One hundred years may be a lifetime, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s barely a blink.

Montana became a state about 127 years ago, and that’s about how long many of its oldest establishments have been cooking meals and pouring beers. Here are five local centenarians on the dining scene:

The Union Grille Restaurant in Fort Benton

The Union Grille is attached to the historic Grand Union Hotel, and it remains one of Fort Benton’s finest food establishments. Their ground floor location overlooking the Missouri River is almost as wonderful as their food.

The Rex Billings

BOB ZELLAR/Gazette Staff
No longer a hotel, The Rex Restaurant Bar & Grill still illuminates the night with its neon sign, highlighting its rich history as a hotel, Buffalo Bill Cody's meeting place and a survivor of the prohibition era.

The Rex Hotel was built in 1910 by Alfred Heimer, Buffalo Bill Cody’s chef for his Wild West Show. It was considered one of the best places in Billings to stay, and it was so popular that a third floor was added in 1917. Business suffered when the railroad industry declined, but these days The Rex is a popular restaurant in the historic district.

The Old Hotel Twin Bridges

The town of Twin Bridges might be quaint, but it’s near some of North America’s finest trout waters. The dinner menu changes every week at the Old Hotel, but the building itself is a classic that was constructed in 1879.

The Owl Cafe in Laurel

Gazette file photo
The Owl Cafe in Laurel has been open for more than a century.

The Owl Cafe celebrated its 100th birthday in August, and its classic comfort food is just as tasty as ever. Go for the Bluegrass & Breakfast on Saturdays. It’s as fun as it sounds.

The Double Front Chicken in Missoula

When the Double Front was built in 1909, it didn’t have a back door or alley (hence its name). During the years of Prohibition, some bootlegging is said to have occurred on the property. These days, all you’ll find is the incredibly delicious fried chicken they’ve been serving since 1935.

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