ST. JOSEPH - A longstanding bar and grill in St. Joseph is closing its doors after 70 years in the community.

El Paso became well known for its fish frys and volleyball leagues but Carole and Tasha Tamm say they'll always remember it as one big family.

"We were always very happy to have on holidays-police officers or customers who didn't have a place to go, we would invite them in for supper. They were always welcome here."

El Paso will have its last day of business on Saturday. After 50 years with the business, Owner Carole Tamm says she’s ready to spend more time relaxing with her family and volunteering. She adds that she’ll never forget the weddings and special occasions that were held in the building.

"We have numerous thank you cards on how much they appreciated it. I think that was the most rewarding thing for me, that I helped make their wedding a success and that they were so happy."

Tamm's family has run the bar over the decades, starting with her father, who returned home from the service in 1945 and bought a bar about a block from the current El Paso building. After just two weeks in business, a fire destroyed the bar. The family spend the next half a year rebuilding and reopening the bar.

The family later built a new bar in it's current spot in the 1960's. Carole says it included six bowling lanes and they started selling food in 1966.

They put in volleyball courts in the 80's, which became a popular event at the building.

Both Carole and Tasha say it will be sad to see the building go, but are ultimately excited for a Kwik Trip to move in. Carole is grateful for her family all helping at the business at some point in time and looks forward to retirement.

"I'll still be here in St. Joe, I look forward to keeping active in the community. I just don't know what it's like to have Friday's and Saturday's off."

The St. Joseph planning commission will be considering a special use/variance on October 12 for the Kwik Trip development. This would be the fifth Kwik Trip in the St. Cloud Metro area. They plan to open two stores in St. Cloud and one in Waite Park within the next year. They also plan to open another location in Sartell.

Dan DeBaun, WJON