As many legends do, the Big Bull Bar & Grill began from humble beginnings. First built in the 1950s, the “Winston Bar” was a local watering hole for Winston residents and travelers alike. Sometime thereafter the bar expanded with two additions to the original structure to become the bar and dining room we know today.
The bar was a steak and seafood restaurant before it was purchased by Larry and Jackie Templin. Larry and Jackie saw the diamond-in-the-rough and began a complete overhaul of the business. After seven short months the Winston Bar was reborn as the Big Bull Bar and Grill and successfully reclaimed its place in the hearts of locals and visitors with tasty burgers, friendly staff, and a large selection of ice cold beer.
The inside of the bar was updated with a rusted metal and wood-slab bar with matching high-top tables. The whole dining area is open after the original dividing walls were removed and large windows were added. The spacious dining room has plenty of room for families large and small and views of the Elkhorn Mountains across the valley. The barback and walls are decorated with metal art made by owner Larry Templin – you can even take one home with you, as many of the pieces are for sale. Larry also does custom metal art that will knock your socks off – check out his website here.
The bar offers poker/keno/line games and serves a menu of appetizers, burgers, lunch and dinner entrees, and desserts — all made in house and served piping hot by our friendly staff.
The renovation truly restored the old Winston Bar to its glory days and Larry and Jackie couldn’t be more proud of what they have been able to accomplish with the support of the Winston community and staff of people dedicated to making the Big Bull a success.
That’s all she wrote. Come on down and join us in writing the next chapter in the rich history of the Big Bull Bar & Grill.
The town of Winston, Montana dates back to the late 1800s when it was established by the Winston Brothers from Minneapolis who were contracted to haul ore from the nearby East Pacific Mine. The railroad siding was then located in the town of Placer one mile north when the Winston Brothers officially established a new siding in Winston in 1892. The Railroad was more interested in the wayside in Winston as it was better positioned than Placer to allow the rail cars to roll down hill after being loaded with heavy ore from the nearby mines. Shortly thereafter the US Post Office moved from Placer to Winston and the rest was history.1
The old stonehouse visible from the highway was built by the Dodge Brothers and served as rooming house. The town of Winston was frequented by travelers between Helena and Townsend and once had a saloon, hotel, restaurant, rooming house, store, post office and jail.2
The area’s mineral activities date back to the civil war era in the mid-1800s when homesteading settlers explored the area hills and streams for gold deposits. Mining activities became more advanced with the discovery of large gold and gold ore deposits in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The area’s largest mine, the East-Pacific, was large enough to have its own camp-city known as Eagle City, complete with mine-shops, a three-story bunkhouse, a boarding house, and numerous shacks.3
Since the roaring mining days, Winston has remained a small community of hard-working Montanans who enjoy life one day at a time. Farming and ranching is popular in the area and the nearby Elkhorn Mountains and Canyon Ferry Lake have some of the best hunting and fishing in the state. We don’t mean to brag but we’ve got it pretty darn good here in good ol’ Winston, Montana.
Come see Winston for yourself and stop in for a burger and ice cold beer while you’re here – you’ll be glad you did.
Did we mention the Elkhorns? They’re right out our front door and are world renowned for trophy elk. More than hunting, the elkhorns offer a world of adventure for outdoor enthusiasts eager to explore the 300,000-acre mix of alpine lakes, forests, meadows, aspen groves, granite outcrops, and juniper shrublands. The area was designated a permanent forest reserve in 1905 by President Theodore Roosevelt and has been largely untouched by man aside from grazing and hunting activities since.4
On the other side of the Big Bull Bar & Grill stands the third largest body of water in Montana, the Canyon Ferry Lake. The lake is actually a reservoir fed by the Missouri river and held by the Canyon Ferry Dam on the reservoirs north end. Fishing is popular on Canyon Ferry for trout, perch and walleye species. The White Earth access turn-off is right at the Big Bull Bar & Grill making it very convenient for boat access, shore fishing and camping, including RV spaces. 5