Letter from the Editor: Eat, Drink

Angie Ripple  |  Thursday Feb. 27th, 2014

What made the sitcom television series Cheers so popular? Was it that everyone knew your name when you walked in? The camaraderie found at a local watering hole? Or maybe the comfort from the well worn paths that led the regulars to it’s bar stools. Most likely it was that individuals in all walks of life could relate to the relationships of the characters, enjoy the humor, and feel the heartbreak. 

When I think of the places I most often visit in Bozeman for lunch or a drink I relate to the well worn paths of the patrons of Cheers. As a creature of habit I travel the same route to the same handful of places when dining out is better than the pile of dishes left behind from my family’s home-cooked meals. There really are restaurants in Bozeman that know my name, and those are the places that I gravitate toward when I choose to eat out. They make me feel welcome, like I matter, and like I belong.

This sense of belonging in a place is an important factor when considering all of the possibilities for eating and drinking in Bozeman, Montana. There is such a variety to choose from, everything from “the greasy spoon” (as my dad would say) that serves a great burger or sandwich combo for lunch and draft beer and music in the evening, to the classy downtown bar and grills that have big city flare. If you feel more at ease eating your soup on a bar stool than a custom bench seat we’ve got that here. If scenery is your thing, whether eclectic signage, local artists, regional wildlife, people-watching from a Main Street window seat, we’ve got that too.

Everyone is different in what makes them feel comfortable in a dining establishment, but it seems that if the service is exceptional a lot of other factors can be swept under the welcome mat. A smile and introduction from a server goes along way, refilling drinks is an easy way to make a guest feel especially welcome, and making sure everything is just right without an eye roll or dispute will give your word of mouth advertising that extra boost.

Bozeman’s latest Top Ten List award may not sit quite right with some of our community members, being in the Top Ten Drunkest Cities doesn’t sound as good as Most Liveable City, or Best Town Ever. Lets look at it a little differently; what it may really mean is that we know how to come together, to visit with our neighbor or friends, to be a community that knows how to have a good time. Although the binge drinking and overdrinking numbers are over the CDC average, not only in Bozeman, but other towns in Montana, the quality of living numbers are even higher. The Gallatin City-County Health Department records Bozeman’s ranking of #1 in the state for “healthy outcomes.” Healthy outcomes represent how healthy a county is. Both mortality; how long people live, and morbidity; how healthy people feel while alive are considered. In Montana Bozeman ranks first in length of life and how healthy (and can we say happy) people feel while alive in Bozeman, Montana.

So it seems that this camaraderie we find when meeting up with like minded folks in a social setting, whether it be a swanky new downtown pub or the dive bar a little off the beaten path, is just another benefit of our mountain town and lifestyle. We know how to come together, to be there for each other, to commune.

If you haven’t found that Bozeman eatery that you feel like you belong in please check out our new dining and drinks section on bozemanmagazine.com where you will see dining reviews from our contributing writers and have the chance to leave your own review. Think of it as your new community water cooler, or Bozeman yelp! where you can chime in on your favorite spot to eat and drink, leave a rating, rave and/or rant. The new bozemanmagazine.com will help you find your next watering hole or dining establishment, its a new and interactive way to find out what the locals know.   "Cheers!"

Angie Ripple is the publisher, editor, delivery driver and more of Bozeman Magazine. Please check out the new bozemanmagazine.com for everything Bozeman.

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