Opening/Closing

The Sail Inn: An Oral History of a Tempe Music Landmark

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.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.