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Community tradition: Tiny’s Tavern 2018 Business of the Year

Tiny’s Tavern owner Robert Purdy, son Nick Purdy, and manager Cheryl Cook. Melissa Wagoner

By Melissa Wagoner

Tiny’s Tavern in Mount Angel is not just a bar – it’s a part of the community, according to owner Robert Purdy.

“We try to help out all the community from the Community Center to the Chamber,” he noted, “donations, flower baskets, school donations and we sponsor a sports team for Oktoberfest.”

All of this generosity has earned Tiny’s Tavern the 2018 Business of the Year award from the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce.  The award will be presented March 18 during a banquet at the Festhalle.

“Tiny’s Tavern deserves to be Business of the Year,” the anonymous nominator wrote. “Tiny’s has always been the gathering spot for local farmers and businessmen in the community since the day it opened up. Even when a stranger comes in they feel welcome.”

In business for 77 years, Tiny’s Tavern – originally named “Al’s Place” – was opened by Al Weldy the year after Prohibition was lifted. The name was changed to Tiny’s in honor of the next owner, a Mt. Angel Police Chief who – legend has it – was large in stature, earning him the ironic nickname “Tiny.”

Because of its long history, Tiny’s is full of stories. The back bar was reportedly imported by boat from Europe and the massive collection of beer taps that covers the circumference of the bar is allegedly one of the largest collections around. It is also steeped in traditions.

“Friday nights we have peanuts on the floor,” Purdy said. “Sundays are Truth Hour – it’s when a lot of the farmers come in. And there’s a tradition that with all the weddings they always kidnap the bride and bring her to Tiny’s for a drink.”

One of the oldest businesses in Mount Angel, Tiny’s is a gathering place for the whole community – young and old alike.

“We have 21 year-olds right up to 85-year-olds,” Purdy stated. “And we’re open 365 days a year. We even open on Christmas because some of our customers’ birthdays are on Christmas.”

That dedication to customers is part of the reason Tiny’s has made a point of helping the community wherever a need arises.

“Tiny’s, over the years, has helped with the local
Mt. Angel Legion’s Turkey Shoot,” the nominator wrote. “They have donated prizes and discounted products and volunteered to pour the beer using their own license to save the Legion money.

“This past year they donated $500 to the Mt. Angel Community Foundation for their year-end appeal for a new range and a new water softener.”

The list of entities that have benefited from the tavern’s generosity goes on and on but when asked how he feels about winning the award, Purdy humbly defers to the bar’s manager, Cheryl Cook, who has been with Tiny’s Tavern for over 25 years.

“It’s just a great meeting place where everybody knows everybody,” she answered. “And they’re great people to work for too.”

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