Feature Stories

Spring 2014

A Bolt of New Energy at The Tam

Drawing on nearly a century of history, we’ve reached back for inspiration in the creation of the Tam O’Shanter’s new look.

Our new uniforms have a more informal, contemporary look, while still honoring the restaurant’s Scottish theme. Our new uniforms have a more informal, contemporary look, while still honoring the restaurant’s Scottish theme.

SINCE IT OPENED 92 YEARS AGO, Lawry’s legendary Tam O’Shanter has been a roadside stop, a burger joint and lunch counter, the original drive-in eatery, a “commissary” for Disney Studios, a fine dining establishment and a convivial neighborhood restaurant and bar… but it has never lost the feeling of fun and whimsy that has endeared it to generations of diners.

The logo features off-kilter lettering reminiscent of one of our earliest logos and includes a bolt of lightning described in the 1791 Robby Burns poem after which our Scottish restaurant is named. In “Tam O’Shanter, A Tale,” a farmer named Tam narrowly escapes a band of angry witches who chase him through the dark and stormy night. One vivid line reads: “The lightnings flash from pole to pole… near and more near the thunders roll.”

The sign symbolizes the new energy and spirit of fun found at today’s Tam.

The sign symbolizes the new energy and spirit of fun found at today’s Tam.

Through the 1930s and 40s different eye-catching neon signs featuring a flashing lightning bolt towered above the restaurant.

The 1930s Tam O'Shanter sign

The 1930s Tam O’Shanter sign

Today, we’ve once again embraced the bolt as a fitting symbol of the Tam’s energy. It can be found on our new sign on Los Feliz Blvd., on the menu and, if you look closely, on the female servers’ uniforms.
The latest menu design brings back a colorful character from the restaurant’s past, Mr. McTavish, and contains some of the playful, Scottish-influenced language and humor contributed by co-founder (and ad man) Walter Van de Kamp in the 1950s.

fun and whimsy that has endeared it to generations of diners

Our new uniforms have a more informal, contemporary look, updating classic elements — tams (or caps), tartan vests and denim kilts — while still honoring the restaurant’s Scottish theme.

On your next visit, we’re sure you’ll find the design changes we’ve made reflect a renewed sense of spirit and fun at today’s Tam O’Shanter.

Tam O'Shanter

2980 Los Feliz Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

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