By Kay Braddock
Owners Clinton and Phyllis Mittlieder hosted a 60th anniversary celebration for the Roy Rogers Tavern Saturday evening. Drink and dinner plate specials were offered. Door prizes were handed out to customers throughout the evening as well.
“We had a nice bunch,” Phyllis said of those who gathered for the special occasion.
Phyllis bought the Roy Rogers Tavern with husband Gary Twiford in 1987. The couple moved to Terry from Baker, where they had owned and operated the Green Dragon.
As well as operating the popular bar, which offers menu items from the Roy Rogers’ kitchen for dining-in or take-out, the couple also raised their three sons, Brent, Todd and Troy, in Terry. After Gary’s death, Clinton and Phyllis married in 2007, continuing ownership and management of the bar.
In 1995 a remodeling project was undertaken, improving the back room of the establishment. The project included remodeling the ceiling, flooring and walls. New lighting was added, as well as new tables and chairs. An air conditioning and heating system was also updated. Other improvements to the establishment in recent years have included the addition of an exhaust system for the 10-by-13-foot kitchen and handcrafted front room dining tables built by Clinton in 2005. New chairs have also been added to the front area of the bar.
In preparation for the 60th celebration Clinton researched Roy Rogers’ past ownership by collecting information from the courthouse, as well through archives of The Terry Tribune.
In the Oct. 11, 1951 issue of The Tribune, Clinton found a full page ad announcing the Grand Opening of the Roy Rogers Tavern for Saturday, Oct 13, 1951. Although the establishment was managed by Roy Rogers, court documents Clinton found suggested that Claude Wagner actually owned the building. Clinton was unable to find ownership history of the liquor license for the establishment, even after contacting a Helena state office.
Inside the 1951 Grand Opening ad the following businesses offered the new establishment their congratulations: Stith Hardware Co., Fullerton Lumber Co., Gambles Store, Falkenstern Implement Co., Vic Newman, Terry Plumbing Shop, Scholl’s Electric Shop, Miller’s Cabinet Shop.
The compilation of historical items gathered has been framed and now hangs in the back room of the tavern.
Before Roy Rogers Tavern was established, the building housing the tavern had once served as a car garage, Clinton said.
Roy Rogers continues to be a solid business in Terry, said Phyllis.
“Hunting season is real good,” she added, when asked whether visiting hunters provide additional income.
But beyond finances, Phyllis points to appreciative customers who really make the work of owning and managing a bar worthwhile.
Published Sept. 21, 2011