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When Gina Lombardi opened the Sail Inn in 1990, neither she nor her business partners were certain the Tempe bar would last. It did, and then some.
Admittedly, it was a risky venture. A kitschy, nautical-themed neighborhood joint, complete with fish art and employees in captain's hats, located along a lonely stretch of road far from the hullabaloo of Mill Avenue near the bottom of the dry Salt River. A half-dozen others had tried and subsequently failed to catch on years before Sail Inn launched, and it, too, could've easily run aground.
It didn't, thanks to the never-say-die-attitude of Lombardi and co-owners Ed and Bill Whitman, all veterans of the Tempe bar biz. Through the years, the Sail developed a word-of-mouth following among diehard Tempe drinkers and, particularly, local musicians.
Read More: The Sail Inn: An Oral History of a Tempe Music Landmark
Published on June 27, 2014