The Lostine Tavern is planning a New Year’s Eve bash at the nightspot Tuesday, Dec. 31.

The party begins at 7 p.m. A cover charge of $15 will be charged for food, the band and a champagne toast.

The “LT,” as owner Peter Ferre and many others call it, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of locals, especially to Justin and Grace Zollman Hay, who met there at a New Year’s Eve party in 2016.

“That’s where I met my future husband,” Grace recalled.

She said Justin was playing part of the time with the band Good Question that night.

“We just happened to sit at the same table. We had mutual friends,” she said. “He was there and we started talking. The rest is history.”

Part of that history is that they married May 26 this year, bought a cabin up the Lostine Canyon and are expecting their first child in March. At the time they met, Justin was attending the Oregon State Police Academy and now works for the OSP out of La Grande, but his patrol area brings him home to Wallowa County.

“The LT is a pretty special place,” Grace said. “Peter’s done a really good job of remodeling.”

But Grace’s pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t show up again this year.

“We may make an appearance,” she said.

The LT is in a historic building that first served as a pharmacy and doctor’s office in 1902. It later transitioned into an old-school soda fountain. By the 1940s, it was a tavern and local hangout. Since then it has also housed the first farm-to-table eating establishment in eastern Oregon.

Ferre said that at this year’s party there will be dancing to the tunes of Casey Kiser and the Jakewalk Saints, a trio of three young local men. Ferre said it may be the last time for awhile that locals will be able to hear them.

“But I hope not,” he said.

Ferre said two members of the group are moving to Nashville to pursue careers in music.

“They’re really passionate about their music,” he said.

Next week’s bash will be the second-annual New Year’s Eve Formal, according to a press release. Attire for the “formal” is formal, thrifty or funny, the release stated.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Sanctuary Studio, a not-for-profit yoga/meditation and wellness center.

Ferre operated the tavern until late-summer 2016, when it was remodeled and transitioned to just opening for special occasions. He said he reopens for about a dozen such occasions a year.

“We have parties, weddings, anniversaries and we’ve even had a funeral there,” he said.

The tavern is located at 125 Highway 82 in Lostine. Anyone interested in booking the tavern for a special event can call Ferre at 1-615-429-0502.

Grace Hay still holds the place close.

“It was the beginning of the rest of my life,” she said. “You never know. Go to a New Year’s Eve party and you might meet your future husband.”

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