Places: Columbia Falls’ Montana Coffee Traders

By Beacon Staff

If you’re looking for superior live music, head to Montana Coffee Traders in Columbia Falls where pickers gather once a month to shake the blues out of you.

On the first Friday of each month, the popular coffee shop and restaurant extends their normal hours to feed patrons a little dinner with a side of bluegrass and folk. Dinner, a selected entree by Coffee Traders staff, begins at 6 p.m. Musicians take the stage at 6:30 p.m. and play until 9 p.m.

“Unless people are having a great time,” said manager Mikki Radabah. “If people want to hang out they can hang out.”

For the past six months, the first Friday music has gained popularity in the community so arrive early to get a seat.

“It gives people somewhere to go besides a bar,” said Radabah. “And of course there is good coffee. The best coffee.”

The smokeless atmosphere is only a part of the family-friendly ambiance. Local pickers round out the scene with expertly executed bluegrass and folk standards.

The next first Friday music is Sept. 5, 2008. Musicians will include Brenda Hanson, a local artist from Whitefish who will be playing guitar and banjo. Her husband Robert Hanson will be on upright base, Dave Hunt on guitar and Rachael Masat on mandolin and vocals.

If you are interested in playing with the group, drop by on Friday and talk with Rachael Masat.

How to get there: Montana Coffee Traders is located on U.S. Highway 2 in Columbia Falls just west of the intersection of Nucleus Avenue.