If you never been to Columbus, MT and checked out The New Atlas Bar, you are seriously missing out. As one of the oldest bars in Montana, this unique establishment has a fun history and ambiance that everyone loves. It’s no secret that the bar scene is something that Montana is well known for, and it’s also true that we love history. When you tie in state history with well-crafted brews, you get a place that becomes a go-to destination for local residents and visitors.
Here we go over everything you need to know about The New Atlas Bar so that you’ll be excited to grab a drink the next time you’re in Stillwater County.
The New Atlas Bar: 7 Things You Might Not Know
Whether you’re a regular at The New Atlas Bar, or you’re simply headed to Montana to visit, we’ve found a few fun facts that you might not have known before.
1. It was originally named the Headquarters Bar.
When the building first opened as a bar in the 1880s, it was called the Headquarters Bar and was co-owned by Tom Mulvehill and J.O. Miller. Since then it has been a resting place for Columbus, MT residents, and a staple for most people in Stillwater County and the surrounding areas.
2. It’s over 100 years old.
Officially, the bar was established as The New Atlas Bar in 1916, which makes this historical landmark over 100 years old and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Did you know it was once a brothel? Previous owners say it’s haunted but you should come to see for yourself. Stop in and read about the colorful history of the Atlas Block. One of Stillwater’s “Must-See” locations. Though some people might not be a huge fan of the bar scene, this particular establishment prides itself on being active in the community and helping people in the area however they can.
3. It’s covered in animal mounts.
If you didn’t know this when you walked in, you might be a little surprised when first stepping foot here. The New Atlas Bar is covered in over 70 animal mounts. From deer and elk, a two-headed calf, an albino fawn, and so many others, this is definitely a sight you have to see to believe.
4. At one time, women weren’t allowed in the main bar.
When you first walk into the bar, you’ll notice a small room. This was at one point reserved for women, as women were not allowed to drink with the men in the main section of the bar. We’re glad that’s not the case anymore!
5. Someone once tried to rob the bar in 2004.
Two men from South Dakota tried to rob The New Atlas Bar around closing time in August 2001. They had a handgun and a rifle, and tied up the bartender and the three late-night attendees, and booked it out the back door with some cash.
However, they didn’t do a very good job of tying up their captives, and the four quickly escaped and chased the robbers, taking shots at their getaway car. Luckily, the Montana Highway Patrol was able to swiftly apprehended the two.
6. There is a burnout memorial on the floor.
A while back, Columbus business owners Hank and Linda Davis were tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. The town honored them with a motorcycle parade and their son did a burnout in The New Atlas Bar on the hardwood floors. You can still see the tracks to do this day, and it serves as a lasting memorial to the Davises.
7. Stop by and say “Hello” to new owners Gena and Shawn Pluid.
In 2016, Gena and Shawn purchased the bar from Lars and Jami Swanson and their sister Dana Gabel. Gena Pluid (Rasmussen) grew up in Columbus and was ready to come back and make it her home once again. Besides the 70+ mounts, you will see the original 100+ year old barbacks still adorning the walls. They are amazing! When you come to visit you will notice new buddy bars, additional TV’s, 2 pool tables, dart boards, fun events for every season, and the tastiest and most unique pizzas in town. Happy Hour weekdays from 5-7pm, so we will see you there. Cheers!
Now that you know everything there is to know about The New Atlas Bar, you can start planning your next visit to Columbus in Stillwater County. Kids are even allowed in the bar till 8 pm, so if you’re traveling with your family, stop by the historic Atlas building, wander around, and make sure you order one of their amazing pizzas.
Both the bar and the people in it have a story to tell, and we are sure you won’t regret stopping by. Check their local Facebook page for events, new brews, and meet the owners and bartenders. Plan your visit today!
Locals, did we miss anything? What fun facts do you know about The New Atlas Bar?