A Griz football legend now has a stake in one of downtown Missoula’s most historic and iconic drinking establishments.
The Missoula Club bar in downtown Missoula – everyone calls it the Mo Club – has been purchased by former University of Montana standout and current NFL player Colt Anderson and his brother, Beau. The deal closed on July 6, before Colt Anderson had to head back east to attend training camp with the Buffalo Bills.
The Andersons, Butte natives, both graduated from the University of Montana. Beau started working the bar in 2007, and now he’ll manage the day-to-day operations while Colt tries to keep his professional dream alive.
Colt started working at at the Mo Club in 2006. He was a key contributor on the 2008 UM Griz football squad that played for the FCS national title, and then was signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent safety and special teams ace the following year. Colt still comes back to Montana during the off season, and spends time in Missoula, Butte and at his house on Flathead Lake.
The two brothers closed on the deal with former owner Mark Laslovich on July 6. Colt also owns a clothing company with their other brother, Luke.
“We’ve always kind of talked about it," Beau explained. "I think it was around a year ago that we talked about it again and started working on it."
The Mo Club was originally built in 1890 as part of the Missoula Hotel and moved into the current location at 139 W. Main in 1926 after a fire. It’s a classic sports bar and the burgers are famous among locals. Beau still chops onions in the mornings, and estimates they sell over 250 on a busy day.
The bar’s local status is such that Bill Clinton decided to pay a visit in 2008 when he was in Missoula to campaign for his wife Hillary in the Democratic presidential primary election. A rumor spread that the former president bought shots for everyone, but Beau says it’s not quite true.
“What happened is the owner Las called down and said, 'Get everyone a shot of the Red Apples and just say it’s on Bill,' " Beau recalled. “I think the Missoulian called the next day and the bartender that answered the phone wasn’t there that night and said, 'Yeah, (Clinton) bought a round of shots.’ The Democratic Party wanted us to retract that. When (Clinton) came in it was empty, and people started texting and it was full within minutes.”
Beau said he and his brother don’t have plans for any major changes.
“Las had a good business, and we’re going to kind of stick with what we know,” he said.