• Beloved Bar: Historic Miles City watering hole has new owner

    Story by Cathy Moser, Photos by Jackie Jensen

    Why would a young, first-time bar owner rejoice in the responsibility of owning a century-old bar? Why would he relish the duties of not only being entrusted with upholding its reputation as a respectable place to drink and socialize, but as curator of its traditions and impressive collection of Old West artifacts?

    “I love this bar,” Blake Mollman said unabashedly.

    Perhaps, then, it was fate when Mollman and his cousin trailed a pretty girl to Miles City in 2006 and Mollman found himself striding into the Montana Bar on Main Street.

    Mollman soon found himself bartending there. Soon after that, he was promoted to assistant manager. While working all those day and night shifts, he learned that Scotsman James Kenney opened the upscale bar in 1908, and that it is a beloved Miles City institution where the dark tones of much of the bar’s original furnishings continue to uphold its rich Western heritage.

    Mollman also came to learn that someday he’d like to own the Montana Bar.

    “Someday” came for 31-year-old Mollman in August 2013 when former owner Currie Colbin decided he wanted to sell the place.

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