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Pair create haven for Cottage Grove kids.

Byline: Profile by The Register-Guard

Name: Tami Bomar, 38, of Cottage Grove

Claim to fame: Creator, along with her husband, John, of the Cottage Grove Lighthouse, a new downtown "hang-out" for young people and their families at 725 E. Gibbs Ave.

What the Lighthouse offers: A place where kids can go to be with their friends in a safe environment and where children and adults can enjoy each other's company. "I guess you could call it a `faith-based place' - that means no cussing, no fighting, just good clean fun," Bomar says. The Lighthouse features a restaurant, a half-dozen pool tables and twice as many nonviolent arcade games, board games, occasional live music and even a drive-through window for coffee and food.

Why the name: "We wanted this place to be a safe haven for people, especially children," Bomar says. "A lighthouse describes that." The theme carries over into the decor, much of it painted by local students and friends of the Bomars. Oregon Coast lighthouses are painted on the ends of the booths, and one wall looks like a seascape complete with a picket fence, coastal sunset and, of course, a lighthouse.

How it all came together: Not easily - after years of use as a bar, the place was "a mess," Bomar says. "The roof was so bad, we're told they used to take bets about where the water was going to pour down on someone next." Even worse, the walls and ceilings wore thick coats of cigarette smoke, and the floors were covered with beer and other residue.

What made them go through with it: "Between us, we have five children - John had two and I had three - and they were all around middle-school age," Bomar says. "We just felt that Cottage Grove didn't have a good place for kids to go and spend time. There are 1,300 middle- and high-school age kids in this city - this was something the community needed that we could do and nobody else had done."

How it's working: Business has been brisk since the Lighthouse opened at the beginning of the year, with as many as 150 students gathering there on weekend nights. Food and drinks are for sale but admission is free.

When they're open: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Coffee and breakfast are available at the drive-through beginning at 6 a.m. Call 942-1112 for more information.

- Randi Bjornstad

Got an idea? If you know someone who would make a great subject for a Register-Guard "Profile," send it to Lloyd Paseman at lpaseman@guardnet.com or P.O. Box 10188, Eugene OR 97440.

CAPTION(S):

CHRIS PIETSCH / The Register-Guard Tami Bomar and her husband, John, turned an old Cottage Grove bar into a family-oriented entertainment center and restaurant.
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Title Annotation:General News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 3, 2002
Words:479
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