join us
Find more about Weather in Bozeman, MT
1,250
848
5,410
  26 July 2014  |  Vol: 4 facebooktwitterrss  
NEW IN TOWN?
 
top 10 food & bev
top 10 activities
top 10 hiking trails
top 10 mtn biking trails
what to do THIS WEEK
Bozeman's Best
 
Bozeman's Best 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010  
 

FOOD & DRINK
Best Breakfast
Best Coffee Shop
Best Bargain Lunch
Best Happy Hour
Best Pizza
Best Reuben
Best Restaurant If Someone Else
   Is Paying

Best Asian Food
Best "Other" Ethnic (That Could Overcome
   A Cursed Commercial Location)

Best Conceivable Response To the
   Demand For Greater Food & Bev
  Diversity In Bozeman

Best Comfort Food
Best Sacrifice Of Garden Lifeforms To
   Appease The Veggie Horde

Best Excuse To Wear A Cocktail Dress
Best Damn Bar
Best Wine Store
Best Invisible Restaurant
Best DIY Dessert For Battling Off
   Summer Heat


LOCALS
Best Local Author Who Deserves a
   Pulitzer

Best Athlete
Best Artist Not Yet Covered By
   The Magpie

Best Local Band
Best Media Personality
Best Octogenarian
Best Musical Virtuoso
Best Teacher in and of the
   Universe

Best Supporter of the Underdog

 

COMMERCIAL
Best Techs
Best Gear Shop
Best Bookstore
Best Thrift Store
Best Jewelry Designer
Best Physical Therapist
Best Big Box Store
Best Hot Springs
Best Vet
Best Salon & Spa
Best Subaru Mechanic
Best Place to Get a Weird Key Copied
Best Barnacle Business
Best Garage-Launched Florist


CULTURE
Best Art Gallery That Doubles as a
   Brewery

Best Music Geeks
Best Natural Noisemaker
Best Rainy Day Activity (That
   Bozemanites Have Never Visited)

Best Dancing
Best Last Remaining Stronghold of
   Western Culture in Town

Best Assisted Living
Best Non-Profit in Need of a One-Way
  
Ticket to Georgia
Best of the Two Old Libraries

COLOR
Second Best Cursed Commercial Space
Best Neighbrohood Extreme Makeover
Best Maybe Salvage of an Underloved
   Civic Venue

Best Most Powerful First Name
Best Montana's Darkest Politician
Best Overhyped, Wasted Wattage
  Story of the Year

Best Overcrowding of a State
   University Campus

Best Place to See a River Otter
   Withing City Limits

Best Ridiculous Waste of Chronicle Ink

 

 
Best Food
 
Co-op Breakfast
Nova Cafe
bozemans best award BEST BREAKFAST
Community Food Co-op & The Nova Cafe (tied)

We're picking two for this category because our town offers so many delicious breakfast restaurants, many bursting with locally sourced food. The Co-op's breakfast bagels and quiches pair well with your dashing, Clark-Kent-in-search-of-a-phone-booth schedule. In contrast, The Nova's eggs benedict are best enjoyed over a leisurely brunch and a table of friends. A Magpie staff member has confessed her obsession over their Nova Skosh: eggs, smoked salmon, chives, and cream cheese, all scrambled "to perfection," she says, "to perfection."
[back to top]

Rockford Coffee Roasters
bozemans best award BEST COFFEE SHOP
Rockford Coffee Roasters

You know those TV shows that critics love but everybody else despises? Well, Rockford Coffee Roasters isn't at all like that. In-house roasting, on-site ownership, supporters of local bicycle teams and events, refuge for big-dreaming tech dweebs—Rockford is the beloved king of coffee in Bozeman and a repeat winner of this category.

Runner-up: If Rockford is Elvis, the N.K.O.T.B. of the coffee scene can be found at Zocalo.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST BARGAIN LUNCH
AnguS Steakhouse

A brief, wholly unreliable survey suggests most think Angus Steakhouse on West Mendenhall is a hotel. Though it is attached to the City Center Inn, the Angus is a restaurant and casino and delivers one heck of a bargain lunch: for just $5, you can get a 1/3-lb. burger (10 different choices), fries, and a drink. Eager to skip the chaotic rush that is the Main Street lunch scene? The Burger Roundup is your new haven. Just try to resist feeding the money saved into the slots.
[back to top]

Rockford Coffee Roasters
bozemans best award BEST HAPPY HOUR
Starky's Authentic Americana

The Magpie's hyperbolic tendencies dutifully noted, it's no stretch to say that Starky's happy hour is definitively one of the best creations in the world, possibly the universe. It's the perfect storm of $2 microbrews, ridiculously delicious half-priced appetizers (mac n' cheese, how I love your bacon bits), and their trendy-but-not-pretentious vibe. Add in their spacious patio and there's absolutely positively no better way to while away a late afternoon.

Runner-up: The Dry Fly Saloon—while they lack much of the above, they have a powerful, powerful card in "free food."
[back to top]

Rockford Coffee Roasters
bozemans best award BEST PIZZA
Tie: Blackbird & Tarantino's

Several punchy new faces have thrown in for the best hometown pizza pie, and frankly, any champion will have a tough fight defending the title. Part of the challenge is that there are now, sticking with the metaphor, two weight classes: old school pizza parlors and the wood-fired, upscale offerings. For the former, locals prefer the ambidextrous, dual-venue Tarantino's, while for the latter, Blackbird's oven reigns.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST REUBEN
Frank's Custom Catering and Deli

Located at the blink-and-you'll-miss-it corner of East Babcock and Wallace, the humble façade of Frank's belies its megastar status as the best sandwich shop in Bozeman. If lusting for a Reuben, in particular, Frank's is your local hook-up: huge slices of dark rye, shaved corned beef, and a spicy sauce make this sandwich easy on the eyes (though big enough to share). Frank's serves up this starlet of the deli circuit as well as rib eye or chicken cheese steaks, burgers, and delectable vegetarian options, all featuring homemade sauces, for about ten bucks.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST RESTAURANT IF SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING
Emerson Grill & John Bozeman's Bistro (tied)

With my right hand on Strunk & White's The Elements of Style, I swear that I'm drooling as I write this: "Sage prosciutto wrapped organic chicken breast, pan seared with mushroom marsala over polenta." That's at the Emerson. And you can find the Navajo Seafood Pasta with roasted chili cream sauce, shrimp, and calamari at John Bozeman's Bistro. Now nudge your sweetie to go make a reservation already.
[back to top]

Rockford Coffee Roasters
bozemans best award BEST ASIAN FOOD
Lotus Pad

Lime leaves. Fish sauce. Tamarind and tofu. Purple basil and cilantro. Glass noodles and jasmine rice. No, it's not a list of death by Asian ingredients; it's what you will find at Lotus Pad, what many argue is the emperor of Asian food in the valley. It's not in Bozeman, but this tiny, fragrant, and intimate space in Meadow Village is well worth the drive, even if you have to dodge 20 bighorn sheep to get there.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST "OTHER" ETHNIC (THAT COULD OVERCOME A CURSED COMMERCIAL LOCATION)
Café Zydeco

For the sake of your Creole chicken and sausage, red beans, and rice, we wish Godspeed to our brothers from a Southern mother. The Magpie team, rest assured, is pitched in to overcome this Hatchery spell (see below), even if it is strong enough to make a black-magic woman wince.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST CONCEIVABLE RESPONSE TO THE DEMAND FOR GREATER FOOD & BEV DIVERSITY IN BOZEMAN
14 way Tie

Okay, let's see if we can get them all written down… Open Range, 14 North, Z's Market, Rice, Phở Real, Copper, Bridger Brewing Co., Wild Crumb, Roost, dinners at Storm Castle, pop-up restaurants like Seasonal Bozeman and Laurian's Table, that other brewery supposedly underway by the Bozeman Ponds, a micro-distillery in the old Schnee's… The first issue, described in the title, has been addressed, and how! The second, a socio-economic explanation for the marked and sudden increase in local food service options, sorry, we're too stuffed to articulate a response.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST COMFORT FOOD
Tater Pig

Either you grew up with the "Tater Pig," or you didn't. For any Bozemanite kid, these two words conjure up summer and the Sweet Pea Festival. During the event-filled week in early August, serenading Chord Rustlers serve up these piggy sausages in baked potato-sleeping bags to benefit a youth singing camp held in Livingston each year.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST SACRIFICE OF GARDEN LIFEFORMS TO APPEASE THE VEGGIE HORDE
Superfood at John Bozeman's Bistro

That name, "Superfood?" It's not overbilled. And if the Bistro price tag seems overpriced, imagine a platter of their Carrot Ginger Timbale Bake, Caramelized Yam Disks, and red and gold beet wedges drizzled with ancho chili sauce and crema Mexicana on the table in front of you. A great choice for the gluten-shunning among us, the Bistro's Superfood will fill all of your roughage-slaughtering dietary needs. The Superfood platter is also redefined weekly.
[back to top]

 
Plonk
bozemans best award BEST EXCUSE TO WEAR A COCKTAIL DRESS
Plonk

A recent transplant from wine country told us she was initially skeptical of Plonk's projection of elegance among Main Street's more plebeian watering holes. Any doubts she had were erased when she perused their wine list. Plonk doesn't mess around, and it's got the stellar bottles to prove it. If you're looking for an excuse to take your stilettos for a walk and partake in a well-made cocktail or damn good glass of wine, this is it.
[back to top]

 
Bacchus Pub
bozemans best award BEST DAMN BAR
The Bacchus Pub

Its virtues include a patio idyll on sunny afternoons, those coveted copper mugs of 'Moscow Mules,' the sculpted heads in the rafters, Marco's tacos on Thursday night, a nice mix of patrons, the occasional-and-not-too-overbearing entertainment, the staff… okay, the staff could use just a wee bit more training. (Hint: sometimes customers want a drink with a name that doesn't call out its ingredients.) Worry not, dear Bacchus, we love your imperfections, too.
[back to top]

Wine Gallery
bozemans best award BEST WINE STORE
The Wine Gallery

If it weren't for on-site owner Doug Badenoch's helpful assistance, we'd be at the grocery story picking out the label with the cutest mascot. Doug and long-time, friendly staff members like Laurel make shopping here an informative experience, even if you're on a sky-rat budget. Don't take our word for it: Wine Spectator magazine lauded The Wine Gallery as "one of the best stocked and best serviced wine stores in the country and in the world." For those who like wine scores, that sounds like a '100.'
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST INVISIBLE RESTAURANT
Soby's Café

A person can only speculate on how little traffic the sidewalk sandwich board generates for Soby's Café. If you've eaten there, chances are you're either a local or were introduced by a local. Nothing on the menu costs over $9.50, portions could knock a linebacker on his duff, and the Gringo Burrito—¡ay caramba!
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST DIY DESSERT FOR BATTLING OFF SUMMER HEAT
Culture Frozen Yogurt

Although it'll be amazing if Bozeman can support three frozen yogurt shops, we truly hope locally owned Culture will survive any winnowing and become a College Street fixture. Try The Magpie (our trademark application is pending): Tart and Pistachio yogurt topped with mochi and blackberries.
[back to top]

 

 
 
Best Commercial
 
bozemans best award BEST LOCAL AUTHOR WHO DESERVES A PULITZER
David Quammen

Perhaps our studious readers recall the National Geographic with the stoic iguana and bold headline "Was Darwin Wrong?" That's just one of the many things you've heard of and likely not linked to prolific local author David Quammen. His most recent book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, delves into the natural and cultural histories of zoonotic diseases like Ebola, Lyme disease, and AIDS, all the while sketching out our vulnerability to the next nasty germ that makes the leap from non-human animal to human animal.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST ATHLETE
Molly Hayes

Molly is a triathlete. Molly is 80 years old. Molly has three times won the World Triathlon Championship, and don't even breathe the words "age group" because Molly is the real deal.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST ARTIST NOT YET COVERED BY THE MAGPIE
Painter Sara Mast

(To local art-scene queen Michele Corriel: please submit copy soon-ish.)
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST LOCAL BAND
Kitchen Dwellers

"Summer music" in this Northern Rockies town pretty much translates to outdoor bluegrass. Our community is blessed with talented musicians, and though it was hard to choose just one, we're currently partial to these local stars rocking the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and bass. The Kitchen Dwellers, formed about 3 years ago by 3 young gents in Bozeman, are increasingly well-known for their foot-stomping, fiddle-infused good tunes. Expect to hear Celtic, rock, psychedelic, and acoustic influences mixed in with the seriously fast pickin'.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY
Missy O'Malley

After any jaunt away from Bozeman, I always know I'm back home when Missy O'Malley's trademark smokey voice curls its way out of my radio. O'Malley seems to have her hand in every dance party, trivia night, and benefit event in town and is a fixture on KISS FM and KGLT. Her hugely successful Variety Show this March brought press and funds to our local YMCA, while creating a truly community-fueled show. Bozeman is lucky to house O'Malley's talent, enthusiasm, and heart.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST OCTOGENARIAN
Dorothy Eck

It wouldn't surprise us if the City decided to build a monument in honor of our most revered elder, but they will have a tough time getting her to pose for it. Not content to sit back and play bridge, Dorthy Eck's 50+ years of championing progressive politics—including participating in the Montana Constitutional Convention—have earned her a respected place among Democrats far and wide. Eck can be found enjoying breakfast upstairs at the Co-op on Friday mornings where she wants to talk to YOU about the vacancies for local candidates.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST MUSICAL VIRTUOSO
Kenneth Christiansen

Maybe you know him from the opera, or the symphony, or one of those high-falutin' dinner parties he plays. Or maybe, like what could be half of Bozeman, he was your piano teacher. His credentials include performances at Carnegie Hall, Kings College Chapel in Cambridge, England, London's Royal Albert Hall, and the First American Invitational Music Festival in China and the Philippines. Christensen is currently the President of Music Teachers National Association and remains active as a performer and private piano teacher in Bozeman. Oh, and he's also one of the happiest, kindest, quick to laugh, enjoyable individuals you could ever hope to have at your dinner party.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST TEACHER IN AND OF THE UNIVERSE
Paul Andersen

With over 8 million views of his YouTube channel, Paul Andersen's approach to science education demonstrates good chemistry, too. Unafraid of utilizing the technology that is second nature to his students, Mr. Andersen has transformed the learning environment. Aside from this grand acknowledgment from the Magpie, Andersen was the 2011 Montana teacher of the year, was one-of-four finalists for the National teacher of the year, and our new governor nominated him last month to the Montana Board of Public Education.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST SUPPORTER OF THE UNDERDOG
Kim McKeehan

Kim's been writing with the Magpie since June of '10, pretty much since there was the Magpie. Since then, she has introduced us and tens of thousands of readers to the likes of Elouise Cobell and Dorothy Eck, and just as often she's thrown herself into subjects like alcoholism or the end of life. Kim's not just "covering" these topics and people, so many of whom are heart-wrenching and tragic and too often discarded by society. She writes as an advocate, and in that role she is the Magpie's champion.
[back to top]

 

 
 
Best Culture
 
bozemans best award BEST TECHS
Summit Bike & Ski

You know what? The abrasive, radder-than-thou attitude so infuriatingly pervasive in the shop techs of Bozeman has waned of late, almost across the board. Service reps in bike and ski shops have finally learned that if you treat your customers like know-nothing flatlanders, they know enough to buy their gear online. You know what else? Steve and his crew at Summit never needed someone to tell them that.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST GEAR SHOP
Bob Ward's & Sons

A shocker, right? Or maybe not. They're Montana-owned, they've been at it for 96 years, have economic scale to throw around, as well as an informed selection of gear across a sluice box of outdoor activities—and let's face it, their prices are often enough rock-bottom. Sure, the aisles can be like ghost towns, but the prices, the prices, oh we will not complain about any retail loneliness for the prices.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST BOOKSTORE
Country Bookshelf

Most book peddlers encountered by this bibliophile have either thoughtfully selected small collections or books on many topics but no curatorial marrow. The Country Bookshelf straddles both worlds, with a book for every reader and plenty of hand-picked soul. The staff knows their inventory and the literary landscape well, offering the personal expertise that no amount of "Similar Item" pop-ups on Amazon can match.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST THRIFT STORE
Sack's of Bozeman

If their sassy "Happenings" department or the cozy, sunlit reading room weren't sufficient cause for Sack's of Bozeman to win this category year after year, the fact that they are 100% nonprofit and 100% local topples the competition. Dual locations in downtown Bozeman and in Belgrade have benefitted Bozeman's Help Center since 1986.
[back to top]

 
Alara Jewelry
bozemans best award BEST JEWELRY DESIGNER
Babs Noelle of Alara Jewelry

Summing Alara up in one word: ausgezeichnet. This repeat category winner's high fashion approach to jewelry design stems from her master's degree from Germany's esteemed Goldschmiedeschule Pforzheim. Her Main Street shop is a showroom of stunning pieces, often featuring forms not found in your typical strip mall purveyor of baubles. Noelle's designs are edgy, but in a way that will still resonate with your great-great-grandchild. And, truth be told, the award gives us another welcome opportunity to air out our rudimentary German with words like "ausgezeichnet."
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST PHYSICAL THERAPIST
John Sveen, APRS

Listen up, Ridge Runners: if and when you wear your bod out from running up and down mountains, you may want a PT who has himself felt your musculoskeletal pain. John Sveen of Advanced Performance Rehabilitation Services is one of those Nordic-types who loves to run, bike, and cross-country ski. Sveen is also knowledgeable, patient, experienced, and friendly…although you may be confused when the appointment is over and he sends you out the door with a "Hope I don't see you again."
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST BIG BOX STORE
Target

For openers, it's not Wal-Mart. But for beer-bottle openers, it's the only place around that truly recycles glass. Rather than just pulverized and dumped, your recyclables are loaded up on the otherwise-empty trucks returning to the distribution center in Oregon, where market scale allows them to affordably recycle. Beyond recycling, Target's wardrobe basics are attractive and well-made, and they often present the most stylish selection of house-brand furnishings like shower curtains and lamps of any of the big boxes.
[back to top]

 
Norris Hot Springs
bozemans best award BEST HOT SPRINGS
Norris Hot Springs

Where else can you listen to live bluegrass music emanating from a geodesic dome while soaking in the Water of the Gods? Located a mere 35 miles from downtown Bozeman, in addition to hot water, Norris boasts local food, camping, and fresh tunes three days a week. And that's not just splash.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST VET
Ruth Stafford, 360 Pet Medical

We know, everyone's vet is the best. And there are lots of options. But if you've ever had the upsetting experience of driving past an abandoned, tiny animal on the highway, be comforted that there's a local vet who will show up to provide expert care at 7pm on a Saturday night. Dr. Ruth Stafford has been caring for the animals of Gallatin Valley for 15 years, with a few different clinics. She is now with 360 Pet Medical, conveniently located near some vast dog-romping space near the East Gallatin Rec area for after your appointment. Though she doesn't do scales or feathers, sugar gliders are welcome.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST SALON & SPA
The Loft Spa

Come the revolution or a winning lottery ticket, I'll have a running appointment for a pampering session every week at The Loft. Located three stories above the margarita-fueled chatter of Santa Fe Red's, this is the place in Bozeman for all your mani/pedi, deluxe massage, and hair styling needs. Gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows lend the salon an airy ambiance that's sure to fill all of your queen-for-a-day fantasies.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST SUBARU MECHANIC
Wayd Walker, RMS Subaru

Sometimes visiting another state is to experience automobile shock. It can feel alien to look around a town and see no trucks or Subarus. Since that's pretty much the majority of what bends the pavement here, we thank Wayd Walker of RMS Subaru for being a steady source of Subaru-salvation. For those who prefer to bypass the dealership and seek a straight shooter, Walker is just that. The litmus test: I knew I needed a new car (but not a new mechanic), because he felt so sorry for me that he no longer wanted to take my money.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST PLACE TO GET A WEIRD KEY COPIED
Big Sky Locksmithing

Also known as Dave's Lock and Key, the key masters at Big Sky Locksmithing have been around since 1956, all those years in the same cozy nook on North 7th. Once you find it, you won't be going to Home Depot anymore, or one of those other places staffed by 13-year-olds who can't cut a key. No sirree, these folks have resolved many a frustrated gatekeeper's key dilemma—and now you know.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST BARNACLE BUSINESS
Simms Fishing Co.

Perhaps a definition is in order: if you run a successful business and advertise yourself widely as from a given community but fail to put down roots with that same community, your organization meets the standard of a barnacle. Simms Fishing Co., you earned it this year (but there are others we're watching closely).
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST GARAGE-LAUNCHED FLORIST
Amber Westfall, Bloom

There's something about enterprise and Bozeman garages… Floral stylist Amber Westfall of Bloom is another of our many lesser-known local entrepreneurs. A Bozeman native with MSU fine art creds and a stint in NYC's high-profile event scene, Westfall began her creative floral-design business in 2006, operating out of her garage, and brings a massive bouquet of enthusiasm rare these days in the wedding and design industries. Bloom's personal touch incorporates anything from local fruits to exotic blossoms, and she handles private events, weddings, personal orders, and beyond.
[back to top]

 

 
 
Best Locals
 
bozemans best award BEST ART GALLERY THAT DOUBLES AS A BREWERY
406 Brewing Company

Bozeman's biggest cultural brouhaha of early 2013 was undoubtedly when the executive board of the Emerson Center booted the artwork of combat veteran and MSU adjunct professor Jesse Albrecht for being "too incendiary." It became obvious they were shooting blanks when a local brewery—where they serve alcohol, mind you—had no worries and proudly displayed Albrecht's work.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST MUSIC GEEKS
Peach Street Studios

Sure their world-class technical cred fills a void here in Bozeman, but it's really Live from the Divide, a weekly live radio celebration of Rocky Mountain music that won Peach Street this crown. Catch the show on KGLT or from a church pew in their red velvet-draped studio.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST NATURAL NOISEMAKER
The Ringing Rocks

Geologists and music lovers alike thrill at the house-sized instrument fashioned by nature, just over the Cardwell hill. One of five 'ringing rock' formations in the world, this gigantic pile of boulders mysteriously rings when tapped with a hard object. Some notes are clearer than others, so feel free to crawl around and get your rhythm fix, compliments of our resident and ancient volcano. But don't get any ideas about taking the stones home: they won't ring when taken away from the formation.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST RAINY DAY ACTIVITY (THAT BOZEMANITES HAVE NEVER VISITED)
The American Computer Museum

Just a petrified bone's throw from a previous winner (Museum of the Rockies) for this category, the American Computer Museum is one powerful little data chip. It's the oldest operational museum of its kind, and covers more history than you would think—about 30,000 years' worth. With an impressive collection of artifacts, it's better than "a deal." It's FREE.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST DANCING
Rawckk That Body fundraiser

Shaking it for the critters! Having had a successful dance-fitness fundraiser event for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank (among other non-profits) this past December, Tara and her Rawckk That Body classes are back, continuing to provide Bozeman's greatest grooving experience, while finding ways to give back to Bozeman for its enthusiastic and loyal following.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST LAST REMAINING STRONGHOLD OF WESTERN CULTURE IN TOWN
Carter's Cobbler Shoppe

What I needed was a little padding to buffer a slamming door. When fate delivered me to Carter's, I was embraced by the home-spun atmosphere, was introduced to the insulated pack boots I've been wanting, felt like I'd made a new friend with the owner, learned all about English bridle leather, got what I needed, and spent one buck. Find a reason this season to go in there and buy something, would ya?
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST ASSISTED LIVING
Hillcrest Senior Living

'The city on the hill' boasts the best food, decor, programming, location, and the best best thing is the respect they give the people who do the most personal work with their clientele. Their caregivers are paid decently and with benefits, as well as given ample time to do their job. And—surprise—they stay longer (turnover is a big problem for these places) and make more meaningful relationships with our seniors.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST NON-PROFIT IN NEED OF A ONE-WAY TICKET TO GEORGIA
The Property and Environmental Research Center (PERC)

Do they aim to preserve natural resources like an environmental group? Offer a smorgasbord of research papers like an environmental group? Do they want to tear down public stream access like an environ— Wait a minute. PERC's spoken intent of maximizing stream habitat health by barring the public from certain stream access points is a tidy façade for a broader agenda to tear down Montana's model stream access legislation. And with all the instances of "tragedy of the commons" plaguing the planet, one might wonder why PERC is so arduous on this point in Montana's law. Could it be because the biggest fan of the stance is a part-time transplant billionaire from Georgia?
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST OF THE TWO OLD LIBRARIES
Bozeman Carnegie Library

Built with help from the $15K donated by steel mogul Andrew Carnegie in 1902, the Bozeman Carnegie Library commands attention on North Bozeman Avenue in full Classic Revival style. According to its historic marker, the town's early planners hoped that the new library would gentrify what was Bozeman's red light district. The building operated as a public library until 1980, and currently houses the Cok Kinzler law firm. Carnegie's founding donations for 2,509 libraries helped people worldwide gain access to intellectual spaces formerly reserved for the privileged few, and while it's admirable that we've outgrown the Carnegie building and moved our public library into the light-filled wonderbox on East Main, it's good to know that Bozeman is part of that legacy.
[back to top]

 

 
 
Best Culture
 
bozemans best award SECOND BEST CURSED COMMERCIAL SPACE
The Old Hatchery

Ah, the flak we took for this category last time. But for every person who didn't get upset by the notion, there were probably seven more with suggestions of other cursed venues in our fair city. Unless you're new to town, you should be familiar with the revolving door that is the Old Hatchery, located across from the Gallatin Valley Mall. It's a swell enough structure, but for some reason, it has gone through more restaurants than Anthony Bourdain on a tasting rampage. We love Café Zydeco (see above) and recommend they burn some sage and smudge that evil right outta there.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST NEIGHBORHOOD EXTREME MAKEOVER
The Northeast Side

Last year, residents of this corner of Bozeman successfully vanquished the evil pasta army that dared to invade. But what to do about all these huge, lion-faced homes that are popping up? It seems the free market has a solution for the troubles of NENA, and it's reminiscent of that quote from Braveheart when Longshanks says, "If we can't get them out, we'll breed them out."
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST MAYBE SALVAGE OF AN UNDERLOVED CIVIC VENUE
The East Willson School

Here's hoping one of those re-use offers we've heard about comes through or some forward thinker with a cool $6 million rides up on a stallion, saving the East Willson School from collapse and the schemers who wanted to poison it with roof leaks. Whether it ends up as low-income housing or a very large bed-and-breakfast, a start-up tech hub or company offices, we can only cross our fingers that it gets snapped up before bulldozing it is deemed the most cost-effective solution.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST MOST POWERFUL FIRST NAME
Mike

There are some major Mikes running the Bozeman's boys club. Starting at the top, Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat lives in Bozeman (Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath is from Butte). Mike Basile, owner of Prudential MT Real Estate, and Mike Delaney, of Delaney & Co., collectively own half the real estate in town between them. Mike Alvord, last year's winner of the Magpie's Best Dentist award, can still be found on any given weekday holding court at the café that is Kagy Korner Store around 8 a.m. And in case you own Big Sky and ever need an attorney (and can convince him to come out of retirement), Mike Kirwan is a good Mike to know. Whatever the case, the man of the hour around here is probably named Mike (and we'll continue to cheer on any Michelles or Michaelas who start chipping away at the club).
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST MONTANA'S DARKEST POLITICIAN
Montana Senator Majority Leader Art Wittich (R-Bozeman)

Montanans made it clear at the 2012 polls that America's current political theatre and the sideshow of 'Dark Money' are unwanted here. Embracing this strong message from constituents, Wittich personally accepted payment from American Tradition Partnership and dutifully served their cause to undermine democracy while in Helena. Wittich's law firm also represents the United Property Owners of Montana in a lawsuit that could rob the common folk of their right to public stream access, despite that right being clearly outlined in the State Constitution. Topping it off, elected legislators in Wittich's own party in the Senate openly deemed the Montana Senate leadership as "extremists" operating "in a maze of darkness," as well as "ludicrous" and out-of-touch.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST OVERHYPED, WASTED WATTAGE STORY OF THE YEAR
LIGHT POLLUTION FROM THE HOTEL BAXTER SIGN

Every now and again (and again), the enlightened from up on the hill at MSU come along and make us want to check the signatures of their degrees. Seriously, that neon sign is the fatal blow to a booming stargazing industry in the Gallatin Valley?
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST OVERCROWDING OF A STATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
Montana State University

Currently able to cram about 3,400 first years into university housing, MSU's freshman on-campus living requirement seems to be more about maximizing profits from a captive market than creating communities of new students. The current plan of masquerading historical single rooms as doubles, simply put, will not work. MSU needs to either slow admissions or come up with Plan B.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST PLACE TO SEE A RIVER OTTER WITHIN CITY LIMITS
Ice Pond Bridge

A real live river otter? As in Lutra canadensis? Actually in Bozeman, Montana?! Yes, I was mighty shocked, too, when I spotted this little guy (or gal) splashing about in Bozeman Creek mere yards from the cars zipping by on Church Street. Turn west on Ice Pond Road, just shy of the Peets Hill Trailhead and bring a lawn chair and patience. The otter shimmied its way into a rocky crevice in the bank, just downstream from the bridge, so that might be a prime place to set your sights.
[back to top]

 
bozemans best award BEST RIDICULOUS WASTE OF CHRONICLE INK
Greg Ainsworth in The Bozeman Daily Chronicle (February – April 2013)

On April 1, 2013, Mr. Ainsworth decoded weather-speak terminology commonly used by meteorologists for us simple folk. This was obviously an April's Fool's joke, because when describing area weather conditions in various articles in The Chronicle—written on the heels of Montana's worst fire season in a century—Ainsworth held no bars in his selection of scientifically informed vocabulary, describing the 2013 winter season as "head-scratching," "below average," and, get out your dictionaries, "ho-hum."

His sleuthing also dug into Montana temperature archives, pointing out, "Just a reminder that, even in the old days, not every winter was frigid. The warmest winter on record, based on average temperature, was 1933-34." With this one-dimensional scientific evidence on hand, we clearly have nothing to fret about . . . in spite of the fact that weeks later, the Department of Agriculture announced that Gallatin County and much of southern Montana were suffering "Severe Drought" and due to receive federal aid.

Here are two words that Greg, publisher Stephanie Essley, and editor Nick Ehli seem wholly unwilling to print: "climate change." The BDC has for years cut off honest environmental reporting, all apparently to spite Al Gore's face. They're still at it in 2013, at the tipping point of greatest risk humanity has ever faced, amidst the demonstrable stresses imposed on Montana's agriculture, tourism, and lifestyle by Man's environmental damage—and that's not funny in the least.
[back to top]

 
 
To promote the best journalism and brave news reporting in Montana, we update The Montana Magpie with 8 leading headlines on weekday mornings at 7 a.m.—and it's FREE. 
 
 
 
 
Advertiser Advertiser Advertiser
 
 
 
THE BOZEMAN MAGPIE
Perspective
Spotlight
The Big M-T
Gallery
The Magpie Reader
Beta Scout
RSS Feed
Search
Site Map
MARKETPLACE
Advertise
Store/Donate

ABOUT US
Contributors
About
Contact

LEGAL
Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy


Copyright © 2014 Bozeman Magpie
Developed By: RB Web Development