By Micah Hanks
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: a journalist, a Bluegrass singer, and a Presbyterian minister walk into a bar; but sadly, there’s no punch line to this strange set of circumstances.
It was in the summer of 2006 while visiting the great state of Montana that I was taken to one of the strangest Tiki bars I’ve ever visited. Nestled in the mountain town of Great Falls at an altitude of about 5,000 feet, my comrade Tom Godleski and I were taken by our guide, Pastor Tim, to The Sip-N-Dip Lounge.
Few bars have any real claim to fame; the Sip-N-Dip, on the other hand, has several. With an illuminated swim tank visible through reinforced glass windows behind the bar, beautiful gals dressed as mermaids swim around and interact with the bartenders on weekends. In fact, after her success appearing alongside Tom Hanks in Ron Howard’s 1984 flick Splash, Darryl Hannah even donned a mermaid costume and swam around in the tank during a visit to the famous watering hole.
Keep in mind that when I say famous, I mean famous. In its April 2003 issue, GQ Magazine voted the Sip-N-Dip Lounge as the “Number One Bar on Earth.” ‘Nuff said!