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Tully’s founder not sad to see Rainier ‘R’ replace ‘T’

Tom Tangney says he will really miss the Tully's T that sat atop the old Rainier brewery for more than a decade. (Image courtesy Facebook - Tully's)

A replica of the Rainier “R” will soon be atop the old Rainier brewery in place of the “T” that marked the Tully’s offices for over a decade. While many are excited about the return of the “R,” is anyone sad to see the “T” go?

KIRO’s Tom and Curley Show called up Tully’s namesake, Tom Tully O’Keefe to see how he feels about seeing the symbol for the company he founded coming down.

O’Keefe said seeing the “T” go wasn’t all that sad for him. The real sadness, he said comes from seeing the struggles the company has endured the past few years.

“I haven’t been involved in it in nearly four years and the sadness is what it becomes and of course, the debacle of the Patrick Dempsey [deal].”

Actor Patrick Dempsey gave up his stake in the partnership that bought Seattle’s Tully’s Coffee after suing his business partner for $2 million in August.

O’Keefe said rather than sadness, the return of the red “R” is something he’s actually pleased about.

“I think it’s fabulous they’ve made the decision to put the “R” back up.”

O’Keefe said it wasn’t their idea to pull the “R” down in the first place.

“Stroh’s brewing, who bought the Rainier brand, they made a decision to remove the “R” and donate it to MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry,” said O’Keefe. “We said, well God, there’s an empty spot, let’s put something up.”

But at least one person is very sad to see the red “R” come back to replace the green “T.”

“Since my name is Tom Tangney I took that “T” as a pride. I’m feeling more lost than you,” said KIRO Radio host Tom Tangney. “I loved that “T” up there. The big question is what is going to happen to the “T?”

Since he’s been out of the business the past few years, O’Keefe said he doesn’t know where the “T” will go, but he gets the idea the current owners aren’t that sentimental about it.

“I don’t think it’s very valuable for whoever is running the company today,” said O’Keefe, who added if he does get word it’s available, he’ll make a motion it go to Tom.

“If I find out about it, I’ll ship it to your backyard,” O’Keefe said.

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