home, we knew they had a grill at the SSS. The salad bar was fresh and tasty. The beer was cold, our server was great. I think the hamburgers are frozen and cooked which is a shame because I know there is wonderful beef in the area. I wish they’d use more fresh items. But it did the trick. How amazingly awesome is that bike by the way?
Mic’s Tavern – Zap
FINALLY – a bar with popcorn! This was our last stop. Mic’s opened here not too long ago and they have done a great job at cleaning up the joint. The server was friendly enough and they also have frozen pizzas available. This was our last stop of the trip. I think we covered around 150 miles?!?!
We did a good job at pacing ourselves drinking wise. One beer at each stop. In fact, maybe too well. By the time we ate, we might have overdone it and then we were just full and tired. I think I could have gotten a 2nd wind but it was time to go home.
I had a blast seeing a few new to me places and revisiting other bars. I hope my sister enjoyed the tour. We had great company, if anything! Next time, my planning will involve packing snacks or even sandwiches. I need to constantly be grazing. What a fun day!