On a late summer night, after the dry and dusty Idaho weather has delivered a thorough pruning and chapping, Montego Bay is cocktail fairyland. Palm fronds, tiki huts, frozen foo-foo things in every color of the rainbow, the light of the moon slicing into the surface of Silver Lake. If I were prone to exaggeration, I might make some ostentatious declaration about Montego Bay being a slice of Jamaica hidden in the sprawl of Lake Harbor. Verbal flamboyance aside, it's fair enough to say the Bay is the most likely point of collection for Parrotheads valleywide.
Though I was disappointed to see the bar-in-the-round obliterated, the stage that's replaced it is a welcome and necessary addition to the party. The crowd is often diverse, with the Margaritaville types collecting in the main bar area and on the dance floor and the gamesters converging at pool tables and in front of dart boards in the space formerly known as The Dish (whose curtains and art deco patio furniture seem just as well suited for the Bay). And then there's the patio. Several levels of patios, covered and uncovered, and two docks hover above the darkness of the water at night, and it's all well suited not only for summer lakeside partying, but for winter as well, thanks to modern technology.
The worst thing about the Bay is being released from the tropical clutches of its paradisiacal cocoon and forced back out onto the harsh reality of State Street, which is decidedly less Buffett-esque. But that's because the whole thing is three stocked bars, a mess of outdoor fun (including the comedy that ensues when the inebriated, on occasion, attempt to row home) and some of my favorite bartenders (to see for yourself, go bug Crike and Ken).
Montego Bay, 3000 N. Lakeharbor Lane, 853-5070