Young couple takes over iconic Blackfoot bar

BLACKFOOT—Young business partners Chase Bloom, 23, and Mandi Jensen, 22, aren't much older than the legal drinking age, but as of this month, they are the new owners of one of Blackfoot oldest bars - the Tumbleweed. The Tumbleweed building was built in 1890 at 40 W. Pacific Street.
"What a way to kick off the new year! This is my new year resolution," Bloom exclaimed.
Bloom and Jensen say they have been customers at the bar for the past couple of years. One day, Charlie Hartson, the former owner of the bar for the past eight years, mentioned to them that "he'd like to move on and do something else." This piqued the couple's interest and they went on to pursue ownership of the bar.
Blackfoot natives, both Jensen and Bloom have managerial experience. Jensen is the former manager of Blackfoot's Pizza Hut, while Bloom has managed at local auto part stores Auto Zone and O'Reilly Auto Parts.
"We figured if we're going to manage something, we might as well own the place," Jensen said. "It's better to work for yourself than for someone else."
The Tumbleweed also employs two bartenders, John Hartson and Kaitlyn Collet.
The couple is looking forward to renovating the back end of the bar - that was once a barber shop - by adding a new bar and a place to accommodate live bands.
"We've got some country, rock and even some reggae bands in mind to come and play," Jensen said. "We want people to stay in Blackfoot and not go out of town every weekend for fun."
Despite their youth, the couple say they plan to cater to folks of all ages who want to come in and enjoy themselves.
"We'll keep the classic front end of the bar in its original state. That's where the older crowd likes be," Bloom said. "We'll open up the back end for the younger crowd to dance and hang out."
Bloom and Jensen also have plans to open an outdoor beer garden with a stage for summertime fun.
For now, the Tumbleweed will offer karaoke on Friday night. They will continue to have longtime customer and friend, "90-something"-year-old Leona Ray, play the keyboards on Fridays as well.
"-[Ray] has been playing here for years. She loves to entertain and she's welcome here," Bloom said.
While it's against the law in Bingham County for bars to be open on Sunday, the county is making an exception for Super Bowl Sunday, allowing bars to open and serve beer only.
Bloom and Jensen will be hosting a pot luck Super Bowl party from noon to 10 p.m. Everyone is welcome to stop by with their favorite dish and watch the game.