Here are a couple of drawings I did while in Butte last fall.
I love Butte. It’s about 85 miles west of me, which in Montana terms is a hop skip and a jump. Every time I go, I comb the streets and always find new and interesting things and always leave with the feeling that I’ve barely scratched the surface. Butte is a city of hidden treasures, of tucked away secrets, of back rooms and second stories.
According to the Butte city webpage, the M+M has been open since 1890. It is half lunch counter and half bar, the bar being the counter on your left as you walk in, the lunch counter being the one on your right. In the back is gaming.
Food at the cafe is excellent, and as it is cooked behind the counter, you get a show as you wait. The stools are a type I have never seen before, with a vertical “twist” ripple to their top. The cafe logo is embossed in their seat covers.
We were in Butte, working the National Folk Festival, and hit up the cafe twice, once during the three day festival, and once a day after. While the event was in town, the M&M was standing room only. It was so full and swamped that we gave up. The second time was different, slower, once the festival had left town, and it was back to mostly locals.
I love the juxtaposition of the M&M and the R&R. The Neon, the hand painted sign on the side of the building and the lettering in the trimwork up top all proudly announce the name of the cafe. The stainless facade adds some sparkle to the old brick building. The current neon was added sometime after 1939. A different piece is found in this 1939 picture of the cafe on Shorpy. The town doesn’t look all that different, though than it did 70 odd years ago.