Making A Splash
One night in 1996 Sandra Thares sat at a table in the already famous Tiki Lounge that she owns and operates and contemplated the fun that could be had if the Lounge featured swimming mermaids for New Year’s Eve. It was an idea that proved to be the dawning of a staple feature of the lounge. Along with it’s shining star “Piano Pat” and the hotel’s underwater pool view, it’s a unique experience that can only be had in Great Falls, Montana and is a true piece of Americana.
Since then, the Sip ‘n Dip has become famous! GQ named it the #1 bar worth flying for, it has been the backdrop for music videos, and the spot for celebrity swimming and sing-alongs with Pat.
The Sip ‘n Dip added Mermaid Brunch to their offerings awhile back to provide kids an opportunity to see the mermaids, as patrons under 21 are not permitted in the lounge after 9 pm. The brunch is offered on the first and third Sunday of every month starting at 10 am.
Mermaids & Mermen
Sandra hand sews each tail specific to each merperson. Capturing personality and individuality of its wearer. The mermaids and mermen swim in an indoor pool, however, the water temp can become cool for the merfolk, so they swim in 15 minute intervals with a 15 minute break poolside in between.
Maybe even more famous than the mermaids, Piano Pat has be delighting audiences at the Sip ‘n Dip for over 40 years. Beginning as a way to supplement her income, the now 80+ lounge singer has released a CD of her favorite hits and can be caught encouraging participation of patrons with a rousing round of Sweet Caroline!
Montana’s BEST Tiki Drink
The Fish Bowl is the iconic drink at the Sip ‘n Dip. The original version is large enough for you and all of your friends. The recipe is held close to the vest at the lounge and is worth the time to drink. If you aren’t up for the original, they have a smaller version for you to try as well.
The Love of Downtown
Sandra, along with her family, love downtown Great Falls! The Sip ‘n Dip is in downtown, as are some of her favorite places to shop and eat. Thares serves on the board of the Great Falls Police Community Foundation and volunteers her time with the Downtown Safety Alliance. Sandra is a tireless supporter of rodeo in Great Falls and enjoys getting outdoors to walk and relax anytime she can!
Article titled “Welcome to the Campiest Place on Earth,” about the “kitch-tastic tiki bar.” by The New York Times
2nd Place for “America’s Favorite Historic Bar” by National Trust for Historic Preservation.
One of the 10 best tiki bars in the United States- USA Today
Called “Polynesia on the Plains” by CBS Sunday Morning.
Listed as one of the top 10 bars in the world, ranking it as the “#1 bar…worth flying for” by GQ Magazine
Called “one of the kitschiest, wackiest, and flat-out coolest nightspots, not just in Montana, but in the entire West.” by Frommer’s travel guide