Sandpoint Magazine Winter 2002 Sandpoint Magazine Winter 2002
Sandpoint Magazine

Sandpoint Magazine Winter 2002

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‘H--- No, the Tam Won’t Go’

In most places, progress pushes out the old to make room for the new. But not at 411 Cedar. Sandpoint’s Tam O’ Shanter will continue to serve the coldest beer in town long after the newest addition to Connie’s Motor Inn, which now surrounds the historic bar, opens this summer.

While executive types and tourists relax upstairs in relative luxury, old-time Sandpoint working folks – loggers, railroad workers and utility linemen – will continue to gather at their favorite rustic watering hole downstairs. Last fall, when a local news item incorrectly suggested the place would be torn down, Tam owners Leonard and Helen Haugse reaffirmed their promise that the bar would never sell.

“It will stay right where it is, as long as it’s in the family,” Haugse says.

Reminiscent of the Alamo, the little bar, aka “Tervan,” stood its ground amidst the rubble of neighboring structures being razed for Connie’s construction. A sign outside read “H—- No, the Tam Won’t Go.” Tam regulars couldn’t have been happier.

“We really appreciate Leonard not selling us down the tubes,” says Pat Ramsay who tends bar four times weekly. Ramsay also spearheads holiday fundraising projects. Besides their adopt-a-family program which aids three families each Christmas, Tam regulars give generously to Muscular Dystrophy, Wishing Star Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and youth cancer.

“It’s (Tam camaraderie) like neighbors,” Ramsay says. “It’s like our community used to be – old friends who shared their groceries and their gardens.”

Meanwhile, the owners of Connie’s, Hospitality Associates, plan to make the most of having an old-time bar smack dab in the middle of their newest addition of unique suites, rooms, meeting center, gift shop and parking area. In fact, during the construction phase, Hospitality Associates’ crews even shored up the foundation and replaced the water line for the bar.

Connie’s Manager Bonnie Sanborn says Sandpoint visitors who want to see some local flavor won’t have to go far.

“It’s home to Sandpoint’s original loggers’ bar,” Sanborn said. “The people in there are the heartbeat of Sandpoint; they’re good people.”

– Marianne Love

Summer 1999

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