Retrospective: Closed Billings bars

Retrospective: Closed Billings bars

A look back at some of the bars that once served thirsty customers in Billings and Laurel.

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Melissa Gjerde's phone started going crazy at about 11 p.m. Monday with a flurry of congratulatory text messages.

Much to Gjerde's surprise, Yahoo! Travel has selected the Rock Pile, 1207 N. 27th St., on its list of the nation's 50 Best Dive Bars.

Gjerde, who manages the Rock Pile, never spoke to anybody from Yahoo! Travel before the list made the Internet. And at least one friend who contacted Gjerde to congratulate her doesn't consider the Rock Pile a dive bar.

In fact, before sitting down for an interview Tuesday morning, Gjerde quickly wiped down of a high-top table.

With a bank of three large-screen TVs tuned to sports channels Tuesday morning, the Rock Pile has more of a sports bar vibe. But Gjerde isn't complaining about the publicity.

"I guess the stars just aligned," she said.

This summer, the Rock Pile is also gaining a reputation as a destination for bull riding right in downtown Billings.

Gjerde was pleased that Yahoo! Travel's writeup included mention of the bar and restaurant's chicken-fried steak.

"We use a six-ounce New York steak, which is hand pounded and breaded to order," Gjerde said. "Our chicken-fried steak is awesome. In fact, all of our food is made to order."

But 

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