Eat, Play, Rev (Up)

Bootlegger Casino: 608 Highway 200, Lincoln, MT

At the Bootlegger Casino and Restaurant, fine food and a family atmosphere are the top priority. Prime Rib Fridays are a sell-out, and it’s not unusual, owner Vicki Krause says, to fold over 1,000 tacos on “Taco Tuesdays.”

Open from 7 a.m. to around 10 p.m., this family business offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with drinks, games—and two popular summer ‘poker runs’. “We serve up a lot of Caesars and Bloody Marys,” Krause says, “and we have a game area for kids.”

If Krause is late for work, she’s got a great excuse: a nearby herd of 250 elk sometimes blocks Stemple Road.

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Flowers, Seeds, Maps and More

Teresa G’s Flower Shop: 1702 Highway 200, Lincoln, MT

“All I know is how to buy and sell things,” Teresa Garland says with a smile. That’s not exactly true. Though running a successful business is in Teresa’s blood, she’s also blessed with a great sense of design, an energetic outlook, and a love for Lincoln, Montana.

Teresa G’s Flower Shop is an eclectic gift store that features local pottery and jewelry, huckleberry chocolates and even USGS topographical maps. Come spring, there are organic seeds and bedding plants along with hand-tied fishing flies.

“It’s a happy job,” says Teresa, who shares her building with her sister Becky, who owns a real estate and construction company, “People are always glad to get or give flowers.”

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Howlin’ Good: Coyote Coffee

Coyote Coffee: 528 Highway 200, Lincoln, MT

Kristin and Aaron Birkholtz don’t have much of a commute. This husband and wife team live within shouting distance of Coyote Coffee, a small drive-through place with a big reputation for coffee, ice cream treats and smoothies in Lincoln, Montana.

With a customer base that’s split about 50/50 between tourists and locals, Kristin says she still gets inquiries about Lincoln’s most infamous resident, Ted Kaczynski.”People want to get directions to the Unabomber’s cabin,” Kirsten says, “even though it was moved out of Montana years ago.”

Kristen’s favorite part of the family business is her customers. “They make my day, when they pull up and talk to me.”

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Roll Down the Window!

Ford’s Drive-In

1301 Central Ave. West

No, you aren’t trapped in a time machine. That’s a carhop, ready to take your order at Great Falls’ iconic Ford’s Drive In.

This local favorite garnered national attention in 2010, when Food Magazine awarded the Central Avenue West eatery the prize for Best Burger in Montana. Need more proof? Beloved western artist Brian Morger even painted the place, complete with vintage cars and, of course, carhops.

Ford’s uses only lean ground beef from nearby Vaughn, Montana, sometimes served with (no kidding) peanut butter. Add sour cream chili fries and a cinnamon Coke and your tummy may start humming the tune from “Happy Days.”

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Blue Jean Cuisine

Double Barrel

1220 Central Ave. West

Harvest season may be over, but if someone hollers “full haystack” into the kitchen at the Double Barrel, get ready for a big biscuit topped with hashbrowns, smothered in gravy. If you’re not in the mood for a Close Encounter of the Carb Kind, try a bowl of award-winning soup, the Friday fish special, or breakfast–anytime.

The Double Barrel closes every Thanksgiving to serve a meal to family and “regulars”, folks who stop in for a meal (or two…or three!) most days.

Steven Pearson, who’s been with the business 5 1/2 years, loves Great Falls. “If I’d have known how wonderful this place is, I’d have moved here years ago.”

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Rev Up & Peel Out, in Style

Savage Motosports

1421 Central Ave. West

Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a chopper fan, or a farmer hankerin’ to check on the south forty, Savage Motosports is ready to rev you up and get you on your way. Bring the kids: this sports motor store has rides for them too.

Owner Rich Rossberg, who’s been on two wheels since he was six, is proud that his business has evolved to become one of the nation’s largest CF Moto retailers. Along with SSR and high-end dirt bike manufacturer GasGas, Savage sells quality parts and all kinds of accessories for off-roads, street cycles, and side-by-sides.

Some dealers turn away older cycles in need of repair, but Savage Motosports, open year ‘round, employs four full-time mechanics with wrenches ready and parts galore.

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