STOCKETT — About 15 miles southeast of Great Falls in the small town of Stockett, the historic American Bar has reopened after nearly a year of being closed.
Ranging from its sandwiches to the authentic two-headed calf perched on a shelf in the upper corner, the American Bar has been a staple since the its founding in 1915. Now that it has officially reopened, owners Kevinn and Deana Drew aim to carry on the tradition while making new memories in their efforts in preserving the history of the 108-year-old bar.
"The American bar is truly an icon," Deana said. "Our goal is to preserve and respect the history and integrity of the memories made here, while also providing a welcoming environment, great food and service. In order to earn the support we need to make new memories for generations to come here at the American.
Deana and Kevinn owned the American Bar since 2013. Last year, they took the time to do some upgrades when the lease was not renewed. Giving the 108-year-old a little facelift, Deana said she is happy to upgrade the historic bar and welcome the public after a year hiatus.
"It's so exciting to have it back open, and we've gotten very good response from not only the community, but our friends and neighbors around Great Falls that are just excited to have it back open again, They have been very positive and supportive by letting us know how excited they are and telling us all sorts of stories and memories that they've had here."
Upgrades to the American Bar include a family-friendly diner located on the right-hand side as you walk in the bar, as well as several menu changes.
What remains the same is the culture that the American Bar brings.
Deana's daughter Laynie works as one of the bartenders. She explained what makes the American such a unique place to be a part of.
"I definitely love the community, Laynie said. "They're very supportive of us. They come in here with a smile, and it's very fun to serve them. I also love being able to work with my family. That's a pretty awesome thing that many people don't get to experience in their lives. It's a very homey experience here and everyone is always welcoming."
One person that has extensive knowledge of the American Bar is Ron "Pooner" Guisti.
The Guisti family owned the American Bar for more than 60 years. Ron's grandfather bought the American Bar in the 1940s.
Ron said much of the town's social life revolved around the American Bar. When asked about the American Bar reopening, he said, "I'm really glad it opened again. There's really nowhere to go eat out here and have a drink with your friends."
He added that times have changed since his childhood, but he hopes the reopening will bring the community, which is what the bar was known for throughout its history.
The American Bar is located at #6 Front Street in Stockett. Hours are Wednesday & Thursday from 4pm-10pm; Friday & Saturday from 10:30am-12:30am; and Sunday from 10:30am-8pm
Click here to visit the Facebook page.
- American Bar reopens in Stockett
- Body recovered from Missouri River
- Montana newspaper: three days per week
- Motor Vehicle Division in Great Falls is moving
- Recent Obituaries