Tally’s Dockside has been a fixture on the western shore of White Bear Lake since it opened in 1939 as the Anchor Inn. Since that time, it has had three names and several owners, but the purpose has remained steady: to provide access to the lake.
The business has operated as a boat rental, convenience stop and gathering place for more than 75 years. The presence of Tally’s on White Bear Lake is a physical link that connects directly back to the community’s past as Minnesota’s first resort town, when the western shore was booming with boat-builders and large hotels. The original building that housed the operation was a garage that was moved across the street to the shore by Clarence Elsner, when he opened the Anchor Inn. The family converted a former Mobil gas station into their home and operated out of the garage as the Anchor Inn during the 1940s.
Tally and Millie Blommer were responsible for changing the name to Tally’s Anchor Inn during their ownership, which ran from 1956 to 1980. The Blommers also cultivated the reputation of Tally’s as a gathering place and popular destination on the shore, whether you were boating or traveling by land.
Current owners Keith and Jan Dehnert have operated the business as Tally’s Dockside since 1990, and have continued those traditions instilled a generation before. With the 2008 addition of CG Hooks Eatery, the Dehnerts have added Memphis-style barbecue and ice cream to the mix. Live music throughout the summer has become a staple for Tally’s, and gives the community the opportunity to enjoy the lake that gave us our start.
For more information on the history of Tally’s Dockside, visit whitebearhistory.org, or call 651.407.5327.